The Christian Recorder in March of 1862 published that a publication of the African Methodist Episcopal Church presented the adage of "Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never harm me" for the first time in print.
Most of us will never have sticks and stones thrown at us as was done during this time of our nation's history. It was a different time for sure but today we live in much different times as well. But we will all experience words that are powerful, sharp and can be as beneficial as they are destructive.
Our team at Market Street focuses on using words (with lots of numbers) to tell a story of the past, the present, and glimpses of what the future may hold for cities, counties and states. These words while always as accurate as possible can be well received or sometimes not welcomed. After all, most communities don't want to hear the bad news about their previous decisions or future paths unless major changes are made. Most want to hear about the successes and the great achievements that worked well.
However, in my opinion, one of the foundation blocks of MSS that has never been compromised is "telling it like it is....the good, the bad, the ugly." Leaders need to be confronted with the reality of where they actually are and probably will be going in community and economic development. The future workforce will reap the results of the current leadership facing the reality of their decisions.
Words, followed by a committed leadership to execute them into actions, will determine what the future community will become. They will challenge, empower and help to create a vision for the future. It may be just words but they can be transforming.