Actions Not Words

This is sort of a conceptual followup to the Because We Let Them series (along with Because We Let Them: Addendum).  I’ll try to keep it short and to the point, to give you a break after the last monster series.  Also, it gives me the option to better explain something that I fear may have been taken out of context in Because We Let Them: Part 4 when I talked about doing the wrong thing for seemingly the wrong reason (which I’ll address through a comment that was left on the article).

Perhaps my favorite illustration of the point I want to talk about today occurs in the movie Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story.  In it, Bruce Lee is going up the stairs and tells his wife Linda “I love you.”  She replies “In all the years we’ve been together, you’ve never said that.” And Bruce replies “But I meant it every day.”  Then he does kung-fu on a wall and dies.

But this really sums up the point I want to make today which is this: actions matter and words don’t.  Well, not usually.  More specifically the words don’t matter when they don’t match the actions. This is a lesson that many take some time to learn, they have to experience the bad parts of this before they finally get it through their head.

Random Examples

Because we’ve all had that person in our lives, someone who says that they are our friend; often they say it repeatedly and incessantly. In fact saying it seems to be all that they do because their actions don’t match that at all.  They only seem to use the word to get something out of us, they always ask for favors yet always seem to be “too busy right now” to help us out if we ask for something back.  It’s the person that we have somehow taken to the airport 14 times yet when we need a ride they are “Just too busy, man.”

They never so much as make an effort to pay when you go out to eat and always seem to “leave their wallet” at home when you do go out.  And if we ever dare call them on it, we invariably get a big rigamarole about how they are our friends or they try to turn it around on us “Man, I thought we were friends, I can’t believe you’re hassling me about this.”  The actions don’t match the words and the actions are all that matters.