Mohammed Qahtani – Speak Wisely

Charming Mohammed Qahtani on the power of words and the single sentence that ruined his friend’s life.


You could smoke for years and nothing would ever happen to you. What? Oh, you all think smoking kills? Let me tell you something. Do you know that the amount of people dying from diabetes are three times as many people dying from smoking? Yet if I pulled a Snicker bar, nobody would say anything. Do you know that the leading cause of lung cancer is not actually a cigarettes, it’s your DNA? I used these arguments, even though I just made them up, with a group of my friends. The results? Five of them believed what I said. Two of them started smoking.

Words, when said and articulated in the right way, can change someone’s mind. You have the power to bring someone from the slumps of life and make a successful person out of them or destroys someone’s happiness using only your words. Does that seem a bit too good to be true? A simple choice of word can make a difference between someone accepting or denying your message.

Have you ever wondered why nobody cares about global warming, even though it’s a very serious issue? It could kill all of us. Because when you go home, when you flip on the TV and you see a scientist trying to talk about global warming, it goes something like this. “Ladies and gentlemen, as you can see from the graphs here that the statistics for 2014, it shows the water level is rising. This table shows that [mono-dioxic 00:01:56] level and the third ozone layer is in a very alarming position.” The message never get across.

But most importantly, if you are a person who’s a role model, if you’re a person who’s being admired, anything you say could be believed. Anything you utter could be taken as truth.

My friend, [Nassar 00:02:20], he loved his father. Idolizes his father. But his father was the kind of person who’s not easy to impress. Year after year, Nassar tried and his father’s like, “[Neh 00:02:31].”

First year in college, Nassar got straight A’s. He thought to himself, “This is it. This what will finally make my dad proud.” He picked up the phone, he called his dad. “Dad, I got straight A’s. Are you proud? Please tell me you’re proud, father.” “Yeah. Listen, son. I’ll have to call you back. I’m busy.” I’m busy was the single sentence that broke the camel’s back. He started drinking, doing drugs, hanging out with the wrong crowd. Nassar, why? If the one person in the world that I care about the most doesn’t care, then why should I?

One evening, I got the phone call. Nassar’s in the emergency room. Drug overdose. I rushed to that hospital. I saw him on that bed and I saw that machine go, “Beep. Beep. Beeeep.” I saw the doctors try to bring him back to life. “Clear. Clear.” It’s clear that a single word could have saved this life.

Words have power. Words are power. Words could be your power. You can change your life, inspire a nation, and make this world a beautiful place. Your mouth can spit venom, or it can mend a broken soul. Ladies and gentlemen, let that be our goal.