Throughout the history of human existence, great leaders at all times used the power of words to transmute emotions and to change the course of a country’s destiny. From Martin Luther King Jr.’s illustration of a ‘dream’ to Winston Churchill’s emphasis on the ‘finest hour’ and Mahatma Gandhi’s focus on ‘Satyagraha’, we are well aware that words ignite change and they have a very powerful impact on people as well as situation.
Each of the words used by them gave the common men the power, the strength, the courage, the nerve, the valor not only to look beyond the obvious but a confidence to transform their current reality into something that which they truly desire.
Just imagine, what if Indian Independence movement and/or Purna Swarjya (declaration of Independence of India) was called as the Anti-British movement, would it be as impactful? Would the movement give the dreaded Indians as much hope? Would the leaders be capable enough to inculcate the belief of independence in the public’s mind and heart? Would it motivate them enough to fight for their rights or emotionally connect them to the entire movement? Well, the intensity of negative words can never be impactful, let alone transformational.
Mother Teresa once said, “I will never attend an anti-war rally; if you have a peace rally, invite me.”
The power of using positive vocabulary and inspiring words is not only constructive but also encouraging since it is neither hostile nor confrontational. On the contrary, positive terminology, slogans and catchphrases improve communication, reduces conflict and even defensiveness while increasing the credibility of the cause, situation and or movement.
Not long ago, Narendra Modi and his party Bhartiya Janata Party did sweep Indian election and formed the government by promising Indians ‘Acche Din (good days)’. Do you think the campaign would be as powerful and impactful had it been ‘Khatam Karo Burre Din (end bad days)’ or something similar? Likewise, the slogan ‘Ab ki baar Modi Sarkar’ was on everybody’s lips. Again, it was optimistic; neither hostile nor confrontational, perhaps this is the reason why it also went on to become a reality. Donald Trump too had the same impact on the entire populace of the United States of America by his signature catchphrase ‘Make America Great Again.’
Positive words, terminology, phrases are that impactful as it has the capacity to stir both the mind and the heart, sentiments and emotions, thoughts and beliefs. It has the capability to transform anybody’s opinion and estimation. The same cannot be said about negative words or terminology. This is the reason why great leaders used positive words to facilitate change. Do you really think if Mahatma Gandhi, Subhash Chandra Bose, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and or any reformers, economists or leaders would have ever settled on something called as ‘Anti-Black money day?’ or rather celebrate it as ‘Tax Compliance day’ or something similar?
What impression does it give to Indians? Does it encourage people to pay their taxes on time? Does it motivate them to use legal and white money? Does it by any chance give them a hope that slowly and steadily there will be no benami transactions? Well, the minute you use a word like ‘anti’ you are going to produce a very different effect than if you say something affirmative like ‘white money’. You cannot promote something positive by using negative words. The anti-war rally will always have a focus on war, not on peace but a peace rally will have a full emphasis on peace and only peace.
Nevertheless, June 5 is celebrated as International environment day and not as anti-pollution day, October 11 is celebrated as International Day of the Girl Child and not as anti-female foeticide day, September 21 is eminent as International Day of Peace and not as anti-war day and most important August 15 is celebrated as Independence Day and not as Anti-British Raj day.