9.19.2012

The Power Of Actions

The Assignment: Visually bring your This I Believe essay to life.
 Here's what that looks like to our son Jacob:



The project actually took Jacob back to this particular adage -
 Actions speak more loudly than words
 - a second time; the first time was in fifth grade when he wrote a Foundations For Life piece about those very same words of wisdom. 
Click {here} to read that award-winning essay. 
My favorite actions-above-words experience from that paper was when Jacob gave his friend Keith one of our family raffle tickets to increase his friend's chances of winning the ping-pong table that he'd had his eye on. He could have just crossed his fingers and let Keith know that he really hoped he'd win, but instead he wrote Keith's name on a ticket and dropped it in the raffle-ticket bucket for him. There were so many tickets in that bin that it wasn't at all likely that that particular ticket would even be drawn, but Jacob came home that day with good news: 
his friend Keith won the ping-pong table. 

Jacob has agreed to share the essay that sparked his project board:

The Power Of Actions by Jacob Gruener


Most of us have heard the story of The Good Samaritan at some point in our lives. A man was robbed and left for dead on the side of the road, and three people saw him on the road. Only one stopped to help. That person took it upon himself to take the injured man to an inn and pay for his care. Without someone who was willing to put forth some effort and act, nothing would’ve gotten done and the man would’ve died there. This is the foundation for my belief: 
that actions, rather than words, are what matter.
         This belief was not born merely out of a cute story in the book of Luke. The moment my belief was formed was when I was in the fifth grade. Up until then, I had shied away from anything that required excess work or posed a challenge. I entered an essay contest at my mother’s insistence. Rather reluctantly, I wrote an essay based on the idea that “actions speak louder than words.”
         As I was writing that paper, I grew somewhat attached to the phrase. I began finding instances in my own life where actions showed more results than empty words. And yet I didn’t think much of it. I merely pushed it aside and continued with my life.
         One year later, I made the best decision of my life. 
I joined my school band. 
It was an elective choice in sixth grade and my sister was in it, so I decided I would give it a shot. I had taken piano for a few years, so when we began to talk about basic notes and rhythms, I began to think of band as just another activity. But I was soon proven wrong. The pace of the class escalated, and I found it took more and more practice just to keep up. I realized I enjoyed the practice, and that the end result of learning something new and exciting would be worth the effort. Thus my belief was formed.
         So here I am, six years later, and I still follow the same path. I give work ethic and perseverance value over ideas and talk. I choose to act rather than to react. I welcome challenges and leadership opportunities rather than shrink from them. And I know that words are empty without actions to back them up. As I look back at my life and the lives of my friends and family, I find this to be true. So this I believe: the strength to move forward and succeed is derived not from words, but from actions, for actions truly do speak louder than words. 
******
If you wrote a This I Believe essay, what would your visual representation look like?


1 comment:

  1. Wow! What a thoughtful, insightful piece. Your son is a very special person to have that kind of understanding at the ripe old age of ... what ... 17? Thanks for sharing, Jacob.
    Barbara
    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers

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