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Words, Words, Words…

Anyone know what play the phrase is from? Is it in Hamlet where he engages in a dramatic façade of insanity?

So, I heard someone mention a study that had fascinating implications to me. A few large caveats first: I don’t know who did the study, I neither trust nor distrust the person who mentioned the study, and I have not read the study itself to evaluate the results and implications. So, I don’t know that much, but the mention of the study’s results were enlightening and seemed explanatory of some of my behavior as an individual and the behavior of the groups I am in. Thus, I’m writing more about the concepts, and not depending on the study being well done or not.

This study examined people who talked about doing positive, productive, helpful things for others. It sounded like the groups examined were groups that specifically got together on a regular basis to discuss specific problems and their solutions. What the study found was that the more these groups got together to talk about the various issues of their topic of choice and what to do about it, and did not actually do anything about it, the less likely these groups were to ever do anything. According to my 3rd party information about the study, groups of people that discussed problems and solutions came out of their discussions with similar feelings of meaning, compassion, and accomplishment as the groups did who were taking practical steps to solve and alleviate the problems that they discussed.

Is this a real aspect of humanity? Do we actually come away from conversations about problems feeling emotions similar to what we would feel if we actually did something to fix the problem? I don’t know if that’s a human truth, but in my experience, it certainly seems to be true of myself and of the groups that I am in. We, myself being the first perpetrator, let our words and discussions become the end. But while I believe conversations and words are powerful, they are only powerful because of what they can do to change the world, but they exert no power if nothing is changed. They are just sounds that describe concepts. Useless.

I definitely feel better when I talk with people about issues in my life that I need to solve, and, after discussing them, I largely walk away truly feeling good about my problems and feeling as if they are solved already. There’s something in the mere conversation that gives me a sense of accomplishment, success, and completion. I feel like once the issue is adequately discussed with others, then the problem is solved.

I’m a part of groups of people that seem to do the same thing. We regularly talk about the people we dream to be, what we need to do to get there, and then at a later date we discuss the same thing again. Deja vu. Each time walking away as if something had been accomplished, feeling much better about our lives. The same applies for people with whom I talk about changing the world around us for the better. The discussion rarely leads to anything but more discussion at a later date. I have hope that these discussions aren’t useless yet.

I believe conversations can be some of the strongest impetuses for positive action in one’s internal and external existences. I really believe that people can speak into eachother’s lives in a way that promotes and aids in positive changes. Conversations can clarify things for people in a way that transforms their life. I think discussing problems of the world in a group is the first step to working together to solve those problems. But, as the person who talked about the study said, “only action has meaning.” Listen to these feeble words and let them be more than sounds or symbols on paper. Let your conversations about the things that are most important in life drive you to changing yourself and the world around you in a positive way. Talk. Act. Go. Do. Transform.

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