Actions Truly Do Speak Louder Than Words

Hyunwook - Ladera Ranch, California
Entered on September 15, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Actions speak louder than words. It’s a simple phrase that everyone has heard. Though I’m included in this group, it took me until recently to understand the truth to the old saying. I was born in Korea but moved to the United States when I was very young. During that time, I was proficient in Korean and had trouble learning English, thus it was always easy to talk with my parents, but hard to adjust. As I grew older in an American environment, English soon became my primary language and though I began to fit in more, I continually grew more and more distant with my parents. It was around my middle school years when I realized that I actually had problems communicating with my parents. Because their English was as poor as my Korean, we were only able to speak at an elementary level. What made it worse is that though I was Korean by blood, I was an American in every other aspect. Regardless of the language barrier, there still remained the culture difference making talking with my parents even harder. As time progressed, my relationship with my parents became more and more awkward. I heard from several of my friends that their parents are people who they could always turn to or their mom or dad was their best friend. How could I have that kind of relationship with my parents when we couldn’t even talk about anything past a grade school level? Frustration and distant feelings began to form. It was hard for me to think that I couldn’t relate with my parents since effective communication was impossible. I couldn’t go to them when I had problems in school, had troubles with someone, or even if I just had a bad day. Our conversations simply began to circle around what I wanted for dinner and where I was applying to college. It seemed to me that the relationship my parents and I shared was more professional than anything. In the midst of all these depressing thoughts and feelings, I began to notice some things, regardless of import. One day I didn’t like what my family was having for dinner, so I decided not to eat. Unhappy, my mother went to the local market to buy the ingredients necessary to make my favorite dish. I was shocked at how she spent over two hours to simply feed me because she didn’t want to see me hungry. Another day, my dad brought some candy home because he thought I might like something to munch on. It suddenly struck me as to what was happening. Though my parents and I couldn’t express our love for each other through words, we were doing it through our actions. I realized that you don’t have to say something to show your feelings for someone. Though my parents and I can’t communicate with each other, we still show our love through what we do, not what we say. Actions truly do speak louder than words.