January 23

We know what people think
not when they tell us what
they think, but by their actions.

Isaac Bashevis Singer


Today's Meditation:

There are many people in this world who want us to believe their words when their actions scream so loudly in contrast to what they say.  These are the people who will tell you that they think it's horrible that so many people take drugs, yet then go home and get drunk on alcohol.  They'll tell us that it's a shame that there are so many irresponsible people in our country, and then do all that they can to cheat on their taxes or break laws that are somehow "inconvenient" to them.

It's really tempting, though, to believe their words--we want to think the best of people, and we want to give them the benefit of the doubt.  It's important that we learn both to give them that and to watch their actions to be sure that they back up their words, for it truly is important to know whom we can trust.  If there's a disparity between what's said and what's done, we must be aware of that, for our own sake--so that we know more about the person with whom we're dealing.

I don't like judging people, and this isn't about judgment.  Rather, it's about awareness.  If someone tells me that he's tolerant and then turns around and commits a racist act or makes a racist statement, I know that I'm not dealing with a particularly tolerant person, no matter what he might say.  And if I need to trust someone to be tolerant later, I know that this isn't the person to call upon.

In a like manner, we need to be sure that our own actions match our words.  The person we claim to be must match the person we are, or what is our own word worth?

Questions to consider:

Why do so many people feel that their words are more important than their actions?  From where do they get this idea?

What are some down sides to words and actions not matching up?  What are some up sides to having them match up?

How much harder is it to act according to our beliefs than it is to talk of our beliefs?

For further thought:

Words are nothing but words; power
lies in deeds. Be a person of action.

Mali Oriot Mamadu Konyate


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