The Good Old Days, Part 1: Show and Tell

I have been interviewing my grandma on camera about her life with the intent to one day make a documentary about my family. Being the last remaining grandparent, I felt an urge to ensure that her story was told, in her own words. The result has been a collection of stories and glimpses into the lives of people that are gone as well as an abundance of common-sense wisdom.

This morning, the theme of the interview was my mom’s life. In one of the many tangents, my grandma said something that struck a nerve. She said, “I want to say something about the good old days. We didn’t really say that we loved each other. I never heard my parents say it. It wasn’t that we didn’t love one another, we just showed it through our actions. We didn’t do things out of obligation, we did them out of respect, duty and love.”

What are you saying?

This past week I have been reading the words that have been used by people that I know to justify their beliefs and opinions. Defensive, sharp, sticky, subjective and divisive words that only make the hole they have dug that much deeper. It saddens me to passively watch a war of words and positions, but it reminds me to daily ask myself a very appropriate question: Do my actions match what I am telling people?

Do your actions match what you say?

No matter what I say, my actions must match those very words. I can say a lot of things, but if I am not acting upon those words, I am nothing. Having character and being authentic means that your words and actions are one. No discrepancies between what is heard and what is seen. Not out of obligation, but out of respect, duty and love for yourself and for others.