It’s ironic, I think, that one of the most vivid demonstrations of the power of the written word I know is in video format. The video, which is on YouTube, is currently unavailable, but I think it’s worth checking in a few times to see if it will surface again. I was turned onto it by InSource News, a newsletter for creative professionals.
The clip is less than two minutes long. It opens with a shot of a bleak-looking plaza. Seated at the base of a shallow flight of steps on a scrap of cardboard is a man with a tin can and a sign that says, “Please help. I’m blind.” The weather is gray and uninviting. A few people pass the man, and even fewer toss a coin into his can. Then, a young woman walks by, turns, picks up his sign, and writes something on it. As she’s writing, the man touches her shoes. They’re green, hip, and distinctive. She puts her marker away and walks on. And from then on, everyone who passes the man becomes a donor. When the young woman returns and stops in front of him, the man reaches out, touches her feet, and says in recognition, “What have you done to my sign, love?” We see that she’s changed it to read, “It’s a beautiful day, and I can’t see it.”
All I can say is that I shed a tear or two. What has your experience been with the power of words?