North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

July 12, 2013

Danielle Cater: Your actions speak louder than words

By Danielle Cater
North Jefferson News

COMMENTARY — It’s not what you say, it’s what you do that matters. Talk is cheap, action brings satisfaction. In a world full of chatter and talk, it’s what you end up doing that really tells others what’s inside of you.

This can pertain to anything in life, from telling your kids that you’re going to read them a bedtime story and forgetting, to agreeing to take on some extra office duties at work and not doing it. Our actions speak much louder than our words.

When you don’t back up your words with your actions, that pretty much makes you a liar.

I am the chief of sinners when it comes to this form of lying. I can’t count how many times I have told my daughters that I would spank them if I had to tell them to do something one more time. Then I tell them again. Then I warn them in my “momma voice.” Then I start talking through my angry, clinched teeth. Then I might actually follow through with the warning, but those four extra warnings make me a liar. I told them something I was going to do and didn’t follow through with it.

Being an adult doesn’t excuse us from following through on the things we promise. Some people have a bad character flaw that enables them to promise the world to everyone, and follow through on none of it. It makes people feel really good when you say you’ll do something they ask you to do, but when you don’t follow through with the actions, those good feelings quickly fade away.

Anyone can sit around and promise to take out the garbage once a week, but when Thursday rolls around and the milk carton is peeking out of the top of the can and you’re running late for class, it’s much harder to put that promise into action.

Extreme circumstances can keep us from fulling promises, but with a quick apology and a will to make it up to the person you let down, I’m sure it can be covered. The problem comes in when these empty promises start to fill your life. If you have a bad habit of not following through with your commitments, then you should know, that, whether you realize it or not, other people DO realize that you have this flaw.

I’ve been there. I’ve promised to do things I simply forgot about or over-booked myself so that I couldn’t. I’m about as forgetful as they come, so I completely understand forgetting or getting caught up in other things. The important thing is that you realize when you fail someone and you try to make amends with them.

Be a man or woman of character. Follow through with the promises you’ve made. Whether it be to bake a cake for Aunt Ethel during her time of loss, or something as simple as returning that phone call to your mom (I know, Mom, this one was for you!). Be courteous enough to acknowledge when you drop the ball and start taking strides to fix any of these character flaws that may plague your name.

It may mean that you can’t be everything to everyone — that’s just fine. You can still be something special to the people whose lives you are able to touch.

Let your actions speak louder than your words. Whether you like it or not, they do anyway.