“A dog is not considered a good dog because he is a good barker. A man is not considered a good man because he is a good talker.”
This quote by the Buddha challenges the conventional notions of goodness and emphasizes the importance of actions over mere appearances or superficial qualities.
“A dog is not considered a good dog because he is a good barker” suggests that the true value of a dog is not determined solely by its ability to bark. While barking may be a characteristic of dogs, it does not define their worth or indicate their overall goodness. The quote implies that focusing on one skill or attribute does not provide a complete assessment of a being’s character or virtue.
“A man is not considered a good man because he is a good talker” extends this idea to human beings. It implies that being articulate or skilled in speech does not automatically make someone a good person. The quote emphasizes that the quality of a person’s character cannot be judged solely based on their ability to speak convincingly or eloquently. True goodness is not determined by words alone.
The essence of this lies in the importance of actions and moral conduct. The Buddha taught that genuine goodness is manifested through ethical behavior, compassion, and wisdom. It is not about showmanship or the ability to impress others with words or external displays.
Tthe Buddha encourages us to look beyond superficial qualities and focus on the true essence of goodness. The measure of a person’s character lies in their behavior, intentions, and the impact they have on others and the world. Being a “good dog” or a “good man” involves embodying qualities such as kindness, integrity, generosity, and empathy.
Also reminds us to be discerning and not be swayed solely by appearances or persuasive language. It urges us to seek authenticity and to value substance over empty rhetoric.
Ultimately, we need to look beyond surface-level judgments and to assess individuals based on their actions and the qualities they cultivate within themselves. This encourages us to cultivate inner goodness and to recognize that true virtue is demonstrated through compassionate and skillful actions, rather than through external skills or verbal prowess alone.