Although I truly believe in good intentions, because I know first-hand the many deeply-held but unrealized good intentions of my own heart and vision, I also understand why the wisdom and “truth” of the axiom “It’s not what we say, it’s what we do” is so universally recognized and accepted. Our actions really do speak louder than our words. The proof is indeed in the pudding, not in the possibilities that exist when we talk about what the pudding might taste like … if we make it.
Likewise, we really do show one another how we truly feel about each other by the way that we actually treat one another. Not by what we say to each other. Or by what we say about how we feel about others. But by what we in fact do.
Others may not always tell us how they feel about us, but they will always show us. We just need to pay attention.
And this certainly goes both ways. Not only can we learn about how others feel about us when and while we interact with them, or don’t interact with them, as we pay attention to the nature and nuances of that interaction, or lack of interaction, but we can also learn much about ourselves and our thoughts and feelings about others as we examine our own behavior and how it reflects our impressions of others – and our values.
Compassion or contempt. Love or disdain. True connection or lip service. It all shows through … when, and as, we pay attention.
And, our behavior – the way that we treat others; the way that we show up, or don’t, for others; the way that we spend our time and money – can, and does, betray our words when our words and actions are inconsistent.
As the Master taught during His earthly ministry, “By their fruits ye shall know them.” And our actions towards and interactions with others do indeed bear readily-recognizable fruit. Just as our lack of action can, and more often than not does, produce no fruit at all.
May we all bring forth hearty harvests of goodness and godliness in our relationships and the way that we treat others. May love, support, kindness, empathy, selflessness, forgiveness, non-judgment, compassion, honesty, loyalty, and authenticity be the hallmarks of our actions and interactions in our relationships with others.
And let it begin with me.
Believe Bravely; Dare Greatly,