A few days ago, as I trudged down the dusty paths in my village, I heard so many strange voices. They talked and talked about a variety of things. Some voices sounded conceited while others were the opposite. I stood silent and startled. The blood in my veins went cold and I stood still on my toes.Suddenly, a sharp voice rang in my ears leaving my limbs almost frozen. I thought of taking off to my heals as far as my legs would carry me. I thought of shouting back. But which words was I going to yell out? Who was I going to yell at? Was this necessary anyway? Wasn’t there any other proper and polite way of responding?. Amidst all that confusion, I gathered myself and spoke in a rather calm and dignified manner. What did I speak about? Who was I speaking to?
For the next few minutes, the voices had ceased and I found myself in a very quiet place. I felt uneasy for I did not know what was happening in the world. I walked, breathing faster than usual. My heart seemed to pump like a pendulum clock, suddenly I felt I could no longer contain myself. Therefore, I fell down in a heap and made a loud thud. I closed my eyes because I never wanted any distractions so that I’d memorize everything that had happened. I spent about ten minutes with my eyes closed but hardly remembered anything.
I opened my eyes in much disbelief and disgust but to my surprise, just in front of me was a group of people crammed together like a swarm of bees, some were old people with crooked backs and grey hair. Others were young and energetic people, while a few were young children below the age of fifteen. They all stared at me and I stared back. Those who smiled at me, I did the same. Then a tall, thin man stood up. All eyes turned around and gazed at him. He said his name was Tick and wanted to know mine. I told him that my name was Beatrice and was a native
I heard murmurs from the crowd and Tick, who seemed to be the team leader called for silence. He spoke about the difficult situation they faced especially the segregation from the natives. Tick continued to speak about the murder and intended raids on their property by the natives. He concluded in an indignant voice disapproving of the government which failed to respond to their woes.
When everybody was quiet, it was my turn to speak to a group of people whom everyone else in my village hated, minimized, segregated, raided, and killed. It was my turn either to lift high their spirits or to lower them so that their beaming and hopeful faces would turn to surly and crossed ones. I suddenly felt a great desire to speak words that would bring unity between the natives and the strangers. I wanted to tell them about the same brotherhood we had in common. I wanted to speak of the time that was being wasted hiding and planning fights rather than doing developmental things. It was then when I stood up and began to speak.
The words seemed to arrange themselves in my brain. I looked around, everywhere, all eyes were glued to me. Indeed I wanted to speak, I wanted to unite my people using my words. Was it going to be possible?. What if they do not listen to me? What if they failed to understand me? What was the power of my words? “Enthusiasm and perseverance” I commenced. I talked about the importance of following dreams and staying determined, the importance of working together and loving one another. I paused and watched everyone’s eyes paying rapt attention as they heard about famous explorers who forged ahead into new worlds and conquered obstacles. Those explorers met with new people in new places but learned to stay and work with them. I continued with conviction in my voice as I emphasized that those voyagers were the heroes of resolve and perseverance. I talked about freedom of expression and many other things. Before I knew it, the crowd had been joined by natives, village leaders and other people whose faces were unfamiliar to me.They all sat still, trying to be careful not to touch anything that could make noise, and suddenly everyone applauded. That was the power of my words. My words had attracted a multitude of people from many places all over the world. The once separated people were now seated together. I wished I could continue speaking forever so that my people remained united.
For the next days, which turned into weeks, months and over years, these people remained united and lived together at peace. That was when I realized how powerful words can be.