Thursday, May 10, 2007


It is my continueing observation that we live in a culture of relativity, with no enduring moral, ethical or spiritual absolutes. Everything is in motion, in constant change, and interpreted through a prism of gray. If I want to do it, it’s OK. I have a right. If you want to do it it’s even more OK because that makes it all the more acceptable for me to do it when I want to. Few people are willing to draw lines anymore, or come to solid conclusions about behavior. It’s the world we live in. Seldom does one stand up for the principle of what’s best for the whole, for the bigger picture. Only for self. My generation set up this dynamic (beginning in the 60’s) so that none of us would need to feel accountable to anyone for our own actions. I was a part of it. We were angry at our parents for being hypocrites. And we became even more hypocritical. We overlook and excuse even the most reprehensible actions by others as a means of granting absolution to ourselves for our own misgivings and ugliness. It is the primary reason I separated myself from the social politics and practices of my generation.

Ultimately, as individuals we have to find our own course, set our own standards. We are in a perpetual process of doing that. We take all that we read, all that we see, hear and experience into consideration in so doing, but we have little support for elevating above the cultural norm. And the cultural norm is not very pretty. There are those in our lives, whether they be family, friends or acquaintances who will not risk being honest about some things for fear of alienation or dismissal. It is the case with everyone. We protect the status quo as if it were gold. The status quo, however, is not gold. It is just comfortable. I strive to be honest. It is never easy, but it is necessary. It is one of the most important things I can do. I try not to live in denial, even if it's painful. People will always see some things differently. That's the nature of being an individual. But there is a difference between denial and seeing things differently. It is up to each of us to determine which is which. If it is denial, then once one sees truth, one is responsible to oneself for it. If it is seeing things differently, one will live with that until ones vision changes.

We should not marginalize ourselves, or jeopardize our ability to be full, complete, healthy and successful people. In our inner conscience we know what it takes to be that. We must listen to that voice, and have the courage of our convictions. Many have convictions, but few have courage.

Courage takes many forms, and it is a constant challenge. We are faced daily with situations that require courage. We do the right thing because it is the right thing. Or we do the wrong thing because it's more comfortable. The older we become the more clearly we realize that there really is very little in life that does not require a choice. The most healthy people are those who have most often made the right choices. Who have most often exercised courage over comfort. I too, seek to be more courageous. It is a continuously developing trait, and one to which I will always aspire.