Talk is cheap and these days you can buy a lot of it for a dollar and still have change left over for a soda. Every time I log into Facebook, my feed is inundated with meme’s and comments from people posting about how much they could change the world. However, beyond talking about it, so few of them actually do anything about it. They just spend their time posting about what they could do instead of simply just doing it.
The internet and social media especially, has become a soapbox for people to highlight grand problems, but at the same time, offering few solutions if any. Maybe the call to arms is for other people to step up. Who knows? What is clear to me, however, is the world is firmly divided by the do’s and the do not’s. There is also a correlation between talk and action. I’ve noticed that those who talk less generally tend to do more and when they do talk there’s a reason and it’s not just to hear their own voice.
This divide is not just limited to political and social ideals. Creativity is burdened by the same grandstanders. How many great projects have fallen by the wayside because the creator just talked about doing it and never actually did it? Imagine if Charles Dickens’ motto had been “what if” or “I could”. How about Shakespeare? Where would the literary world be if they had just sat around talking about what they could achieve instead of sitting down and doing it? How about George Lucas and Steven Spielberg? Would movies be where they are today if they had just chatted about the ideas they had instead of grabbing a camera and showing the world what they were capable of?
“I could” is the arch enemy of creativity. “I could” is the punch to the stomach that will stop any project or idea dead in its tracks or kill it before it can even get off the ground. The only way to create and change the world is to turn an “I could” into an “I am”. An “I am” is someone who is taking the next step to bring their visions to life. An “I am” is writing or painting. They are making movies and performing on Broadway. Everyone you see on television or reading poetry at a coffee shop is an “I am”. Everyone you see at a polling station voting is an “I am”. They are the people who left “I could” in the dust and took strides to show the world they are not happy to sit back and watch it pass by.
Everyone has the power to create and be an “I am”. People from all walks of life have released books, made movies or written poetry. However, there is a very clear line drawn between those who create and those who sit around talking about how much they could create. They are nothing more than dreamers and dreamers alone are not able to change the world. While the romance of dreamers is a bright and colorful world where everyone holds hands and sings as one, the reality is dreaming alone achieves nothing. It is actions that make a change.
Being called a creator is something you earn and as creators, we can only live up to that title if we get up out of our seats and take action. It is too easy to take the passive route and talk about what we can do.
Don’t just be a dreamer. Be a creator. If you want to change the world through a political movement or write a book or make a movie, stop talking about it and do it. Don’t fill the world with more hot air. Global warming is bad enough as it is.