Since we’ve covered closet space and hard disk space, I have another question for you: Why is a good football game like a Good (Love) relationship? Because they’re both close.
I make a post to this blog every Friday, and I considered making one brief one between Fridays, after a late night watching the Oregon – Auburn game. I am not a sports fan and often have to ask who is in the super bowl or the world’s series. But I watched the game, to the exciting end, even though I had to get up at 6 AM to get ready for work. The thought expressed in the question above occurred to me the next (early) morning.
I am a real fan of proverbs, an aficionado de refranes (in Spanish), and will surely post on many in the future. But today I want to talk about one everyone has heard – Actions speak louder than words. There are many equivalents in other languages. My favorite is the Spanish “obras son amores, que no buenas razones.” This is usually translated “actions speak louder than words,” but the literal translation would be closer to “actions are loves/lovers, not good reasons/intentions/explanations.” In other words, we love an action that completes and compliments what has been said in words, not empty words or good intentions.
Of course, this idea of actions speaking louder than words goes back to ancient times. But one use, in Latin, comes from Don Quixote: operibus credite, et non verbis, which is “believe in deeds, not in words.” Then there is a French expression, that more or less is: “don’t believe in beautiful words, but rather beautiful proof.” And one in Italian, “the facts weigh more than words.” In Russian, there are several common sayings, like: “less words, more actions,” “actions speak more than words,” “less words, but more deeds.”
The idea is pretty universal. It could also be expressed with “practice what you preach.” I have shared this blog with my wife and family, with coworkers, even my manager. Surely they can judge if my actions match my words, especially my wife. We had another stressful week, my mother going to the emergency room, one of my kids loosing an order in court yesterday, which was totally unexpected, even by some experts we had consulted. And after driving six hours, some through snow and ice, to get home, I arrive to the sight of my wife’s car down below the driveway, down the dirt hill, next to a tree.
Well, I asked what happened, and she said something to the effect that her talent had shone again. I shared a half-hearted hug, but was pretty quiet. In fact, I guess I had kicked in the silent treatment. But what does that really say – that I don’t care about her feelings? That my feelings, my disappointment or anger are more important? No, the love we share, Buen Amor, is more important, and maybe here is an opportunity to make it Better Love. So I told her I had called our son Matt, and he and a friend were coming over later to help me try to get the car back up on the driveway, and gave her a real hug, and told her that I loved her.
Jean Cocteau said: “there is no love, there are only proofs of love.” Perhaps he would agree, that his quote means that if love is just an emotion, there is no real love. But if love is a decision, a decision leads to an action, and if those are both based on love, that action ends up being a proof of love, Good Love.
And another Spanish refran (refrain) is “amor con amor se paga.” Literally this would be: “love is paid for with love.” But the English translation would usually be “one good turn deserves another.” I think, as often occurs, you lose a beautiful sense of the original saying when you substitute an equivalent adage, proverb, or idiom. Surely paying for love with more love, Better Love, carries more meaning. Then there is what Benjamin Franklin said: “well done is better than well said.”
You’d have to ask my wife if my actions spoke louder than my words today. But I do plan to make it clear later to Matt and his friend, that I often feel envious when someone exhibits a greater talent for something than my talent in that area. But in this case, with my wife saying her talent for mishaps with the car had shone again, I will make an exception. She tried to explain the “method in her madness,” on how the car ended up there, but I found it a little long on madness and short on method.