Assuming Words Have Meanings

When you hear words you usually assume that the words spoken are meaningful. This is not always the case. Some words are spoken to confuse and when you do not understand what is spoken you usually assume that the fault in understanding lies with you. However when actions are undertaken those actions are invariably meaningful and although we may understand them but imperfectly, we can have some understanding of them.

President Obama and his wife are visiting China. Their actions send a message of friendship and co-operation which message transcends the sins of the host nation or guest nation. Such sins are understood, if not forgiven, notwithstanding that the sins of America and China are legion and in some cases quite grievous.

America and Russia have exchanged many bitter words recently; the sins of Russia are no more grievous than the sins of China, and in some respects to Western eyes less so. The meaning of the words is hard to discern, but the actions – some minor economic sanctions – are easier to interpret. When you are unsure of the meaning of words it is wise to say so; in many cases understanding the actions will give you more insight into the real meaning of what is happening.

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