Not Splitting Hairs

It’s not splitting hairs to say that actions speak louder than words.

Or that talk is cheap,

Or even free.

The only currency that you can really bank on

Is action.


Photograph – Rockport’s Barbershop 02/1973 – Photographer: Parks, Deborah

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Repository: Still Picture Records Section, Special Media Archives Services Division (NWCS-S), National Archives at College Park, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD, 20740-6001.

The Moral Molecule

Creator(s): Department of Defense. Department of the Army. Office of the Chief Signal Officer. (09/18/1947 – 02/28/1964)

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Related articles


We all value trustworthiness.

Most of us try to be trustworthy ourselves and we look for it in others. When other people fail to be worthy of our trust, we chide ourselves for trusting and determine never to trust anyone ever again.

Maybe there’ s another way to look at it.

Clearly it’s foolish to insist that trustworthiness exists when we have evidence to the contrary – however the solution is not to stop trusting.

It’s like fool’s gold.

If you were a miner who found some iron pyrite and mistook it for gold, the experience might make you a little more circumspect the next time you thought you’d hit the mother-lode, but it wouldn’t stop you mining and looking for real gold.

Because you’d know that real gold also exists and is worth the search. Just like trustworthiness.

And who knows, given that human beings respond so often to expectation, perhaps searching for trustworthiness can also actually help it to develop in places it has shaky roots?

Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him.  – Booker T. Washington



Why Virtue?

Over two thousand years ago, Aristotle said, We are not studying in order to know what virtue is, but to become good, for otherwise there would be no profit in it. (1)

The acquisition of virtues is not an antiquated mode of being, it’s a vital framework for human life.  Virtues are like instructions in a manual for living productively.  We think of things like love and kindness and loyalty and trustworthiness as pleasant optional extras that will make our lives more pleasant – but they are much more than that.  Cultivating real virtues – not nominal ones – creates the environment necessary for spectacular human growth.  And that, as Aristotle might have said, is where the profit in virtue exists.

…for the human reality may be compared to a seed. If we sow the seed, a  mighty tree appears from it. The virtues of the seed are revealed in the tree; it puts forth branches, leaves, blossoms, and produces fruits. All these virtues were hidden and potential in the seed. Through the blessing and bounty of cultivation these virtues became apparent. (2)


(1) Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics

(2) ‘Abdul’Baha, Promulgation of Universal Peace, p.87