“Patriots always talk of dying for their country and never of killing for their country.”
– Bertrand Russell
When I first read this quote, I literally had to do a double take. At first glance, it just sounds like your typical rah-rah patriotism quote that you might have seen on a WWI recruitment poster.
But with a second glance, you begin to recognize its overall implication to how we live our lives.
It’s pretty obvious at this point that many people like to talk a big game. They claim they are prepared to put in the long hours and do the extra reps; they pound their chest as they declare they are tough enough to handle any opponent who gets in their way; they tell you that they are going to perform when the pressure is on; they act as if they have already hit the game-winning shot.
And above all, they say they are willing to do WHATEVER it takes to get what they want.
But… are they prepared to kill?
(Or more realistically)
Are they actually willing to take action?
We hear similar quotes to this one all the time.
“Talk is cheap, but actions are priceless.”
“Actions speak louder than words.”
And my personal favourite…
“Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.”
But none of them truly wrap things up quite so nicely and force you to put your money where your mouth is like Bertrand. It’s easy to just roll over and die for something. But to make the active choice of killing requires serious commitment.
The lesson here is simple. But you’ve heard it a thousand times before.
This is more so, just a reminder…
First, don’t say something you can’t back up with action. Second, set goals that require you to do something, rather than ones that force you to wait for the inevitable. And last, but certainly far from least, ask yourself what you are prepared to do in order to achieve those goals.
Are you willing to kill to attain them? (metaphorically speaking)