This is a truism that can be best proven by watching body language. Let's say someone gives you a meal that, when you eat it, suddenly makes you sick to your stomach. Your face wrinkles up, your lips pucker, your eyes squint: ick. Then you say, "That's awful!"

A week later you're with that same friend, at that same restaurant. The waiter approaches and announces that the special of the day is the same dish you had last week, the one that made you sick to your stomach. Your friend glances at you and sees your face subtly congeal into something like disgust.

"No, thank you," he says, seeing the nonverbal cue you've given him. "We'll take the Tortellini."

In a very simple, basic way your actions have spoken louder than your words ever could. Perhaps even the waiter could understand your meaning without ever hearing a word pass from your lips.

We all tell each other things and never utter a single word. We do so with our bodies, our first and primal communication devices.

Children point to the baby bottle when they're thirsty but unable to articulate their desire in English.
Dogs spin in circles in front of and whine at the front door, making it clear that if you don't let them out mui pronto, you're going to have a big mess on your hands to clean up- and they won't be to blame for it.
A teacher will give you the dirtiest look imaginable for making a wisecrack in class- a look that says, "Go ahead, punk. Make my day."

We speak to each other in so many ways that there are times when our mouths are useful only to eat. Not so? Consider how a monk, who's taken an Oath of Silence, gets around. Or a deaf-mute- how does such a person communicate to someone who doesn't know sign language? Or your parents- after all these years, how come you're so certain that they love you?

In ways that we cannot even count or comprehend, actions speak louder than words.

I have often found that this "truism" is completely false.

In my fraternity, we have elections each semester to determine who will be on Executive Board for the next six months.

The speeches matter.  They shouldn't, they do.  I've always believed that actions do speak louder than words, and so I largely ignore what the candidates say during their alloted time.  I feel that if I haven't formed my opinion already about the election based on what I've seen them do in the years since they joined the fraternity, the fault is mine--I haven't done my homework in being an active member of the fraternity and seeing who the next leaders of the house are going to be.  To be swayed by a five-minute speech when I already have years of hands-on experience with these individuals seems short-sighted and preposterous to me.

Alas, too many times I have my more easily-swayed brothers be awed by a particularly stunning speech delivered by someone who has performed horribly at the positions he has held.  Likewise, I have seen these same people convince themselves not to vote for an obviously superior candidate simply because their speech was sub-par.

This happens every semester; these people do not learn from their mistakes--even after watching people they've previously elected crash and burn.  Sometimes the more easily agitatable of us resort to jumping on tables, screaming, "Do you REMEMBER when this person failed MISERABLY at everything he tried to do for the past TWO YEARS?"  The response is always, "Well yeah, but did you hear his speech?  He's got some great ideas!"  Or, when someone screams, "This guy has DEDICATED THE LAST TWO YEARS to helping this fraternity!" it's followed by "Well yeah, but he just didn't sound motivated in his speech."

Actions should speak louder than words, but, especially in a public arena, it is not often the case.

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