When I was about 8 or 9 my best friend was a very asthmatic, non-conformist individual named Kenneth.  Kenneth knew a lot of stuff the average 5th grader hadn’t even been taught, and we were only in 4th grade.   So, when I look back on my early education, I realize that most of the important stuff that I, truly, learned started with or was significantly re-enforced by the words and deeds of my friends.

I remember one time when we were standing in the milk line;  a hundred or so so kids  discussing the latest in lunch box fashion, meanness of teacher,  or misbehavior of a student while they moved slowly towards the 3 cent purchase of the white elixir.  On this particular day, without any warning, Kenneth decided to announce that, “Nothing is impossible!”.  Immediately, kid scientist Carl, replied with “it’s impossible to make a perpetual motion machine”, to which Kenneth retorted “Nothing is impossible!”.   Now, not knowing the meaning of the word perpetual at the age of 8, I found myself on the sidelines in this debate.  However, I stated that it was impossible to travel through time.  Many others hurled similarly, clearly, impossible tasks at him.  But Kenneth remained adamant.  Finally, as we approached the lunch matron distributing the milk, she wisely quelled the furor, “you will be able to do anything , honey, when pigs fly”.

As I watched the seemingly impossible panic generated by WORD of the H1N1 disease as it infected and affected nearly everyone on the planet, I realized that both Kenneth and the lunch matron were right.

As writers and human beings we must never underestimate the potential power and influence of OUR words.