Actions speak louder than words

Apparently this term was first coined in its current form by US President Abraham Lincoln during his Cooper Union Address in February 1860, but it may have been first voiced in the English Civil War by John Pym and recorded in Hansard in 1628 as “A word spoken in season is like an Apple of Gold set in Picture of Silver”, meaning that actions are more precious than words.

Today marked the first anniversary of the first UK lockdown of the Covid pandemic and organisations and people came together at 12noon to remember all of those who have died as a result of the virus, and to reflect on the tremendous work that the NHS and other front line services have done. 

The Church of England partnered with Marie Curie to mark the first anniversary of the first lockdown in the UK with a national day of reflection to reflect on our collective loss due to Covid-19, support those who have been bereaved, and hope for a brighter future. Bellringers were invited by the Church to participate in this day by marking the end of the one minute silent reflection at 12 noon by tolling a bell.

At work, for the NHS, we had a virtual gathering that embraced the moment of silent reflection, and then words from our CEO and Chair.  Later in the afternoon, I happened to be in the queue for a coffee and the CEO was in front of me.  We exchanged smiles, and I said that I’d logged on and listened to the “broadcast”.  She immediately described how they’d tried something new with the technology and that it hadn’t really worked how they’d wanted it to, so it wasn’t as slick as usual.  I told her that that didn’t matter.  What mattered is that we took a moment, and in a large acute NHS Trust, believe me that’s not easy, to stop, remember not just those patients we’ve lost, but also a number of colleagues and friends, to give thanks for the effort that the whole organisation has put in to help fight this virus.  We were able to take a moment to think about others, and the impact that has had on ourselves, our friends and families, and our colleagues.

The action spoke louder than the words.


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