Today's quote comes from Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), whose impressive resume includes everything from Founding Father of the United States and printer to author, scientist, and diplomat.
"Words may show a man's wit but actions his meaning." - Benjamin Franklin
This one is a lot easier to decipher than prior quotes I've featured on the blog. Perhaps Franklin's quote predated a similar one we've come to know quite well: "Actions speak louder than words."
I couldn't agree more with Franklin, and he would know this better than most as he himself worked in the political arena. We all have stories of encountering politicians or salesmen great at schmoozing with the public but once you try to dig deeper you're hard-pressed to find anything profound. They talk the talk but don't walk the walk. They fail to back up their words with concrete steps toward achieving whatever it is they've promised.
Very rarely do I ever take someone at his or her word. I've been disappointed far too many times by people who said they'd do something and didn't deliver. I've been guilty of doing the same on occasion, and am working on it.
What I've learned is that in the end it's better to tell someone "no" than to tell them one thing and then fail to follow through. Whether we're talking relationships or promotion opportunities, for example, there's no reason to string someone along. Giving someone false hope is a surefire recipe for getting them to bolt or lash out once they realize your words are wholly empty.
What does this quote mean to you? Do you agree with Benjamin Franklin?