As one who advocates for the wordsmith and defends the majesty of language and eloquence of words, this columnist is also mindful that our human race talks incessantly. It’s nothing new. Whether it’s in the political arena, or in other realms of one’s life, too few rarely take a step in the direction of translating words into deeds. Feelings must translate into behavior if one’s to advance any movement or noble cause. The average citizen knows it’s sadly true-people spend more time talking than being engaged in action. To underscore the love affair with one’s own words and voice, clearly enraptured with his own sound, one only need to harken back to twice elected President Obama’s reliance on soaring rhetoric, designed to move his shallow minded acolytes, whose grasp of substance was about tea spoon deep.
One must grasp that one doesn’t have to do everything at once, but must do something of principle, substance, or purpose, that validates one’s words are more than vacuous rants or fodder for another speech. It’s less about cynicism than reality. One may never reach the apex of our field, but surely our intrinsic worth’s beyond empty talk, promises or grandiose schemes that never materialize-or worse-never intended. For political junkies, it doesn’t take much to stoke our political caldron. However, for the average citizen, it crosses their minds every two to four years-if then. Most campaigns rely on volunteers to launch and sustain it. There’s national clamor about whether there’ll be a “Blue or Red wave,” in 2022. Turnout, we’re reminded, is the key to the outcome. It’s true in small town races too. It’s easier to attract a Facebook crowd of verbal sentiment and emotional support than finding those who’ll knock on doors, stuff envelopes or attend a meet-and-greet rally. Ask anyone who has entered the political fray, and they’ll admit it can be a lonely trail. Talk overshadows action. Those would-be supporters are hard to find when the summon for action goes out.
Poet Robert Frost, wrote, “Half the world is composed of people who have something to say, and yet very few say, and can’t, and the other half who have nothing to say, and they keep on saying it.” After all is said and done, more is said than done. Sadly, powerful in this age of soaring rhetoric and sinking sincerity, God only knows the myriad of His creation that are permanently thwarted, still pondering whether to get involved in something bigger than themselves. It may be the better part of valor to cross that line, and suffer the incalculable consequences, than to merely gaze at that line and permit it to become a way of life.
Those who embrace their calling appear to find participation easier. In this pilgrimage, having a few close allies, compatriots, likeminded souls, that one can count on, as reliable as the sunrise, and nearly as bright, whose word’s their bond, is an unmitigated blessing. Those remaining, some friends, whose words far exceed their action, as one discovers their urges are more serendipitous than strategic. One must distinguish the difference before embarking on any endeavor requiring external help. Plato said, “Empty vessels make the loudest sound?” We’re all flawed, and miss the mark. None are exempt from the malediction of prattle. The question’s basic, “Where’s your sphere of influence?” Your fingerprints should be all over it, not waiting for another to fill your passion and calling. We should jealously guard that sphere as holy ground. C.S. Lewis reasoned, “We were not made for the temporal, but eternal value.”
Maturity enables most to understand that commitment is doing that which one pledged to do, long after the indigenous impulse has taken flight. A missing piece of this puzzle for some is to avoid overcommitment. Nothing wrong with teaching one’s lips to utter a timely, “Not now!” Striking a balance between the legitimate intersection of one’s interest and calling. One may influence others, but we’re not responsible for their actions. Shaming and blaming are short term, countervailing motivators. It’s not a matter of economic prosperity. Prince or pauper can take action. Apathy numbs the soul and shackles one’s resolution. Today America sorely needs fewer life coaches and more players. Superfluity of words are the oxygen of politicians, marketeers, slick prosperity preachers, and thespians. Jesus said, “By their fruits you shall know them.” Not excuses or disclaimers. There’s no similitude between words and deeds.
John Greenleaf Whittier put it succinctly, “For all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these, ‘It might have been.” 19th Century novelist, and author of The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne urged, “Preach! Write! Act! Do anything, save to lie down and die.” We should do no less. With a profusion of talkers, thank God for doers. This generation will eventually mimic ours. What will they see? Is there a shortage of noble causes? Is there an over abundance of liberty in your neighborhood? If liberty minded conservatives are to oust the moderate GOP in the Wyoming legislature, and give Governor Gordon the boot, our deeds must overshadow our words. It’s encouraging to see multiple grass-root liberty minded groups forming around Wyoming, in the past year. Are you part of that movement? Nearly all 23 Wyoming counties have a liberty minded group passionate for advancing noble causes. Are you linked to one? If not, “Why not?”
As in our Founding Days, Patriots are needed. We don’t need more soaring rhetoric or endless prating. Someone observed, “Lovers of words only find no place where necessary work must prevail.” Remember, virtuous liberty is not self-perpetuating. We’re the physics behind it. Advancing liberty isn’t seasonal, convenient or optional. It’s our legacy to a generation we’ll never see. What do you think?
Mike Pyatt’s a Natrona County resident. His email’s firstname.lastname@example.org