“There’s a difference,” Robert Kirkman said. “People often say what they believe. That’s different than living ethically.”
You and I often have conversations where people tell us what they believe. Sometimes it’s as if they know exactly what to say. They know what the “right” answer is for the current circumstance. They know what we want to hear.
Kirkman was talking about something else. He was speaking about how to know who a person really is in their core. A person’s core isn’t revealed by their words. It’s revealed by their actions, actions unobserved by most, and appreciated privately. So, it’s only fitting that I learned about secretive acts of goodness in my own neighborhood during a warm conversation with Bella Dickerson and Kensie Sessions.
Dickerson and Sessions were engaged in a lively conversation with me about whom we know in our neighborhood and how we could help them. At first it seemed as if we were involved in one of those conversations in which meaningless words were being exchanged. Then, Bella’s eyes opened wide with excitement.
“I know a widower!” she cried out, as the sparkle in her eyes erupted. “George! He lost his wife and his horse this year. I go with my family to visit him almost every week to make sure he’s well and we do things for him.”
I looked at her bright face. I felt warmth and authenticity in her words and manner. And, I felt a little embarrassed.
I had wondered whom the widower she was speaking of was when she said, “I know a widower!” When she said his name, “George,” it was with familiarity and affection. And, I hadn’t visited with George since his wife’s funeral. I didn’t know he had lost his horse!
“There’s a difference,” Kirkman’s words echoed in my heart. “People often say what they believe. That’s different than living ethically.”
Kirkman was talking about people like Dickerson and her family. They do their speaking, while revealing who they are in their core, through their actions, actions unobserved by most, and appreciated privately by others, like George. So, it’s only fitting that I learned about their secretive acts of goodness in my own neighborhood during a warm conversation with a lover of people and horses.
You and I often have conversations where we tell other people what we believe. Sometimes it’s as if we know exactly what to say. We know what the “right” answer is for the current circumstance. We say what we think others want to hear.
Or, are we lovers of people (and horses) in our core?
Lynn Butterfield lives in Erda and is a managing broker for a real estate company.