30 Mar Taking Responsibility: The Liberating effect of Words
The power of words will forever remain a mystery. It is amazing how a word that isn’t ‘hurt’ has the power to cause pain and how a word that isn’t ‘love’ can still be held so dear. In an effort to build our world, words become our foundations, words also form the blocks with which we build and depending on our choice of words, our buildings either remain rock solid or come falling at the slightest tempest, made up of words still.
We are ruled by words. The direction in which a nation goes is determined by how convinced the people are in one man’s choice of words. With these words, we are either sold into slavery or led to freedom. We are only as
fashionable as the words we put on and as healthy as the words we digest. Our nights are defined by the words with which we make our beds and our lives are characterized by the words we hold on to. When lost or in doubt, words form the questions or become the maps that guide us towards self-awareness.
Words aren’t just words, especially when they form the lines of our favourite songs, poems, quotes, books or movies. I have become addicted to words and even more so, amazed by how people use words to tell powerful stories that inspire change.
Kendrick Lamar’s new album title ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’ is explained in the song ‘Mortal Man’ inspired by words from his good friend who said, “The Caterpillar is a prisoner to the streets that conceived it. It’s only job is to eat or consume everything around it, in order to protect itself from this Mad City. By consuming it’s environment, the Caterpillar begins to notice ways to survive. One thing it notices is how the world shuns him, but praises the butterfly. The butterfly represents the talent, thoughtfulness and the beauty within the Caterpillar. But having a harsh outlook on life, the Caterpillar sees the butterfly as weak and figures out a ways to pimp it to its own benefits. Already surrounded by this mad city, the caterpillar goes to work on the cocoon which institutionalizes him. He can no longer see past his own thoughts. He’s trapped. While trapped inside these walls, certain ideas take roots such as going home and bringing back new concepts to this mad city. The result…wings begin to emerge, breaking the cycle of feeling stagnant. Finally free, the butterfly sheds light on situations that the caterpillar never considered… ending the eternal struggle. Although the butterfly and caterpillar are completely different, they are one and the same.”
Coincidentally, these profound and thought provoking words lend a voice to the Butterfly Mind Initiative’s belief that the emerging dreams of young people should be tended to with love so that they can progress smoothly from being caterpillars into beautiful butterflies.
I write this piece, not knowing where it is headed but like every other narrative I have written or shared, I hope it inspires us to craft our own words into a song, poem or story that gives wings to every butterfly within reach.