“do you believe what you’re sayin’? yeah right now, but not that often.”

…so says Modest Mouse, nailing his generation’s main failing, IMHO: capriciousness.

It’s not what people pronounce they stand for that I value, it’s what they actually do. And not just “right now,” but consistently. You can’t expect others to trust and believe in you, if you abandon your convictions whenever they get slightly burdensome or you compromise when you’re afraid or lackadaisical.

How many people do you know who fervently state that they’re vegetarians or never eat sugar until they’re at a potluck or restaurant with little options, those who say they only eat organic and local but usually shop at Slave-way cause it’s near their house, denounce spanking but slap their children for “talking back” or maintain that we should speak calmly with kids but scream at them for spilling their juice or coming home late?

The truth of trust lives in your actions, dependable actions. This is what makes those around you feel secure. Holding to one’s principles doesn’t mean doing so only when convenient; it’s the opposite. Courage isn’t undertaking difficult things, it’s undertaking difficult things while holding hands with your fear.

You don’t have to be perfect but you can’t be “consistently inconsistent” and call yourself integris. To be “gently” principled doesn’t have to signify fickleness only that you aren’t dogmatic or expect others to live as you do. Still, that should be the rarity, not the norm. As Oscar Wilde says, “Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.”

Personal inauthenticity is a fatal disease; it kills you one day at a time. If you say you’re going to do something, follow through. Stand on your beliefs—don’t throw a rock and hide your hand. Do what you do with passion, integrity and pluck!

3 thoughts on ““do you believe what you’re sayin’? yeah right now, but not that often.”

  1. This reminds me of that Martin Luther King Jr. quote, which goes something like “one who has not found something in life worth dying for is not fit to live.” It also reminds me of my own path to conviction, knowledge of self, and passion, which started with action. I think it is important to acknowledge that a journey toward both possessing and acting on one’s own principles can begin at either end of the road. If you can talk and write and read your way to inspiration, that is wonderful, but some of us need to commit to action before committing to an ideal. I once read somewhere something like “sometimes it does not matter which way you jump, only that you jump.” I like that. I found a few causes I would walk down the street for before I found one for which I would take a bullet

    I love the post, Renée.


    • North, you are such a depth-digger and I love how your respond to what I write. Yes, I think–especially at your age-ish–that often one doesn’t realize that one is being “hypocritical” or realizing a compromise is happening; that is part of the path, IMHO, which I think is what you’re saying, yes? The journey can definitely begin at either end. Such a good point; your mamma raised you well. 🙂 Still, one “should” learn from mis-takes; that’s the purpose of them. The perpetual “peter pan-ness” than many men enter into is neither sustainable or else carried on the backs of others, usually women. So keep that in mind. It’s not men’s “fault” exactly; just part of the patriarchal paradigm that we ALL have to transcend.

      Which cause would you take a bullet for–or do you know yet?


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