Mighty pens

I performed a quick Google search to see who first came up with the words, ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’.

Turns out, it was the novelist and playwright Edward Bulwer-Lytton in his 1839 play, Cardinal Richelieu

I don’t know about you - perhaps I'm not very well educated - but I am not familiar with Mr. Bulwer-Lytton. Yet I’m sure most of us are well acquainted with his adage. 

When I was a kid, I asked my dad why football is such a popular game. His reply was something about the idea that pretty much anyone can kick a ball around. You don’t need to be rich or famous, or even particularly skilled, to enjoy a game with your friends. 

So I wonder if a similar reason could explain why a 178-year-old phrase about pens and swords is still with us? 

Anyone can pick up a pen and, Jedi-like, wield a unique kind of power. You don’t need to be a sparkling wordsmith to write a love note that could make someone’s day, or the next Picasso before you can scribble a cartoon that could raise a smile. 

If you have three minutes today, why not root out that old, lid-less Bic pen from the back of your kitchen drawer, and let it take you for a little adventure across the back of an envelope…