When was the last time you did something completely unprompted? Maybe it was today or yesterday, but if you're anything like me, then the answer becomes much less definable by mere days. I'm the kind of person that will talk the talk, but rarely do I walk the walk.
"Did you write that script you were talking about?"
"How's the web comic coming along?"
"Brian, why are you on your phone?"
"Brian, lunch was over an hour ago."
These are just a few of the statements that have spurred me to action as of late. The point being, I am pushed into action when I am called out for not doing something I am decidedly supposed to be doing. After all, "actions speak louder than words" (smooth move, Brian!).
There's really two ways to go about this topic, so I will split it up for your sanity's sake.
part 1. actions are louder than words
On the one hand, actions do speak louder than words in the sense that, words can be anything from random gibberish to empty promises. But when you (or anyone) takes action, that event is irrevocable. Yes, people may interpret an action differently, but it happened all the same. For example, if I punch someone in the arm, you may interpret it as me disliking the person while someone else may think that I did it in a joking manner. In the end, though, I punched someone in the arm. Period.
We (or maybe just I) often see words as being "weak" or cowardly. While you hide behind your open letters and adrenaline-fueled blog posts, nothing is actually being done in a short-term sense. (OK, I realize open letters and stuff can be powerful, but I am sticking by my opinion that they are generally useless because rarely is a plausible solution or compromise proposed. /endrant.) These run into the problem of being just... words. I can write an open letter to the government about literally anything, and as long as there is just one point that people agree with, there will be a group of people behind this open letter that don't fully interpret—or worse, incorrectly interpret the intent behind the letter. You are less likely to run into this problem with actions.
Additionally, I think we're often more interested in the act of speaking over the actual consequences of what we have said. To use another illustration, I've told multiple people on multiple occasions that I am writing scripts / planning a web comic / storyboarding for videos. Full disclosure, many of the times I only say such things to make it seem like I am keeping busy. In reality, I come home every day and watch videos or read comics and go to sleep. On the weekends, I make other dumb excuses to not do what I say I am doing. Eventually, people will lose interest (if they had it to begin with), and then I have to come up with some other random project that I believe I am undertaking, and the cycle continues. Do it enough, and I become someone who is just empty words. Not great. So, as the wise Shia LeBeouf once said, "Do it. Just. Do it. Don't let your dreams just be dreams."
part 2. but the pen is mightier than the sword
Just because actions are louder than words doesn't mean that they are more important, or however you want to rank them. In fact, what I was alluding to at the start of this post is that actions are often brought about by words.
You see, despite having the propensity to be empty, words have power. Like, a lot of it. Take these two lines for instance:
"You don't have anything to do today?"
"Slow day, huh?"
and imagine them coming from your boss at work. Both mean the same thing, essentially they are trying to get you to look busy or, at the very least, explain why business is slow (to speak very generally of intent). But, hearing the first line would undoubtedly rile you up even if it's just a little bit. The second line, however, might cause you to feel a sort of camaraderie, like your boss also understands there's not much to do. The first line would cause you distress, the second line would encourage you to find something to do.
Point is, choose your words wisely. The words you use may cause some pretty loud actions; actions that nothing can cover up. At the same time, make sure you know that you have a great power in you. No one is made to be silent. If you can't speak, then write; if you can't write, then draw. If you can't draw, then show. But whatever you do, don't remain silent. (Well, unless you're uninformed. Then maybe stay silent for a little bit.)
Actions speak louder than words, but the pen is mightier than the sword.
If you're new to Word Vomit Wednesdays, each week, Taylor and I will give each other and our friends topics to blog about, hours before midnight on Wednesday. The point being, exercise your brain and be vulnerable! No editing, no proofreading, just your thoughts and post. Let me know if you would like to join us!