where character counts and integrity is the keystone


Jefferson, In Matters of Style

In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.” – Thomas Jefferson

As my wife can tell you I pay little, to no attention to fashion or style in any way.  I am not concerned with what other people think about how I dress or what they think of my actions, all of that is driven by my principles.

These guideposts have dictated how I live my life. It wasn’t always this way, at a much younger age, I cared little about how I treated others and cared a lot about what other people thought about me. I remember worrying about the clothes I wore and how my ‘friends’ acted toward me.  I remember being embarrassed because I only had regular blue jeans and my classmates made a public note of it.  I was voted as the boy with all the same color blue jeans.  I remember getting teased about shoes and shorts that I wore.  I took my first job because I wanted to have money to get the clothes and shoes I wanted.  Now, please don’t misunderstand this, my parents did a very good job at providing clothing for us [I am the oldest of 6]; and we didn’t want for the basics.  I wanted for nicer shoes, Nike’s instead of what ever was on sale at the local K-Mart or PX [that would be Post Exchange].

I don’t know when I stopped worrying about what others thought, I just remember that it stopped being important to me. I wanted my clothing to reflect a neat and clean appearance.  When this change happened I also realized that I was working to treat others better even if they didn’t meet social norms. I found that being kind to others brought me happiness and I enjoyed the service. Now, I still like nice things and while I am not a clothes horse; I am still willing to pay a good price for a good product.  I am no longer swayed by style or the opinions of others.  I live according to principles and wear clothes that reflect how I think and feel about myself.

iron wil