April 9


Today's quotation:

The hallmark of courage in our age of conformity is the capacity to stand on one's own convictions--not obstinately or defiantly (these are gestures of defensiveness, not courage) nor as a gesture of retaliation, but simply because these are what one believes.

Rollo May

Today's Meditation:

What do I believe, and what do I believe in?  These aren't questions that are covered in school, usually.  They aren't questions that we tend to be asked in job interviews or in casual conversation.  Many people think that their beliefs are limited to religion--that their own personal ideas of what God is or isn't form the core of their belief systems.  Many others adopt the beliefs of other people--especially religious leaders--as their own, as they seem to be unable to develop their own core beliefs and live by them.

Rollo is talking about living by our beliefs, but it's important that we have beliefs first.  It's important that we recognize them and value them for what they are, and then put them into practice in our lives.  If I believe that criticizing others in a negative way is bad, then not only must I not do that, but I have to state my beliefs when I see other people doing so.  I don't have to attack them or tell them they're wrong or make them feel bad--after all, I may be wrong in my interpretation of a situation--but I do have to stand up for my convictions while respecting the fact that other people have different sets of convictions.

Today I must pay attention to what I see going on around me, and I have to be aware of how things fit with or contradict my convictions.  I must see these things because our convictions always are a work in progress, and I can't refine them and allow them to evolve if I don't pay attention to them.  Other people don't have to live their lives according to my convictions or beliefs, but if I don't live my own life according to them, then my life becomes much less rich, much less full, and I have only my own inattention to my beliefs to blame.

Questions to consider:

Do you regularly examine your own convictions on certain issues?

What's the danger in comparing your convictions and beliefs with those of other people?

Do you live by your convictions?  Do you cling to them stubbornly, or allow them to grow and evolve and change as you learn more about life and living and loving?

For further thought:

People are made by their beliefs.  As they believe, so they are.

the Bhagavad Gita

more thoughts and ideas on beliefs



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