The Power of Words: 2 Reasons Why Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Words Are So Moving

Did you know that your body is made of about 75% water?

A snowflake’s response to words

In the late 1990s, a doctor by the name of Masaru Emoto conducted an unusual study. He proposed that water, when exposed to various contents, can be influenced in its molecular arrangement—so much so that their frozen crystals may become disrupted or symmetrical in shape.

In other words, a snowflake’s composition changes, depending on what the water had been exposed to.

This, of course, makes sense. For instance, snowflakes formed from polluted water will probably look significantly different from snowflakes formed from clean, filtered water. It all sounds very matter-of fact. However, the “content” that Dr. Emoto was talking about had nothing to do with content of matter, but contents of energy. He went on to propose that even the words; rather, the intentions behind the words can influence the shapes of snowflakes.

Dr. Emoto tested this hypothesis and found significant evidence that proved his hypothesis true. Numerous times, his study revealed that negative words such s “hate,” evil,” and “disgust” formed irregular, asymmetrical snowflakes, while positive words like “love,” “peace,” and “harmony” formed symmetrical and beautifully designed works of art.

Do the words we speak really have such power on water? And if so, how much influence do words have on our bodies, since 75% of our bodies are composed of water? Can words break us down? Can words build us up?

“Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” – Proverbs 16:24

 About 53 years ago, a man stood at the steps of Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. and said:

“I have a dream that one day…the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.” With vigor, he continued, “I have a dream that my four little children…will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Like words that can change water, the words that rang out from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s lips that day changed a nation and, soon after, the world.

Last month, our nation celebrated the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. and of course, everyone is familiar with the “I Have a Dream” speech delivered on August 28, 1963. If words can change water and change a nation, then words must have the power to change us and our health—both physically and as a community. But why were Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s words so powerful—to the point that they moved a nation to action?

1. Speaking to an inner ideal

When I was a child, I believed in Santa Claus. I’m not afraid to admit it. In fact, when I was about 4 years old, I slept next to the Christmas tree to make sure I wouldn’t miss Santa coming to leave the present on Christmas Eve. And when I awoke the next morning, my eyes would light up to see all of the presents. But my mind was confused as to how Santa was able to place all the gifts under the tree without me noticing. That’s how much I believed in him!

I also believed that everyone was my friend, that neighbors could be trusted, and that every person—even strangers—cared about the person next to them. As I grew up, however, I came to the harsh realization that not everyone was a friend, that neighbors couldn’t always be trusted, and that strangers were not always caring.

When I was a child, I believed in ideals, in possibilities, and that life and the world was more than how it seems to be today. The words of Martin Luther King, Jr. speak in such tones. It speaks to the inner child in all of us that Santa can exist, that strangers and neighbors can be caring, and that everyone can be our friend.

Deep down, despite how jaded adulthood has made us to be, we still want to believe in such ideals.

Deep down, we still want to believe in possibilities, so that when he said, “I have a dream,” something inside of us responded, “So do I.”

His words spoke to our inner ideals.

2. Words with care

In 1972, a man stood in a park in Ottawa, Canada. He was prepared to initiate his goal that was five years in the making. While children played nearby and the sun shone above, he waited for his moment. With a pistol tucked into his coat, he waited for the President of the United States. This was the day, as stated in his journal, that he, Arthur Bremer would assassinate Richard Nixon.

The moment of truth was here, Nixon walked out of the car, well within range. But just as Bremer was about to pull the gun from his coat, a small but significant nudge abruptly halted his concentration. Angered and furious, Bremer spun around to see who had disrupted him. As he turned, he saw a sweet older lady with apologetic eyes. “I’m so sorry,” she said sincerely. She gently touched the arm—the same arm that held the concealed gun—and with deep care in her voice and imploring eyes, she asked, “Are you okay?”

Bremer didn’t shoot President Nixon that day. Instead, he shot presidential candidate George Wallace one month later, permanently paralyzing him from the waist down. Later, Bremer would write that the old woman was just too loving and caring to let her witness what he planned on doing that day. In careful study of Bremer’s life, it was found that love and care, the two things that came from the old lady, were two things Bremer had lacked in his life.

When Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke his famous words, they weren’t only for his own benefit. They were said so that all those within earshot could heal from wounds of injustice that had passed on from one generation to the next. His words were said in your benefit, as they were also said for my benefit. Much like the case of Arthur Bremer and the old lady, Dr. King’s words contained love and care that many of us rarely experience in our lives.

The challenge 

With that being said, let me challenge you to use your words in ways that speak to an inner ideal and carry with it the weight of love and care. And may these words not just be for those around you, but also for yourself. For how can words be spoken to others when they’re not first spoken to ourselves?

Health is more than what goes into our mouths; it’s also what comes out. The words we use today will influence the health we have tomorrow. And, armored with such understanding, I’m reminded of another quote by Martin Luther King, Jr. so I’ll end it with this:

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

 May our words bring healing today.

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Rolando Fulgencio, ND

Dr. Rolando Fulgencio is a Naturopathic Physican in the Seattle area. Founder of Fulgencio Natural Health Center, he did his undergrad in Walla Walla University and received his medical degree from Bastyr University. He's also the media director and program director for F5 Challenge, a ministry that promotes fitness, health, and fellowship through outdoor activities.

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