"Isn't what we say or think that defines us, but what we do."
I have to admit, I am not a big Jane Austen fan. I appreciate her work, but I'm never going to pick it as an entertaining read. I find that I do like Austen in small doses. This quote from Sense and Sensibility is a keeper.
I think we are tempted to define ourselves by how we think. And I think we want other people to define us by what we say. But that just isn't the truth.
You may consider yourself charitable because you think charity is a good idea. That's great, but when is the last time you practiced it? You may say that you care for someone, but is it coming through in your behavior? And we all know about saying "no offense" before you say something offensive....yeah, that doesn't work.
The way you behave has the ability to influence your world.
You are only one person, sure. But you are one person, and I am one person, and that guy over there is one person, every singly person you see in the bus window is one person....People like to talk about their ideals, but too often it just stays as talk. If everyone acted on their ideals, how different would the world be?
Another way to follow through with your ideals is with your money. You invest in what you love. I was in a Sunday School class one time that irritated me to no end. It was a class full of older people bemoaning the current state of the world. You know "these kids today" and "when I was a kid" and it ended up coming around to "I remember when every place was closed on Sunday" Now, I don't have an issue with business open on Sunday; I really have no opinion on that. But these people clearly did. At least in their speech. The thing that stuck with me was how many of those people would go to a restaurant or the store after church - supporting the very thing they claim to dislike. Isn't that silly? If you think businesses should be closed on Sunday, I don't think you should patronize businesses on Sunday. Businesses exist to be profitable. If there is not profit in something, they won't pursue it. I think if you think violent video games are bad, you should not buy violent video games, even if there are settings to reduce the level. The companies who sell that game don't know you are dialing down the gore factor. They only know you bought the game. If you're willing to spend money on it, you must support it, right?
What do you think of yourself? Do you believe yourself to be kind or do you admire kindness? Then endeavor to engage in kind actions and avoid those that are not. Do you believe yourself to be trustworthy? Then try your best to only do trustworthy things. Thoughts are powerful and words are powerful, but actions are what people will remember above all other things.
You show your true self through your actions, so make them count.