Do you realize how powerful words are? Hemingway did, and he proved it in six short words.
A Small Disclaimer
Before I tell you of a small wager and a short story, I want to take a second to warn you – there is power in words. You may not be a believer, but if you have had recent tragedy in your life, you may want to come back to this another day.
A Small Wager
Rumor has it one day a few writers, including Ernest Hemingway, were having lunch together and a bet was proposed. The bet was simple: everyone would throw ten dollars into a pot. Hemingway was to write a complete story in only six words.
If the story is true, I’m sure there would be a bit of ribbing at the table. I would expect there to be some jokes and laughter – all at Hemingway’s expense. How could anyone believe they could write a complete story in so few words?
A Short Story
Despite any jokes, laughs, or looks of disbelief, Hemingway simply grabbed a napkin, scrawled out his six words and passed it around the table. Then he collected his winnings.
The napkin simply said “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”
The Power of Words
I can’t imagine the scenario in which I could read that story and not have my heart break a little. Why? Because of letters arranged in a particular way? No. Because words express thoughts and thoughts evoke emotion and experiences and humanity.
We have the power of life and death, the power of good and evil, the power of strength and weakness. The power of healing and hope are right within us.