Essay on Actions Speak Louder Than Words – Expansion of Idea
You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do. – Carl Gustav Jung
The easiest thing is to speak. The difficult one is performing. So frequently we make promises to others but do not necessarily act on them. The proverb, “Actions speak louder than words” signifies that what most people do, is merely speak and say big words, making even bigger promises. But the true worth of a person is judged by his or her actions.
From our early childhood, we are made known to the fear of punishment. Our parents tell us that if our actions are wrong, we would be facing its consequences. Similarly, they also promise us rewards in the hope of getting us to act in a specific desirable manner.
For example, Seema’s parents see her grades dipping. They promise her that if she scores A in all subjects, then they would buy her a new mobile phone. Hence, Seema starts working harder in this direction and achieves her goal. The parents keep their promise of giving her a brand new mobile headset. This is an example wherein actions have spoken louder than words.
The parents have maintained their commitment to their child. But, always pushing your children to their full potential by means of greed is also not the solution.
Another example where actions fail, and only words prevail is in the case of politicians. We are by now very much familiar with their indecent ways of securing votes. In rallies and campaigns, they make skyrocketing promises to each and every individual. No house shall be without electricity; every tap shall have water flowing from it, no child will go hungry to bed, all women will be safe on the roads and what not!
With these great words, they get their audience captive, and all of us believe their string of words. But after they actually win the seats, the reality is a harsh contrast. They are busy only in extorting money and increasing their bank balance. They forget about the local people who voted for them until when the next elections come!
What is our favourite thing to do on every new year? That’s right, making a new year’s resolution! But for how long do we continue with it. A day? A week? A month? We pay the gym membership fee and forget about it. We strive to start dieting but are tempted by the smallest piece of chocolate.
How often do we promise our mothers that we would clean our closets and our shoe racks? I’m sure we promise them that an ample number of times but when it comes to actually doing it, we are the first ones to flee.
Actions matter a lot in the case of leadership. In organisations, bosses and upper management have an essential role to play. If they merely speak heavy words in conferences but are action-less in their ways, then their employees will lose faith in them and will resort to their methods.
Real-Life Examples of “Actions Speak Louder than Words”
Rosa Parks, famous for the Montgomery Bus Incident, was a small woman who took significant steps. She was calm, composed and did not speak much. But her actions for equality made her a role model for others to follow.
At that time, there was a lot of racial discrimination prevailing in America. African Americans had a very tough life. They had separate schools, churches and hospitals. They were allowed to take only low paying jobs. Even in the public buses, seats at the front were reserved for the white passengers whereas seats at the back were for the people of colour.
One day, after boarding the bus while coming back from work, Rosa and the other black people were asked to give their seats to the white man who had just walked in. Others obliged, but Rosa denied to do so. Hence, began the civil rights movement for eradication of the existing inequality between the white and black people and to bring in a system of right and fair justice for all.
There is a difference between how we look at ourselves and how others perceive us. The difference is all about our actions. Mahatma Gandhi once said that an ounce of practice is worth far more than a ton of preaching. His actions alone were enough to drive the British out of our homeland.
Non-cooperation, Non-Violence, The Dandi March, all required doing, not speaking. A human being is remembered by his or her actions.
How to do what you say you will do
There are numerous ways through which we can ensure that we do what we say we will. First is that we should never promise anyone anything which we ourselves aren’t a hundred per cent sure of delivering. Learn not to make excuses or shift blames. Accept accountability and take charge of your own actions.
Always be ready to face the consequences. Saying NO is not a bad thing. Let the other person know if you would not be able to do what they asked you to. If your friend who is in town invites you to meet up and you are swamped with work and have family obligations, let him know.
Informing beforehand is always better than cancelling at the last moment. Be sure to give other suggestions for alternate actions. At the end of the day, we have to understand that we are all humans. Neither should people have unrealistic expectations from you nor should you. Be a man or a woman of your word and never go back on it.