Wait, that’s not right. I can say anything, but if my actions do not bear witness to my words then my words mean nothing. Sadly, sometimes our words paint us into a corner and we fail. Our words out-maneuver our intent. Other times we accept the words of others as truth without first verifying their intent and we fall prey to foolishness.
Let’s talk about a few words and see how they play out:
Integrity – Does not mean you never make a mistake. But what it does mean is if you make a mistake you claim responsibility for that mistake and act proportionality to correct it.
Endurance – Many claim to possess it, very few actually do and even fewer still put it to the test.
Honor – Has nothing to do with words. But has everything to do with actions.
Wisdom – Has nothing to do with how many big words you know. But has everything to do with how you act in a difficult situation that words have created.
Compassion – Has very little to do with how you think, but that’s where it starts. Compassion with no action is pity.
Strength – Has nothing to do with holding 100 pounds over your head for long periods. But what it does mean is an ability and desire to help a friend hold that 100 pounds.
Kindness – Has everything to do with a kind and charitable act… so long as you don’t expect anything in return.
Purity – None can claim it, but many do.
Courage – Is not being fearless, but acting even though you are scared to death.
Leadership – The ability to win the trust of people around you to such an extent that they want to follow you. Forced leadership is not leadership; it’s tyranny.
Verbally claiming these traits is contrary to the trait being claimed. These traits are assigned to us by those who know us best.