The proverb ‘actions speak louder than words’ means that putting one’s thoughts, plans, and agenda in action is more significant than just speaking about it. Your actions will be acknowledged by others but not what you said. What you say, people will probably forget about it in some time, but your actions will materialize your words as a proof of your sincerity. The proverb is sometimes also used as a warning for those who speak something else but act differently.
Expansion of idea
The proverb ‘Actions speak louder than the words’ means that actions are more acknowledge that words. A person may have several plans but they are worthless until culminated in actions. For example, consider a person who always talks about making it big one day; becoming rich and famous, but in reality, he doesn’t make any effort and just wastes his time sitting ideally. Such a person will never get the recognition that he desires until he proves through his actions that he deserves it. Not only that actions speak louder but they are also more worth than words.
There is also a second expansion of the proverb – it means that the true character of a person is indicated more prominently by his/her actions, than by what and how they speak. For example, someone might be behaving very sympathetic towards the poor, but in reality, he/she disrespects them, then the proverb acts as a warning for them that their actions are louder and will have credence over their words.
Short Stories on ‘Actions Speak Louder than Words’
What an entertaining and fun way stories could be to learn and understand. I am giving below a couple of short stories with the theme ‘Actions speak louder than words’ for you. You can read the stories and understand the meaning of the proverb in an easy and entertaining way.
Short Story 1
There was a boy named Raju. He was always talking about cricket and said that cricket is his favorite game. He also expressed a desire to become a famous cricketer one day. He got so engrossed in his ambition that he wanted people to recognize his desires and consider him as a cricketer already. But he was wrong because he only thought of becoming a cricketer but didn’t practice enough to succeed as one. He was very casual about it and often skips matches to stay home.
His father well understood his son’s state and tried to counsel him. One day when Raju was simply lazing off, his father came and tried to speak to him about his ambition of becoming a cricketer. He said – ‘son you have to understand that the plans you have in your mind are worthless to others. In this world, only your actions are recognized and acknowledged. What you do or achieve matters but not what you say or believe.
If you want everyone to acknowledge your cricketing skills then you must start acting now.’ This small conversation changed Raju’s mind completely. He started practicing hard and was soon selected for an interstate tournament. He was very happy and thanked his father for guidance and support. His father conveyed his blessings and asked him to always remember that actions speak louder than words.
Short Story 2
There lived a very cunning old man in a village. He used to speak very politely to poor and weak on their face, but start cursing them and talking foul about them on their backs. He also misbehaved with them when no one was watching, thinking that his actions won’t be of any consequence to him. He especially mocked and insulted those with some kind of physical disability. Perhaps everyone in the village knew about the wrong habits of the old man and therefore stayed away from him, but anyone who met him for the first time was flattered by his politeness.
One day, it so happened that the village committee started looking for an aged man to manage a school specially established for differently able children. The salary was lucrative and the old man was confident that the committee would recommend his name as he is the most polite person in the village.
But to the old man’s surprise, the committee didn’t even consider his name and rejected it outright. Startled the old man asked the committee President as to why he wasn’t considered, the President replied – ‘You think that you are very polite and considerate to people with disability, but it is only your misconception. You might be speaking well about them with others but the whole village knows about your insulting and disregarding actions towards them. Perhaps, your actions speak louder than your words.’ The old man felt ashamed and went back.
Examples are a good way to understand the true meaning of a proverb. When the examples are given based on real-life examples, they could be related to and are extremely useful. I am giving below some examples based on the theme ‘Actions speak louder than words’.
“Raunak used to say that he will grow up to become a doctor, and his friends laughed at him and didn’t give heed. Today, he is the best doctor in town and those same friends now respect him. Raunak proved that actions speak louder than words.”
“My supervisor is just a big mouth. He makes a lot of plans but doesn’t implement it. I wish I could teach him that actions speak louder than words.”
“The guy next door always speaks about charity, donations, etc, but hasn’t donated a single penny till date. I wish he knew that actions speak louder than words.”
“Mansi is always worried that her colleagues didn’t acknowledge her project plan. I told her to start working on the plan because actions speak louder than words.”
“The sage always spoke of goodness, humanity, God, and all. On the contrary, he was accused of drug peddling and lost all his respect. Perhaps, actions speak louder than words.”
The idea of the phrase was first expressed by an English Parliamentarian, John Pym (1584-1643), during the time of the English Civil War.
A phrase with a similar meaning as the proverb is found in the record of the 1628 UK Parliament proceedings. It was during the proceeding that Pym had said – ‘A word spoken in season is like an apple of gold set in pictures of silver, and actions are more precious than words.’
Later in 1693, English clergyman Thomas Manton wrote an exact version of the proverb in his book on sermons – ‘So they would give him glory, praise him with their lips, and honor him with their lives. They would make that their work and scope, that this may be the real language of their hearts and actions, which speak much lousier than the words.’
The proverb is important as it encourages us to speak less and act more. Ultimately our actions will matter more than our words. People only recognize us by our actions, but will soon forget our words. We must be progressive towards our goals in action but not only in plans.
The proverb inspires everyone from different walks of life – students, professionals, etc. It teaches that if you want you to be recognized in society and do something commendable then you must start acting on it immediately. Consequently, your actions will give you success but not your words.
Another importance of the proverb is that it teaches us to not form opinions about someone based on their words, but rather we should make our judgment based on their actions. Actions speak the truth about a person’s inherent character.