Action Speaks Louder Than Words
We often try to argue our way through; failing to realise that it is not what we say that speaks about ourself, it is what we do. In fact, it is what we do or have done that matters. It is what has actually happened and that is a creditable claim to itself.
In an interview, a candidate will say all sorts of good things to credit himself, just so that he can get the job. But how does he really perform under pressure? how well does he manage a team? What acts did he perform before to substantiate his words?
As a bystander, we often criticise others of making a wrong judgement or decision; but fail to realise that we could make the same mistakes ourselves when faced with similiar circumstances.
Today, I was asked to choose between professional ethics and my job. My friend said that there isn't a choice. In fact, there is; we (humans) always have a choice. In the 1st Habit, 'Being Proactive' Stephen R. Covey states that between external circumstances and a person's reaction, we always have a choice to choose our reaction. However, sadly, in most cases, many allow the external circumstances to dictate their reaction, thinking that they "don't have a choice". Hence, they are left feeling inadequate and they end up blaming the whole world for the undesireable outcomes; all except themselves, failing to see that they have a responsibility for the outcomes themselves (consiously or sub-consiously).
When Anakin Skywalker was swayed to the 'Dark Side', he excused himself that he had to do it because he had to save his wife, Padame. He lamented he didn't have a choice. When in fact, he did. Between righteousness and his fear of losing his loved ones, he forsaked rightousness and chose to fall to his fear of losing his loved ones. He fell to the extend that he killed mercilessly, even kids. In doing so, he forsaked humanity. He betrayed his fellow Jedis and his mentor; in doing so, he forsaked friendship and integrity. He did make a choice. He chose fear over all that he forsaked. Implicitly, it meant that these were not as important as his fear of losing his loved ones. No matter how loudly Anakin argued his helplessnes, he DID make a choice and acted upon it. Hence, it is not what one says that matters, it is what one does that matters more. For underlying each of those actions, is a decision; whether it is done implicitly or explicitly.
"A Proactive person takes responsibility for their circumstances, their decisions and their reactions. In doing so, they CAN decide on their reactions". Yes we can decide on one thing which is within our control; ourselves. Can we stop George Bush from attacking Iraq? No. Can we stop the oil price hike? No. Can we decide on how we wish to react to these events? Yes.
Everyday, we are faced with situations requiring us to decide between 2 choices. Again, many times, these decisions are made implictly. So what influences these subtle decisions? It is the underlying values beneath each person's character that has the strongest influences. For a family-oriented man, he will choose to have career opportunities slipped by, just so that he can spend more time with his family. Whereas a career-oriented man will sacrifices his family time for buidling a career. Choices are made everyday, in every subtle ways; and these choices manifests themselves as actions that speaks for what a person is, despite however much he can say it is otherwise.
Back to my dilemna; action does speak louder than words. I have to make a choice now. I don't need to argue the case to anyone. My actions will speak for itself. In my case, my action will have to speak for what I believe in, my values.