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“Going to church doesn’t make you any more a Christian than going to the garage makes you a car. Your beliefs don’t make you a better person, your behavior does. Your words mean nothing if your actions are the complete opposite. Having true faith in whatever it is you believe must be shown through actions, believing is only half the battle. Let your dreams be bigger than your fears, your actions louder than your words, and your faith stronger than your feelings.”
We all know the old adage, “Actions speak louder than words,” yet we barely apply it in our daily lives. Parents for example, commit the dangerous mistake of teaching their kids not to hit other people through hitting them. This unconscious display of hypocrisy mutes their words as the young impressionable minds record their actions in HD. Whether you’re preaching morality to kids or to grownups like you, the best way to teach moral behaviour is through living morally.
Making our actions speak for themselves is also vital in every relationship, especially when asking for an apology. In an article published in The Journal of Positive Psychology, a group of psychologists who studied the effects of apology and restitution on forgiveness found that apology alone is not enough for the transgressor to be fully forgiven, as it lacks interpersonal consequences. This “silent forgiveness” doesn’t really fix the relational damage, because what people really want is genuine apology evident in changed behaviour.
Generally, our relationship with other people is governed by actions, not words. In fact, words bring most of the trouble in relationships more than we think! Actions may be silent but it is a more reliable messenger and its messages run deep into the human consciousness. Likewise, we shouldn’t just state our goals but really pursue them, one step at a time.
For further inspiration, take a hint from Benjamin Franklin: “Well Done is better than Well Said.”