You may have read the novel, ‘The Book Thief’ by Markus Zusak? In case you are yet to read it I shan’t spoil the story for you. Of the many tremendous lines that form the novel, ‘Words are life’ holds the most power for me.
What is life without words? Words have the power to hurt, to heal, to touch souls or to torment them. For those with such power at their fingetips I wonder what drives some to wield it for such malignant use. Perhaps the wordsmiths among us could think of ways to use their gift to create and enhance the beauty of the world around us. Returning to The Book Thief, Max teaches Liesel to see, to really see. Max encourages her to use her growing vocabulary to enable him to envisage the world outside that he is denied access to.
Zusak’s novel illustrates the beauty and the ugliness caused by the use and misuse of words. I have loved being included in the journey as each page turned. In the words of Max Ehrmann, ‘With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world’.