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« 100 Days of Gratitude - Day 67- Lammes Candies Chocolate Covered Strawberries | Main | 100 Days of Gratitude - Day 65 - Our Dining Room Table »

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 66 - Principles

Today I went to the movies. By myself. I was worried that tomorrow the movie I wanted to see would no longer be in theaters and I wanted to support it.

I went to see Atlas Shrugged, the movie based on my all time favorite book. I can't say that I recommend the movie if you've not read the book. It glossed over the deep rooted principles that I love about the characters in the book and why they have those principles. I enjoyed the movie... kinda... but it really made me think about how much I appreciate guiding principles in life.

Having principles helps us to make sound decisions, even if they may not be popular at the time. Even if, when in an emotionally charged state you want to do differently, principles help get a rational person back on track.

I may get a little bit political here - and for that I apologize. I do have a point, bear with me.

Example: I'd never burn an American flag, but I believe so strongly in the freedom of speech that I don't believe it should be made illegal to burn a flag. I'd strongly suggest you don't do it in my prescence, as it'll get me pretty emotionally charged, but I'd fight for your right to express yourself in that manner. The guiding principle of freedom of speech wins here.

Example: I think that Fred Phelps and his "church" are morons who protest at the funerals of fallen hero soldiers and I think that they should be ostrecized for being such asses. I do not believe that it should be illegal for them to protest. Though their opinion is nasty, hateful and unpopular - it's those very types of free speech that has to be protected. Popular speech never has to be protected.

I hope you see my point here. The principle of the freedom of speech outweighs the dispicible acts that some people do.

Presdient Obama and his staff have decided not to release the photos of a deceased Osama Bin Laden. A decision that they had to know would draw heat from conspiracy theorists, political opponents and the press. But they stood by the principle that showing those pictures would put Americans in danger around the world by angering a segment of the worlds population. Remember how mad we got in the US when Daniel Pearl was beheaded on camera. It gave us here in the US a rallying point of outrage. By standing by the principles of doing what's right for the country President Obama has kept that kind of outrage against America from having a rallying point. He'll take heat for it, but it was still the right decision as the leader of our country.

Ron Paul, a presidential hopeful in 2008 and again for 2012, has a reputation of voting against ANY legislation that, in his opinion, goes against the US Constitution - even in the sake of friendships. He was friends with President Ronald Reagan, and when Congress was voting to give Reagan a Congressional Gold Medal (also awarded to Mother Teresa, Rosa Parks and Pope John Paul II) he voted against using taxpayer money to pay for the medal, but instead proposed that each member of Congress contributed $100 of their own money to pay for the medal instead of burdening the taxpayers with the involved expense. It was a small amount of money for the taxpayers, but he refused because it went against his core principles.

Penn Jillette, the bigger, louder half of Penn & Teller has never had a drink of alcohol or an illegal drug in his life, but is a strong proponent of legalized drugs. Based on his principles. One of my favorite all time quotes is from Penn "In a truly free society, we've got to be free to make bad choices". In fairness, I may be paraphrasing, but I think I've got it correct. Penn's principle is one of Freedom and that guiding principle overshadows his disagreement with the use of alchohol or drugs.

A few years ago my friend Brian Brushwood and I did an excercise while driving to clearly define the things that are most important to us in life.

Without revealing all of my core beliefs here, one of my top five priorities was to "help others, but not through charity". The key was to give to those who I valued, who returned value or who I wanted to assist through my own choices. Everyday I try to help others through mentoring, friendships and the products that I create and sell.

Another top value was for all of my relationships to be win-win. I never want to take advantage of a client, a person, a business and I expect that none of them will take advantage of me. When and if they do... I will use my adult voice.

These are some of the key principles I live by. What are yours?

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Reader Comments (1)

Very good and thought-provoking post. Like you, I believe in personal responsibility for all. That said, I believe in charitable organizations that truly help those who cannot help themselves. I believe that this should be done through charitable organizations and not through government. I cannot help everyone that needs help BUT if we all do "something", we can make a big difference. The key though is that we ALL have to do something at once.

Back to your original question...
Treat others the way you want to be treated... and then some.
Be kinder than necessary as everyone you meet is facing some kind of battle..
Don't just "speak up", SHOW UP. (You can fake like you care but you can't fake being there.)
Be a faucet and not a drain. Be kind to the "drains" in your life, but then move on...
Give to others of yourself over and over and over. Leave the world a better place than you found it.
Help those you love to better people by your example and by your constant intrusion into their lives.

Gosh, I have LOTS of principles! (Grin)

I love you, your family and your friendship.
I'm thankful to God for putting you on earth at the same time I am here. Coolsville...!

May 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Hira

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