Make words speak louder than actions

There is an appeal against the worth of words, placed in the mouth of Ajax by Antisthenes (c. 445-365 BC, founder of the Cynic school of thought).

In an instructional speech delivered against Odysseus, the mythical character Ajax says,

Do not look at words when judging heroic virtue but, rather, at deeds. For war is decided not by word but by deed: we cannot compete in debate with our enemies, but must either conquer them by fighting or be slaves in silence (53.7)

What, then, can words do? What can we judge from words? When might a word have worth? Are not actions, after all, nothing more than the meaning of a word?

My name, for example, is a word, not a deed. It has worth, to me. My name will tell you things about me and only the one who knows it can call me home on the wild nights.

One of our tasks, as good writers, is to choose words more sturdy than the deed.

Prove Ajax wrong.

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