King Weekly Sentinel
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Export date: Sat Aug 8 14:25:36 2020 / +0000 GMT

The power of words is incredible


“Words to me were magic. It was amazing to me that words had this power.”
– Amy Tan

By Mark Pavilons

The written language has inspired, evoked emotion and fueled humankind's evolution throughout the eons.
Think about it.
Ever since our forefathers learned to read and write, our society has been encouraged to be better, through the written word.
Here, in the pages of the King Weekly Sentinel, you'll find tens of thousands of hopefully finely crafted words and phrases that inform, educate and inspire minds, young and old, about the world around us.
It's a great responsibility, almost burdensome at times. We journalists are charged, week in and week out, with providing readers a synopsis of the community, and broader society, making sense of it all. And this takes place in the corner of a page, a few hundred words at a time.
The process seems to foreign to some and it takes a team effort, a team with talent, dedication, common sense, reason and yes, discretion.
For many, stringing together a few hundred words is a task, even a chore. Think back when you were asked to draft an essay or term paper. We gathered information, data, statistics and facts and penned reams of paragraphs. Hopefully, these attempts informed and scintillated readers.
It's a miracle of sorts, one unaffected by modern technology. Sure, our tools have improved, making certain aspects of newspaper production much more efficient. But one thing remains the same, the same as it has when the first printed newspaper hit the streets in 1605. And that's people behind the words.
Journalists – writers, note-takers, recorders of history – do it every day. We are not selling fresh fruit on the street, or peddling snake oil from the back of a wagon, although some may see us in that light. Try as we may to “get it right,” we are human, with human emotions, frailties and biases, that sometimes get in the way.
The written word, from the early days of cuneiform in 3,200 BC, amazed and enthralled our ancestors.
The written word has provoked thought and even led people to take up arms, overthrow oppressive governments. Words helped fuel fascism, but also ended apartheid. They've helped us fight injustice. Writers, and journalists, for centuries, have made us laugh and cry, angry and upset. Good writers forced us to think. Writers make us tilt our heads a bit, to the left or the right. They plant seeds and how we nurture them is up to us.
Here, in these pages, you will find a cornucopia of local news, features, sports, ideas and opinions. Nowhere, but in these pages, can you find out about King, its people, its decision-makers, its past and its future.
We don't shape it, but we do record it, and document it for the ages.
Maya Angelou said it takes a human voice to infuse words with deeper meaning.
I love being part of this unique process. Again, without people, words are meaningless. The true picture of society is made up of its inhabitants, their words, actions, roles, responsibilities and accomplishments. The words come together to tell stories of the human condition, from tragedy to triumph.
The stories we tell are other people's journeys, adventures and plights. Citizens are the ones who scale mountains, fight the good fight, circumnavigate the globe, battle adversity and take politicians to task. They (you) are the award-winners, the motivators, the mentors, the builders.
We are merely the storytellers, keeping meticulous ledgers.
I do take credit for providing a solid product, offering decent editorial coverage of King. It's necessary and a vital component that is the fabric of society. Home town pride begins in the heart, but it is spread through ink.
My inspiration comes from the community and its residents. They (you) are my heroes, friends and boots on the ground.
I am amazed by front-line social workers or TAs who help parents of children with autism. I see the results of medical practitioners who heal the sick, defy the laws of nature and save those who would otherwise face certain death. I revel in the efforts of humanitarians who travel the globe to spread goodwill. I am humbled by the hutzpa of firefighters, paramedics and police offers who put the lives and fate of others above their own.
I have a small, supporting role in this star-studded local performance. I'm in the background, reciting the lines of the players in this block-buster of a local story.
We are all players on the world stage, Shakespeare once noted, and we have our roles to play before we exit.
Away from my desk, I'm ordinary and often ineffectual, joining others who pay taxes, line up for gas, buy groceries and watch TV. I have holes in my socks and my shirts are missing buttons. Not exactly leading the masses to overthrow tyrants or inspiring the youth of tomorrow.
I have a responsibility to my family, and my children, keeping them moving forward in this crazy world. Pounding out a thousand words pales in comparison.
The most I can hope for is my words – my efforts – are appreciated.
If I succeed, maybe, just maybe, a few eyebrows are raised and I've given people something new to think about.
Maybe.

Excerpt: The written language has inspired, evoked emotion and fueled humankind’s evolution throughout the eons. Think about it. Ever since our forefathers learned to read and write, our society has been encouraged to be better, through the written word.
Post date: 2020-02-05 10:13:24
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