A Conundrum


I sat down on my desk, with textbooks and notes spread all over, planning to study for the exams. Yet, my mind wandered unwillingly to focus on this arduous task. It is well-known that one’s mind tends to move rapidly move from one thought to another in a seemingly random pattern. On that day though all my thoughts were on the simple writing apparatus held in my hand. My thoughts revolving around the famous quote “The pen is mightier than a sword”. I started thinking deeply on why such a quote existed. If we take it literally, it is meaningless. It is physically impossible for a pen to be stronger than a sword. Therefore we can conclude that the quote is philosophical rather a logical. But that is not the conclusion I sought. The question “why?” still remained. So I began to ask myself, “In what way is a pen better?”. For a few hours, these thoughts distracted me. Hence, I started on the original task I had set for myself unable to find the elusive answer.

I was preparing the notes for a particular unit when my phone rang. I left my desk to answer it and came back soon. But on searching for where I had left off, I found that I had made a mistake. I stroked out the erroneous statement. But, I paused, the answer that eluded me before was right in front of my eyes. A pen is mightier than a sword because it has one ability that a sword cannot have. The power to create and change. A sword will always remain a tool of war, capable only of destruction. Not just a sword but any weapon for that matter only causes death and destruction. True, the words written by a pen may destroy a person, emotionally or professionally. At the same time, it is capable of bringing about a revolution. It is easier to destroy than to change. But change always has a cost. A cost paid mostly in blood.

In the end, an unanswered question remains. Which is the enabler? The sword that sheds blood or the pen that wrote the words of change.

First blog post


Welcome to The Overflowing Barrel. This blog is not about views, comments or popularity. It is a means to stay connected, among ourselves and with the writing community. Yes, ‘ourselves’, because this blog is for a group of good friends who wish to stay in touch with one another, by tuning in to our passion for writing.

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