March 12    

Today's quotation:

There are principles which govern our life--they are the principles of Life.  If our life is lived according to these principles all is well, and harmony reigns in place of vexation and struggle.

Henry T. Hamblin

Today's Meditation:

It seems that more and more, principles are becoming relative and rather temporary--we like to change our principles with each new wind that blows in a new set of ideas.  What we don't seem to realize is that if our principles guide our lives as a rudder guides a ship, then our lives are going to be inconsistent and somewhat difficult if we don't stick to principles that we know are valid and valuable, such as compassion, love, sharing, honesty and integrity.

We do have to be careful of adopting principles that are harmful to others.  I just watched an interview with a man who was sure that his job as a father was to be strict and forceful; he's since come to see, though, the damage that he caused to his spouse and children by acting that way.  There's not necessarily anything wrong with certain types of strictness, but if it leads you to harm others then it's a principle that should definitely be abandoned in favor of something else that shows more love and compassion than an attempt at control.

My principles aren't perfect, and sometimes they're hard to balance.  As a teacher I try to be uncompromising in my attempts to challenge my students.  If they're going to learn, it's up to me to help them to do so, and being too lenient doesn't necessarily help them.  On the other hand, life happens, and my students are going through struggles and problems of their own, so if I am completely uncompromising, I may alienate and discourage students rather than actually help them to learn.

We have to decide on the principles that are going to guide our lives, and it's important that we do so consciously, and that we actually think about them from time to time; that we examine what they are and the results they're having so that we can know if they're actually being helpful or not.  Because none of us want a guiding principle to lead us off a cliff's edge to our own demise.

Questions to consider:

What are some of the most important principles in your life right now?

How often do you actually think about the principles that you follow?

How can we learn about principles from other people?

For further thought:

Principles don't die.  They aren't here one day and gone the next.  They can't be destroyed by fire, earthquake or theft.  Principles are deep, fundamental truths, classic truths.

Stephen R. Covey

more on principle



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