November is one of those months that has the month dedicated to an emotion, an abstract. Much like February and love, November is dedicated to thankfulness. So on the Tuesdays of this month, I'm going to focus on something for which I am thankful.

The first one is words. Any sort of words: nouns, verbs, prepositions, adverbs, adjectives and the like. Without words we wouldn't be able to communicate as well. Written words, from printed to digital, are another thing for which I am thankful. As the above quote from C.S. Lewis reminds us, literature adds to our lives. A good book can challenge people to change their direction. Literature, as in our classes in high school, is not limited to fiction, but includes all the realms of written word: poetry, plays, histories, and novels.

As much as I sometimes struggle with my second languages, I am thankful for the languages of the world. English, with its rich variety taken from the Celtic, Germanic and Latin roots, cannot describe everything. Other languages fill in those missing areas. It is a blessing to have words from other languages when my language is inadequate.

Words, like all blessings, come with a price - the gift requires that we take care of it. To use words to edify is one thing, but to use words to hurt maliciously is entirely different. The pen is mightier than the sword, but used without caution it will cause wounds far deeper than sword can penetrate. As a writer by profession, this knowledge keeps me focused on why I write. To whom is my book directed? How can I use this gift, for which I am thankful, in a way that will build someone up and not tear that person down?

For what do you give thanks this season? Is it your health? Words and books? Something else entirely different?


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