I recently overheard a conversation between two people who
were talking about parenting. One made the comment that her mother
always said, "Do as I say, not as I do." I smiled when I heard this, for
who hasn't at one time or another said one thing, but did the exact opposite?
None of us are perfect and we are bound to make mistakes.
However, to live by the fallacy that it matters not what we do so long as what we say is correct,
is like building a house of cards - it simply doesn't stand up.
When I think of those who have inspired me, those whom I
admire, and those whom I hold up as an example of what kind of person I wish to
be, I realize it's not their words, but rather who they are and how they live
their lives, which speak the loudest.
When faced with a problem or difficult decision in my life
I often think of my grandfather and consider how he might have handled the
situation. Interestingly before his passing many years ago, I don't
grandfather and I ever having any long talks about
honesty, integrity or even life in general. We didn't need to, for his actions
and his life spoke volumes. He was a man of few words to be sure, but
one from whom I learned a great deal. And even though he's not with us any
more, I continue to learn from him and his life.
I can only imagine the hardships he faced and the courage
it took for him to travel halfway across the country to homestead his modest
farm. Even on my best day I could never have endured the long days of
back-breaking work which were an everyday part of his life. From the
unforgiving earth he provided for his wife and four small children, never asking
anything more from life than what he was willing to earn through sweat and
Despite his hardships and endless work he was a good
husband and loving father. Known for his quick wit and keen sense of
humor, love and laughter filled the home which he had made with his own two hands.
Though a simple farmer he was extremely intelligent and a sharp
businessman. He was one
whose word was truly his bond and whose handshake was as
binding as any legal contract.
I need only to look at my grandfather's life - who he was
and how he lived, to understand that what we do does matter, and matters
most. For words by themselves are hollow indeed and in the absence of action
are meaningless. "Do as I say, not as I do," may get a smile, but