ABRAKADABRA The power of words
Inspired & Blessed

ABRAKADABRA: The power of words

Nov 28, 2023, 7:26 AM
Bob Acebedo

Bob Acebedo


Mind you, “Abrakadabra” is not just a hoaxical, nonsensical word blurted out by magicians – as we used to think it is.

Surprisingly, the word has a deep and fascinating etymological history, more than we thought of.

From my past theological studies in the seminary (whence we studied Hebrew, Latin, and Greek), I’ve learned about the following etymological meanings of “Abrakadabra”:

1. Abrakadabra in Hebrew means “I will create as I speak.”

2. In Aramaic, “Avra Kehdabra” means “I create like the word.”

3. The gnostic term “abraxas” turns up in both Latin and Greek; and it’s similar to the first letters of the Greek alphabet, Alpha-Beta-Gamma-Delta.

4. The word’s origins likely stem from the Hebrew word for God, “Ab” or “Abba” (Father); “Ben” means son; and “Ruach Acadosch” means the Holy Spirit.

Thus, no wonder, further to my past learnings, in Hebraic perspective, “uttering the word” does not make any distinction between the “utterer” and the “word”. In other words, there is a necessary unity between the “spoken word” and the “speaker”, between the “messenger” and the “message”.

In the Bible, hence, for God to create the world, it only took Him to utter, “Let there be light…etc.”

With these etymological ramifications, I’m impelled to draw some insights on the ineffable power of words.

One, be careful with our words we must. They are meant to create, not to destroy.

In my past graduate studies in Mass Communication, I’ve learned one basic principle: Communication is irreversible or unrepeatable.

This principle applies to interpersonal as well as organizational and mass communication. In the interpersonal level, a hurting remark on a colleague, intentional or not, can spell a broken relationship. In the organizational sphere, a badly written or tactless memo can trigger an employee to resign or even seek legal redress. In the realm of broadcast and print media, no amount of “erratum” rejoinder or correction notice can erase or undo an erroneous (factual or otherwise) print or broadcast news story. This is true likewise with the ever-pervasive social media – and thus we have the proverbial forewarning, “Think before you click!”

Similarly, in our interpersonal life, negative or harsh words can, apart from breaking up relationships, leave a lasting and unforgettable scar on others – even if they are forgiven.

Proverbs 18:21 rightly said it: “The tongue has power over life and death, those who like speaking will eat its fruit.”

Two, minding about the awesome power of words, we can harness them to promote the greater good in us and in others. Sincere verbal affirmations meant for ourselves and others are never wasted – they have always remained “magical” for us, for others, for the world.

Lastly, the “greatest or highest good” that words can offer are those for God (prayer) and of God. Remember, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away (Matthew 24:35).”

In sum, the following lines are truly spot on:

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.

Watch your words, for they become actions.

Watch your actions, for they become habits.

Watch your habits, for they become character.

Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

#InspiredAndBlessed #BobAcebedo #ABRAKADABRA #Watch #ThePowerOfWords #OpinYonColumn #OpinYon #WeTakeAStand

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