Words vs. Actions

Time and time again, the phrase “actions speak louder than words” has been brought up and used in many situations. Just the other day, for example, my cousin was apologizing to her brother for breaking his miniature trumpet figurine. However, she refused to help put it back together, saying “I thought saying sorry was enough!” My aunt went on to tell her that her actions would show more sympathy than her words, which essentially means actions are more telling than words.

Have we ever stopped to really think about and evaluate this statement? Do actions honestly speak louder than words themselves? Well, to figure this out, we’ll have to dig a little deeper. To do so, a few example scenarios could bring some clarity to the common phrase. The examples I’ll be looking into are Holden’s actions, from The Catcher in the Rye, versus his words; Gatsby’s actions versus his words, from The Great Gatsby; and lastly, Hester’s actions versus her words, from The Scarlet Letter.

Photo @2011 by Vs Heidelberg Photos [CC BY 2.0]

Photo @2011 by Vs Heidelberg Photos [CC BY 2.0]

To begin with, there were multiple occasions within Holden’s story where his words are nearly hollow, due to the lack of tangible action backing them up. For example, while at Pencey Prep school, he fails four out of his fives classes, essentially barring him from returning for the next semester. Even though he is failing, he still continues to act as if the school and the world around him is nothing but a show put on by the “phonies.” I guess you could say in this situation, Holden was a small dog with a lot of bark but no bite. This happens many times throughout the story, often leading him into situations where he appears nosy and unsophisticated, such as when he persists in asking Luce who he is having an affair with. Well, so far, we’ve found out that people without actions backing their words tend to lack a strong, respectable character.

Moving on, however, in the story of Gatsby and his tragic affair, Gatsby is a mix of both actions and words. He constantly throws lavish parties in hopes that Daisy might take notice and approve of such a wealthy and prosperous man. When Daisy and Gatsby finally do meet, however, Gatsby seems to lack the right words for the situation. Instead, he continually asks Nick Carraway for assistance and tries to use actions to make the situation better. In this scenario, we have a man who can definitely get things done and act, but his actions lack the necessary words to accomplish what he wants. On the other hand, in The Scarlet Letter, the main character Hester constantly has to express herself via both actions and words continuously. Throughout the story, she is fighting a battle against discrimination and for the purity and well-being of her daughter. Not only does she have a strong will to do the demanding things she does, she has an, in my opinion, eloquent way of speaking as well, which aids her self-expression.

Throughout this school year, I’ve learned a lot about expression through words and expression through actions. Although we didn’t specifically talk about these two methods of self-expression on an individual basis, our class discussions contributed to us learning expression via words. The simple act of raising my hand and adding information to a group discussion has been great practice for thinking of the right words at the right time to get my points across. Additionally, the publishing credit opportunities have provided ways for us to express ourselves and our interests via our actions of exploring and discussing outside-the-classroom topics individually.

To put it all together, I think it is safe to say that actions do tend to speak louder than words, especially when it comes down to strong emotions between people. Simply speaking cannot and will not suffice in many emotional situations such as anger, sadness, and joy. However, actions that do not have words are often ambiguous and leave much to be answered. Basically, words are the brain of self-expression, while actions are the muscles of self-expression. Both contribute to one’s expression, although actions by themselves tend to draw more attention than words alone.

– Bryan Clements

Chamber of Reflection

I’ve officially gone meta – a blog about blogging. Instead of analyzing films, music, and video games or aspects of life through blogging, I am using blogging to analyze blogging. Blogging has always been something of an interesting concept for me. I’ve never blogged before this year, yet I am regretful for not starting earlier, as it has opened my eyes to a whole new medium of expression.

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The most important and fascinating part of blogging is my inherent ability to talk about whatever I please. That’s it. There are no set limitations, no prompts or word limit, no central idea which I have to adhere to. Unless stated otherwise for an assignment, blogging is purely up to my choice. And with that free choice, I use and have used blogging as a chamber, a chamber of reflection. It is private enough for me to articulate my most personal thoughts yet open enough to allow discussion and the opinion of others. Blogging is a vehicle for stories to tell, thoughts to be laid out, emotions to be compiled.

Many use blogging in place of a diary, but I view blogging akin to making films. Each blog is deliberate and intricate, requiring thought. Many may not end up being to your expectation, but every once in a while you are driven by passion to create one you love, and the end result is one to be proud of. And like making films, blogging never fails to return and reciprocate what you put into it.

– Edward

Post-AP Stress

It’s amazing yet hard to comprehend that my junior year in high school is nearly over. At too many points it felt too drawn out, too stressful, too unbearable. Yet, all I have is regret for it now, as the final three weeks approach quicker and quicker. I could’ve done more, I could’ve used my time more wisely. Personally, it isn’t until a school year is near-over when I realize how fast life moves, and that’s an unfortunate fact. On the flip side, this post-AP testing stress is comforting, ironically. It’s a different type of stress, not one of tests and homework but rather creating.

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Photo ©2014 by Edward Fahman [CC BY 2.0]

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Are We Intentionally Selfish?

Photo @ 2007 by Charles Hutchins[CC by 2.0]

Photo @ 2007 by Charles Hutchins[CC by 2.0]

We try to make those around us be impacted in a way that’s positive for us. However, this could be a negative or positive impact for them. Most people do not actively seek out to better the lives of others and only take on opportunities that’ll benefit them as well. These benefits often come at a cost to the detriment of others. Is this selfishness a part of human nature? Is it even selfishness? Continue reading