Acta non verba is one of those kickass sayings that make you sound hardcore. Like you’re some kind of Gordon Gekko. Or Greek philosopher. Or a skull stomping viking who gets shit done.
But I don’t know many people that actually live up to it.
As much as I try I know I fall short. Way more than I ‘d like to admit. Even to myself.
Acta non verba has many translations. All of them mean the same thing. Some just sound cooler than others:Actions not words.The deed is the thing.
- Actions not words
- The deed is the thing.
- I can’t hear what you’re saying, your actions are speaking too loud.
- Show me the money.
And the most colourful I’ve heard:
- Fuck your feeling you old goat.
While I could go on about this for hours …
and I probably will at some point in the future, I bring this up because of a couple recent conversations at work.
Two of guys at work have said to me that it’s been too long now, they need to get back to the gym.
And then a couple months later they say the same thing.
So guess how seriously I take them?
Acta non verba.
Even they way the way they phrase it tells me all I need to know.
The one guy says “Man, I need to get back into gymming.” The abstract “need to”. Not a definitive “I am going to”, but a hypothetical “need to”. Guess how seriously I take him?
The other guy always includes an excuse. “I need to get in shape hey. It’s just hard finding time and and and.” He sows the seeds of his own excuses with the very same breathe. Guess whether he’s started getting in shape?
I’m not here to nag
Of all the people I’ve offered to help get in shape, I haven’t bothered with these two. They haven’t lifted a finger to help themselves (unlike other people I know who, failing or succeeding, have at least tried). I’m not their mother, to chase after them and make them improve themselves against their will.
I know the main reason they tell me about “wanting” to get back to the gym is just to make conversation when we bump into each other. So I don’t judge them too harshly. But acta non verba.
I know the reason too
I also know the reason they aren’t getting in shape.
Everything in life is a choice. I can choose between sleeping or lifting.
I can choose between buying protein powder or sweets.
I can choose between comfort or improvement.
It’s just that these guys choose comfort. (They also choose to bullshit me and themselves so they don’t feel uncomfortable around me.)
And the reason they make these choices is because of their reality. In their reality (not actuality, know the difference) they have no need to be in shape. The thought of danger doesn’t cross their mind. They don’t make themselves consider (with seriousness) that it can happen to them and theirs. They don’t consider needing to keep their family safe.
In short – they haven’t made it feel important.
So they don’t take action.
They just spew the words that make them feel better.
This is why I don’t hang out with them outside of work. I have no need for men who aren’t men. They don’t know the difference between a man, and gentleman, and a gentle.
The men I choose to spend my time with are the men who take action. Who train. Get hurt. Then train some more anyway.
Acta non verba.
It’s the only thing that matters.
I just hope I act enough to earn the trust of my fellow men.