I just returned from seeing The Iron Lady, starring Meryl Streep. While many disagree with Prime Minister Thatcher’s policies, I believe her core conservative principals were honorable and she carried out her vision admirably. There was a quote in the movie that I can not confirm was uttered by the real Prime Minister, but when I heard them they washed over me as if they were my own personal beliefs reflected back at me from the mouth of Meryl Streep.
“Be careful of your thoughts, for they become words. Words become actions, actions become habits. Watch your habits, they become your character and watch your character for it becomes your destiny.”
Beautiful! I realized I stand on principal and there are many times when I may be seen as elitist or judgmental and that quote made me hold my head high. I do believe in character and that it defines you.
My own shortcomings are moments when I fail to live up to my personal standards. When that happens, I regret my actions and I am embarrassed at my failure. I learn from those mistakes and get back on a path towards right. One that upholds my world view and the moral character and compass that was instilled in my by my parents and grandparents. I strongly believe there is a right and wrong, black and white. My areas of gray are very few and very thin. Sometimes that is to my own detriment, as there is a lot of grey in this world.
My convictions can cause me to lose associations with people and I accept that as a consequence of my character. My father used to say, “If you lay down with dogs, you get up with fleas.” I have no desire to surround myself with people of such low character. I guess the reason for this soapbox is that I know so many people that are laying with dogs. I struggle with maintaining relationships with people that surround themselves not with people that lift them up or inspire them but clamor to bring them down to a base level.
Now, I’m not an angel. I often make mistakes, but the difference is that I realize I’ve made a mistake. It’s the people that don’t think there is anything wrong with sitting down at a dinner table and telling strangers about who they just slept with without wearing a condom that I can’t believe I am subjected to in the first place. How does that happen? There seems to be a culture of bragging about one’s lack of manners, culture, ambition or knowledge that I find puts me in the position of being a “prude” when I am far from it. I believe there are things about oneself that should remain private and when you don’t make them private, don’t be offended if I call you trash and refuse to associate with you. I just don’t care to get fleas, that’s all.