Project 354 – 13th Mar 2010

Posted: March 13, 2010 in Project 365
Tags: , , , , ,

Day 41 – Footprints

There’s a poem by the poet Sappho called Some Say:

Some say an army of horsemen or footmen or rowers
Is the most beautiful thing over the coal-black earth,
But I say it is that thing, whatever it is,
That one loves and desires.
All easy it is to make this clear to anyone,
For Helen, far surpassing all mortals in beauty,
Leaving behind the best of all men,
Departed, sailing for Troy —
And not at all did she remember
Parents, nor love of children,
But passion directed her….
Now my Anactoria too is gone, and I would rather see her supple walk
And the bright sparkle of her face
Than all the chariots of Lydia
And foot-soldiers in arms.

There’s an interesting poem that kind of brings up a debate of which one should follow, head versus heart. If they are even in conflict at all. What is right to do, fight for or stick to principles that conflict with cultural or society norms? Or compromise on what you think is right for any other reason?

It’s funny how looking at the differences between Eastern and Western culture can be a bit of an eye opener in terms of looking at people and situations. The two outlooks, in my opinion, contrast as much as night and day. Western individualism versus Eastern collectivism. beliefs in different power structures, political systems, the reason for being, the footprints we leave, etc..

If growing up as me has thought me anything its that I have to be me! Strangely enough! To compromise on one’s self is not healthy to you or the people you are compromising for. That’s a very Western outlook, one I adhere to and am fairly unapologetic about. I do think both outlooks are valid. However a great many mix and match on their principles and then believe by being strong on one aspect of a principle they are somehow being a better person.

The way I see it if you believe in a principle you need to believe in every aspect of its governance. If you believe hatred is wrong, you need to believe hatred is wrong in all situations, not just the ones that suit. I guess you could even say one would need to not hate hatred! If one thinks loyalty is a revered quality then loyalty needs to be practiced  in every aspect of life, from not leaving one’s home town in order to make it a better place to staying in the same job despite benefits elsewhere. People don’t normally think of principles in their entirety, only what is fashionable in society at the time.

I’m not saying I’m perfect, not by a long shot, and I will delve a little deeper into my own principles to understand a little better what I truly believe in. Hey even with what I just said I could be totally wrong, I guess i’m more thinking out loud today!

But today’s entry had reminded me of a song I heard years ago with the lyrics “I’m just a soul whose intentions are good, please don’t let me be misunderstood”. I’ve grown up quite a bit since, if I’m misunderstood, I’m misunderstood, but I have to be me.


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