sticks and stones may break my bones
but those poisonous names you hurl have power to turn me against myself
names can make me chew at my soul until what is left cannot sustain me
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
When you have a strong principle that is guiding your life, everything tends to get filtered through it. For example, here is my current guiding principle:
How I act while living stubbornly male-bodied,
what it means for me to 'be a man', is my choice,
no matter how determined others might be to control me.
That realization has been a help getting me through times when gd has threatened to undo me.
Brutal examination of my childhood and life made me aware of an earlier guiding principal that goes something like this:
Make sure you act in a way that keeps everyone else in your world happy
because if they are happy, you will be too.
This is a mantra designed by a three year old who could not trust the world.
Can you believe the guiding principle of a three year old became the values of the adult? Amazing. I fight an internal battle against that three year old kid's powerful convictions every day.
The other day I came across this quote from former football player and now activist Don McPherson:
~ ~ ~ Sigh ~ ~ ~
It may explain why men generally hate and certainly distrust the transgendered individually and as a group. We defy a guiding principle of being a male:
"Don't be a woman."
I certainly recognize that bit of programming.
Deep beliefs are powerful. They can define a society. They can define how we think of others in that society and how we react to others in the world.
We need to be aware of the power of guiding beliefs, so we are open to the possible need to question our beliefs and maybe even change them from time to time.
I've heard it said that core values at the age of twelve tend to stick with you and control you unless there is some sort of life-changing event. Perhaps this is a cynical thought, please forgive me, but it seems to me, one of the techniques politicians and the media have used to shape our future has been to portray tragic events as life-changing events. They then use those events to reshape guiding beliefs in our society.
Last month I finished reading "Team of Rivals". It is a long read that fleshes out a time and an amazing person in the history of the United States. The movie 'Lincoln' cannot do it justice, but is a valiant attempt I will grant, and takes a lot less of your time too.
Anyway, Abraham Lincoln understood people, and his nation, and he understood entrenched principles. Importantly, he also understood how important it was to know when old ones had to be cut loose.
The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present.
The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise -- with the occasion.
As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew.
We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.