There are many people in this world who want us to
believe their words when their actions scream so loudly in
contrast to what they say. These are the people who
will tell you that they think it's horrible that so many
people take drugs, yet then go home and get drunk on
alcohol. They'll tell us that it's a shame that
there are so many irresponsible people in our country, and
then do all that they can to cheat on their taxes or break
laws that are somehow "inconvenient" to them.
It's really tempting, though, to believe their words--we
want to think the best of people, and we want to give them
the benefit of the doubt. It's important that we
learn both to give them that and to watch their actions to
be sure that they back up their words, for it truly is
important to know whom we can trust. If there's a
disparity between what's said and what's done, we must be
aware of that, for our own sake--so that we know more
about the person with whom we're dealing.
I don't like judging people, and this isn't about
judgment. Rather, it's about awareness. If
someone tells me that he's tolerant and then turns around
and commits a racist act or makes a racist statement, I
know that I'm not dealing with a particularly tolerant
person, no matter what he might say. And if I need
to trust someone to be tolerant later, I know that this
isn't the person to call upon.
In a like manner, we need to be sure that our own actions
match our words. The person we claim to be must
match the person we are, or what is our own word worth?