THE term ''power'' is everywhere in our world.

Thinking of it, the phrase ''world inflation'' comes to mind. Much of what we encounter, in print, on television and an advertising centers on the concept of power.

But what is that concept? What is power? The truth is that the world bears an impossible burden of interpretation.

Definitions are myriad; the dictionary lists an unusual number of meanings. Surely, power is what it is - that which enables us to influence, if not indeed determine, the course of our lives.

And it is a word.

Words are powerful. As a writer, my experience tells me that nothing is more powerful. Language after all, is made of words.

Words are conceptual symbols., they have denotative and connotative properties. The world ''power'' denotes force, physical strength, resistance. But it connotes something more subtle : persuasion, suggestion, inspiration, security.

Consider the words of Mark Antony in Shakespeare's ''Julius Caesar'':
Cry ''Havoc!'' and let slip the dogs of war;
That this foul deed shall smell above the earth
Wit carrion men, groaning for burial.

We might be hard pressed to find words more charged with power to incite, to inflame, to affect violence and destruction. But there are, of course, other expressions of power in words.

They can be especially personal.

They can touch our sensibilities in different and individual ways, perhaps because they have different associations for us. The word ''Holocaust'' frightens me because survivors of the Nazi death camps have told me of their suffering. Notwithstanding, the word is intrinsically powerful and disturbing. 

The word ''child'' delights me; the word ''love'' confounds me; the word ''God'' mystifies me. I have lived my life under the spell of words; they have empowered my mind.

Words are sacred. I believe they are more sacred in children than they are to most of us.

When I was first able to make my way in language, my Native American father, a member of the known tribe, told me stories from Kiowa oral tradition.

They transported me. They fascinated and thrilled me. They nourished my imagination. They nourished my soul.

Indeed, nothing has meant more to me in fashioning my view of the world. I came to understand that story is the engine of language, and that words are the marrow of language.

The honor and serving of the latest global operational research on great essays and writings, continues. The World Students Society thanks author N.Scott Momaday.

N. Scott Momaday : is the 2019 recipient of Ken Burns American Heritage Prize, was awarded the  Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1969.


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