verb: The part of speech that expresses existence, action, or occurrence in most languages.
Recently, I came to the realization that any life worth living must be filled with action. Without it, we risk living a boring, unfulfilling, passive, and possibly short life. Each of us is a story. Some people live to be an older adult and their story could fill volumes of books. Others whose lives are cut short may constitute a small, but significant chapter. Regardless of the length of our metaphorical text, each of us is a subject and what we do with our time, how we occupy it, is action – a verb. This concept applies to every role in life. In the last week, the importance of verbs became evident to me as an occupational therapist, writer, cinephile, and friend.
As an occupational therapist, I look at what a client does with her time. What activities occupy her day-to-day living? What is she good at and what would she like to achieve, but needs some assistance with to do the task? Once she achieves her goals, whether big or small, she’s taken action. Her life has more meaning because she did something. I took a shower today. I went for a walk. I did some deep breathing exercises to calm myself.
Verbs are critical in a good story or poem. There are various rules on how to write poetry depending upon type and form. When I edit my work, read various resources, and listen to my classmates as they share their work, there has to be some action for the piece to have purpose and meaning. Something needs to happen to hold a reader’s interest.
I love films and I’m interested in making a short film someday. Last night, I discussed this topic with a classmate who is a screenwriter. I mentioned to him about the power of a second. Despite the brevity of this measure of time, so much can happen. As an example, Mont Blanc ran a short film contest in 2011 with one-second video images. One of the reasons this form was so effective was that something happened, an action occurred or an emotion felt by another.
So many other roles in my life can be summed up with the importance of verbs. When I think about friends, particularly the close ones, they are the epitome of verbs. We have listened, supported, advised, laughed, cried, and played with one another. Whatever other roles I have (e.g., mother, grandmother), I think about and reflect upon the responsibilities that go along with it, which means I need to be active in some way.
A To Do list summarizes the goals we want to achieve in a given day. New Year’s resolutions can have the same effect on guiding behavior. Regardless of what roles you have, in order for you to meet your responsibilities you must take action. Every one of us is the subject of our own story. A subject needs a verb to make the poem, film, or story interesting to evoke a feeling and give life meaning.