Blog – Words that move us

The Power of Words

Each Monday morning at out team meetings we dedicate the first 15 minutes to a rotating chair to share something of their choice. It could be an article they want to discuss, a question, a song, a poem, it’s dealers (or rather chair’s) choice.

This week I was in the hot seat and the theme I picked was ‘words that move me’. I was focussing on poetry for some reason but for different people there are many different types of words that move them and in true Solutions for the Planet style we had people bucking the trend. Thinking about words that move, motivate, inspire, quieten, ground and support us is a really powerful thing. We learn at school that “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”, and whilst I understand why this is important in the context that we learn it, I wonder whether it starts us on a path of not appreciating the positive (as well as negative) power of words. So today, on #MentalHealthAwarenessDay and just following from #NationalPoetryDay, I encourage you to have a think, dig deep into your book shelves, YouTube history, messages from friends and/or the richness of your mind and find some words that move you, in a good way. Writing this now, there are many more words that come to my mind that I would love to share but in an effort to stay on track here are some of mine, and the teams thoughts:

Amazing Grace by John Newton

It Couldn’t Be Done by Edgar Albert

Good Timber by Douglas Malloch

The tree that never had to fight
For sun and sky and air and light,
But stood out in the open plain
And always got its share of rain,
Never became a forest king
But lived and died a scrubby thing.

The man who never had to toil
To gain and farm his patch of soil,
Who never had to win his share
Of sun and sky and light and air,
Never became a manly man
But lived and died as he began.

Good timber does not grow with ease:
The stronger wind, the stronger trees;
The further sky, the greater length;
The more the storm, the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
In trees and men good timbers grow.

Where thickest lies the forest growth,
We find the patriarchs of both.
And they hold counsel with the stars
Whose broken branches show the scars
Of many winds and much of strife.
This is the common law of life.


Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

The Peace of Wild Things by Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives might be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief.  I come into the presence  of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Otter by Lizzie Knell

She smiles, smooth; She knows it shines like fire
She knows she is all cheekbones
Like flint-stones –
Or the pebbles in her eyes;
Lashes curling round and round and round
Until she has no eyelids left
And all I see is gleam.
She knows she moves through the world
Like skimming-stones on my stream
Like oil on the biggest lake I’ve ever seen
She knows she could smile
And I would just stare for a while
At cutting-teeth like quartz
Until all I see is gleam.
And then the penny drops beneath the water tension
And she bobs back up
All wet fur and webbed feet
And I stop and stare at the rain –
Like I’ll float away –
Until all I see is gleam
And tiny cutting teeth.

Words are powerful. Let’s enjoy them.


Jen Baughan
Solutions for the Planet

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solutions for the Planet Ltd