While both the pen and the sword have no intrinsic might or power on it’s own, they are capable of granting it’s wielder a heightened ability to achieve his or her aims. They have no impact whatsoever without a wielder that unleashes its potential. Nietzsche has influenced many with his writings, while my 8 year old nephew may have influenced close to none.
The power of language depends on the ability of its writer, but as one evaluate the potentials of the pen, one would find that it offers much more than the sword.
A sword may be capable of instantly pulverizing a person as a direct effect, or any indirect impacts a threat may bring. The pen may not be a top choice in a gladiators’ arena, but it is capable of influencing thousands of sword wielders. The pen’s ability of influencing others is much more than that of the sword. Written language have shaped our world indirectly, and with much more impact than the sword. It has moved and influenced others. With the sword, one can get his way by threatening others – if they value their lives. But the pen can shape and distort the people’s minds, values and personality. The sword merely arouses basic survival instinct.
The pen can both be constructive and destructive. A single declaration can spring start military action, death of thousands and the destruction of lands. Yet, writings like the Holy Bible have encouraged people worldwide to nurture good moral values and positive qualities in oneself. This effect is not only limited to the bible, of course. Other benefits of writings would include classical works from Shake spear, etc. Their work continue to influence, impress and entertain us this very day.
However, the pen would be ineffective by itself and it’s wielder. Our early ancestors did not fight off hostile creatures and predators with stone and bamboo carvings, but with stone clubs and wooden sticks. Wars in the past were propelled by the use of weaponry, and would be impossible with only the pen. The impact of weaponry itself can be huge too, as demonstrated by numerous wars and genocides. Eg, world wars and the Jewish genocide.
Also, without weaponry, some of these wars could have never been put to an early end. It is inane to think that mere words could shake the perseverance of Adolf Hitler or persuade him to stop the war and genocides. Both the declaration of war and the treaty of Versailles were signed and written in ink, but the consequences and benefits they bring wouldn’t be met without the existence of weaponry.
In conclusion, although the pen is much mightier than the sword, the two are tightly knitted together and most of the time, both are essential to create an impact in the world. We cannot ignore the fact that the sword had and will continue to play an important role in shaping our world.
I always prefer to believe the best of everybody–it saves so much time.
– Rudyard Kipling