SAT范文 – Action and Intentions
Prompt: Do actions, not words, reveal a person or group’s true attitudes and intentions?
Words can, of course, reveal the speaker’s true attitudes and intentions. However, often they do not. Likewise, one’s actions can give true insight into their character. Again, however, someone can be doing something for one stated purpose, with a radically different ulterior motive as their primary reason for doing so.
To paraphrase Humpty Dumpty from ‘Alice in Wonderland’, words can mean whatever the speaker, or author, intends them to mean. Often, politician and other groups of people attempting to convince someone or another group of people, make good use of this. An example of this would perhaps be Bill Clinton’s denial of sex relations with Monica Lewinsky. While technically, he was not lying according to one interpretation, on another, probably more widely accepted definition, he was.
While actions may seem to be a more reliable indication of a person’s true intention, a belief often supported with common expressions, such as ‘action speaks louder than words’, they can be as misleading as words. An outsider may see a government’s decision to impose stringent health and safety standards on imports as a responsible policy designed to protect its citizens. However, such a seemingly noble action may have been made for a number of reasons, including a subtle method to protect their country’s economy by enacting what may amount to a disguised trade barrier.
Perhaps, however, one advantage of living in a democratic society is that it is more difficult for people such as politicians to say and do things that are motivated by something other than their stated purpose. A potential example of the risks associated with doing so, and therefore discouraging it, maybe, the current US’ administration’s decision to invade Iraq. While it is unclear as to whether they believe Iraq to be harbouring weapons of mass destruction, the enormous amount of public scrutiny that the decision has attracted must surely act as a deterrence to any future ulterior motive to the one they tell their country.
In conclusion, while words are perhaps more easily recognisable as easily manipulated, actions can be just as deceptive. However, the existence of democracy, and potentially the operation of a free market economy within a country means that it is significantly more difficult for a government or some groups to mislead people than if it were otherwise.