I have devoted a lot of time and energy to telling people they are wrong, that I am right, and that they should live the way I live (more like how I would like to live) in order to be happy. I have gone about trying to change people, and change the world, by talking. I’ve shared the Gospel, I’ve spoken the wisdom of Buddha. I’ve quoted various philosophers. I’ve explained the health benefits of various diets, and the ills of processed foods. “If only they knew” I would think to myself, “If only they knew what they were doing wrong,” “If only they could hear this nugget of precious wisdom that changed my life, then they would be enlightened, and the world would be a better place”
But, as you may be aware, I haven’t saved the world yet. We don’t live in a Utopia, and we haven’t all linked arms in a giant circle, or came together for an earth-wide embrace. What am I doing wrong? What’s missing?
Words are good, and talking things through can be very helpful, but nothing compares with action. A hug needs no interpretation, but speaks volumes in any language. A hand up, a smile, sacrificial giving when its needed most. These things are real. They are tangible, and they make an immediate, clear, and tangible change in the world. Action inspires in a way that quotable quotes could only dream of. A man who has been helped out of a crisis by a kind stranger will be motivated to do the same for another,
“My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground on which I stand.”