“The pen is mightier than the sword” was first written by novelist and playwright Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1839, in his historical play Cardinal Richelieu.
It’s still true today though no one uses a pen anymore.
Most of what we read is presented to us not by paper but via a video screen with a keyboard attached: an iPad or computer. Chances are excellent that’s exactly how you’re consuming these words at this very moment.
And unlike days of yore where pen, paper, envelopes, stamps, and lots of time were the mean by which we expressed our considered thoughts, today it’s more like a conversation. If something we read fires up our emotions we can instantly respond (and often do).
The good news is the written or spoken words of one person often morph to an ongoing dialog.
The bad news is the written or spoken words of one person sometimes morph to a fight.
Today’s challenge seems to be one of timing.
If we can find the space to let settle the words that stir our emotions before dashing off an angry retort, perhaps a new age of civility might be just around the corner.