The pen is mightier than the sword, so keep your pen sharp!

Delores E.  Topliff

Written words inform us, entertain, and even change history. During the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln described Harriett Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, as, “The little woman who wrote the book that started this great war.”

Near that same time, Charles Dickens wrote about poverty, hunger, child labor, cruelty, and injustice in novels like Hard Times, Great Expectations, Bleak House, and more, to stir people to action for social change. Years back, his Tale of Two Cities, published in 1859, was named the fourth top-selling book of all time with the Bible being first; a 2010 survey drops his book to sixth place, but that is still impressive.

The phrase, “The pen is mightier than the sword, is credited to English author, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, a contemporary of Dickens. The fact that most of us know and recite his 1839 phrase is more proof that true words stand the test of time.

In childhood, or any part of life, most of us have favorite books whose stories and characters stayed with us to influence our lives. Maybe we practiced survival techniques like Last of the Mohicans, Swiss Family Robinson, Little House on the Prairie, or were inspired to courage by Sydney Carton in Dickens’ Tale.

King Solomon correctly said, “of making many books there is no end.” Thankfully, there is no need to have an end in sight.

Today on Facebook, someone posted, “The swordfish has few predators to worry about in the wild, except the seldom seen penfish, which is said to be even mightier.” I love that!

What do you consider the most important book you have read? Name one (or two) that inspired and challenged you. In grade school, Gene Stratton Porter’s Girl of the Limberlost confirmed my love for nature and encouraged me to progress in life as far as I could by getting all the education possible.

If you could write any book of your heart and dreams, describe its focus. What are your highest hopes for all it would accomplish?

Now, I hope you will pick up your pen and begin.

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