It is said that actions speak louder than words. In an ideal world, people’s actions would be in sync with what they speak. In an ideal world, people would act based on their intentions and conscience. Alas, we don’t live in an ideal world! Here, people speak what their audience wants to hear and act in a way that makes them appear good. There is often a disconnect between what they want to do and what they do, where their interests lie and where their actions take them, and how they wish to lead life and how they end up living.
I feel that people rarely notice actions these days. Everyone seems to focus on words that frequently end up being meaningless. I wonder if it is because people have lost the ability and/or will to think and notice the actions. People don’t have any patience to get to know others. Actions seem to be conveyed in a language that people do not wish to interpret. Hence, no matter how loud they are, people don’t recognize them.
Only when these actions are accompanied by words do people take notice. When you say something and don’t follow up, it is fine because to err is human. The fact that you said it conveys your intention of doing it and it is rewarded. When you say something and come through, it is great and you are put on a spotlight. However, if you don’t say anything beforehand, do what is more than expected of you, but don’t boast about it, no one cares.
The funny thing is that many times the actions and words are a performance to impress others. Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players” People today seem to think that they have to act a part perfectly in order to impress their fellow actors. When everyone is an actor, with most of them being competitive, everyone wants the spotlight and has no problem pushing others off the stage. It doesn’t matter how great anyone’s acting is, no one is impressed because everyone wants to show off their own skills as the best. No wonder people don’t notice others’ actions anymore.
It is disheartening to live in a society that is alright with hurting others just to get a little praise. How can belittling others, backstabbing, blocking others’ path and stealing someone else’s thunder be justified? All that people could ever get out of bad deeds is a spotlight, fame, money, recognition, etc. These things are ephemeral and do not matter at all. As one of my mentors would say, it is much more important to earn people than it is to earn money.
Instead of acting a part that is not aligned with their true self, it would be great if people could be themselves. Instead of competing with neighbors, friends, and relatives about their worldly possessions, people could focus on what their soul craves. Instead of working for the sake of the company name, designation or salary, people could follow their passion. Instead of making others upset, people could make others smile. After all that has been said and done, none of our possessions tag along when we die. While we live, why not try to make a good difference to the world, even if it is small? Why not make the people around us happy?
I leave you with a short poem by Emily Dickinson:
If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.