The pen is mightier than the sword.

Or so they say. Dr. Jose Rizal proved the pen’s majestic power and made him the country’s national hero. He etched his mighty words into the minds of thousands of Filipinos that had lasting effect up to this day.

But something got me thinking. Is the pen really mightier than the sword? What power does the pen wield? Sure, it inflamed the hearts of many Filipinos to fight the Spaniards before, and people are being charged with “inciting to sedition” nowadays because of the government’s paranoia of these mighty pen-weilders. But where does the power of the pen reside?

We were taught that words are nothing but vessels, a mere carrier of meanings one wants to impart. Words are mere devices used to capture a moment’s worth of experience; just like a photograph, it depicts permanence but fails to capture the true essence of an instance. No matter how much words you put in paper, it will never be tantamount to the real human experience.

The power of the pen doesn’t reside within the words written on a blank sheet of paper. The power of the pen goes beyond the spelling and the grammar of the words and the sentences; it goes beyond punctuation, style, format or any other technicality. The power of the pen is not within its ink, or the value of its case, or the material of its finish. The power of the pen doesn’t vary in degree if the pen is a quill, a ballpoint or a fountain. The power of the pen is more than any of these.

For the power of the pen lies beneath the words, it lies within the meaning, the essence, the embodiment of the one’s thoughts. The pen is an extension of one’s mind. It is a vehicle where great thoughts and magnificent ideas flow and land on paper. The power of the pen lies within the unspoken belief which travels not by mouth, but by ink. THe power of the pen can move people to tears, make them take action or enthrall them to fall in love. The power of the pen is boundless, it has no limitations, only one’s imagination.

So, is the pen mightier than the sword? You bet it is.

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