A Picture Is Worth…

The power of one, single tear.

If you Google the phrase, it appears a newspaper editor, Tess Flanders, used it first way back in 1911.

Use a picture. It’s worth a thousand words.

That’s more true now than at any point in human history because we have so many more ways to see that picture today. Pictures, images — videos — are the most-shared content on the internet, worldwide.

But wait…

The book is better than the movie,” is also a widely quoted aphorism, and some claim it’s correct 74% of the time.

Can both be true?

The simple answer is, Yes.

This image personalized the heartbreak of Syrian refugees better than tens of thousands of words, spoken and written:


It’s not possible to see this image and remain unfeeling. It does not need words. It does not need qualification.

How about this one:

Obama tear

This isn’t a post about politics. I didn’t include this to sway the minds of anti-Obama readers. I included it because it supports the point.

It’s rare to see a President, any world leader, cry in public, so this picture reveals something intimate, something that could not have been so easily and immediately conveyed using words. The proof of that is in the post where I saw it. Obama’s tears spoke much more eloquently the depth of his feelings than any words he used.

Broadcast radio must use words to express deep emotion — at least until we’re able to broadcast images into internet-connected screens streaming our stations.

Words matter.

Choose yours carefully.

Choose words that deliver emotional impact.

Choose words that produce an image in the minds of those listening.

Help them feel what you’re feeling.

That is truly your job description in one sentence. Help them feel what you’re feeling.

Can you do it?