Words vs. Action
I’m finding myself in a bit of a dilemma. I can’t seem to wrap my head around certain people, and no doubt, I’m one of them too. My current confusion rests in two opposing camps: one’s words versus one’s action. Let me explain.
Some people are very eloquent with how they personify themselves with their spoken words. We all know many people who can sweet talk their way through anything. These people draw you into their verbal web and you leave their presence completely convinced of what they said. Politicians are notorious for this type of speech, and unfortunately it often is mere words with little or no action.
Then there’s the second camp of people. Those that say stupid things or even use harsh words or language and yet they are the most generous of souls whose actions do not correspond with their words. How do I or we learn to reconcile these two types of people?
I am trying to be less judgmental and more focused on my actions instead of others. I have come to the realization that I can only speak and defend myself. It is not up to me to defend the actions of others, although I find myself making excuses for some at times. But that being said, since I can only defend myself, it should not allow me to overlook the “failure” of others, or should it? Let’s explore this some more. I’m going to refer back to the first type of person, the sweet talkers.
I’m sure a specific person pops into your head, as they do mine when I mention “sweet-talkers”. The one that can talk their way through anything. Why do we so often believe this type of person? Well probably because we want to believe the story or script they are feeding us. Usually this type of person has some control over us whether they want something from us or we want something from them. It is their words that we hope leads to what will make us happy, therefore we believe that this person is actually being honest and truthful. We often choose our perception of reality. We want the spoken word to be truth and that truth be converted into real action. Basically we’re all sugar-addicts: we drink the Kool-aide because we want to believe. Unfortunately, people often let us down and we have to learn to accept that reality.
Then the ones that spew stupid comments but they’re out in the trenches taking in stray dogs, caring for the sick and housing someone who needs a place to live because their spouse kicked them out and they’re without a friend in the world. Do we look past these noble actions because of their unfettered speech? Sometimes we can’t even see their sacrificial deeds because we only focus on what we have heard come from their mouths, which becomes our blind spot.
I find I’m at the place in life where I can no longer judge others without first looking at myself. This isn’t just glancing at the surface, it’s looking deeper and recognizing that I can fall in one or both of these two camps. Maybe not frequently, but I’m not without fault. So, if I claim that I’m not without fault, then shouldn’t I apply that same standard to someone else, hence the dilemma. I think I should. If I see or hear someone that does not live up to their own words or actions, that can’t be the determining influence of my perception towards them.
Basically, we’re all far from perfect. There are plenty of situations where good things come out of bad intentions or even negative circumstances. If we only see or focus in on the “flaw” we might miss the beauty of the whole. Nature has a way of illustrating this point better than anything I could ever say.
As the winter is upon us, everything outside might look dreary and even dead, but new life is just around the corner. Before you know it, out of those leafless trees will sprout buds of flowers and leaves. Let’s try not to let the words of some or the lack of action of others be the only thing that cause us to have an opinion of that person. We are a sum of the parts. One part does not make us whole, so let’s try not to allow the bad negate the good or the foolish comment spoil the noble action.
I think we need to be less judgmental and more deliberate in our ability to let go, live on, despite the sweet talk without action or the nasty talk with action that we observe.