Principles are Immutable

“If a principle exists it must be immutable, for that is what a principle is – a truth standing apart from the mood of the times” Jeff Cooper, Principles of Personal Defense (1972)

I have been trying to express this concept in this blog for several months. It seems the world continues to push “new values” that have through time continued to fail. The traditional or Judeo-Christian values have been under fire since the 1960’s when drugs and free love, a reaction to WWII and the Korean War, became a cause celeb among the youth of America. While other powerful movement’s also happened during these years, few have caused so much trouble for our nation. The attack on values, morals, and religion has severely hurt our country. I know that some feel we are better off with less religion; which is funny since 89% of Americans say they believe in God. (1) Oh, not as many attend or affiliate with a church as we have in the past; however, when 9/11 landed in our face there was a brief revival and uptick in people attending church again.

We are immortal beings having a mortal experience and this life is a place of testing and trials to see if we will grow and overcome our weaknesses and faults. Church is not a place for the healthy, for in God’s eyes we are all sick. It is a hospital where we minster to each other. To often we let our mortal selves get in the way of our immortal selves since we are not perfect and we are constantly failing/sinning some way. Now, don’t get discouraged. I have been practicing and striving to improve for 20 years and I know that while I have made good progress I still have a long way to go to meet the standard that Jesus Christ set. Our problem, is that we want the perfection now … and it doesn’t come until the next life.

We do not join Christ in His glory until after we die and are judged. Heaven is the only “country” where one has to learn to live the “law of the land” before we can enter the kingdom. The beautiful thing about living a life of principles is that when we are making progress and improving; we are living those laws or commandments to the best of our ability … which is what we are being asked to do. Christ makes all the difference, He paid the price for our freedom and only by applying to Him can our balance be paid in full. While I am a firm believer that my faith is the correct one and the we have the most pure doctrine; I also know that everyone living to follow Christ is just as blessed and benefits by His divine intervention in their lives. He loves all of us, no matter who we are or what we do.

We show Him that we love him by living a life grounded in the traditional principles and values that are taught in many faiths. If you look and study you will find that many of the same doctrines and principles are shared among many faiths. I encourage you to live a life of principles for surely we will be able to stand before God one day and know that we have lived the best life possible.

Be your best self and then you will begin to see the difference between a principled life and an unprincipled one.

iron wil

1) U.S. Public Becoming Less Religious

A Prejudice … Rabbit?

***SPOILER ALERT***

Nick_and_Judy_RenderWhen I watched Zootopia for the first time, something that stood out to me was the predator/prey relationship. Judy’s dad makes s big deal about it when she goes off to join Precinct 1 after graduation by giving her several fox repellents. She declines all but one to placate her father who is worried about her. This initially seems fairly innocuous, until later on in the film. The whole time Judy tries to be open and trusting and at a critical point in the story Nick feels like she has not been trusting of him because he is a fox. There is some misunderstandings with predator animals and Nick takes things personally when Judy flubs a press conference.

Her prejudice about foxes comes out and it hurts Nick’s feelings and he gets pretty upset! What I really liked about this film is that it handles prejudice very well and our main characters learn to look past their hurt feelings and work together to solve the case presented in the movie. For the sake of clarity here is the definition of prejudice.

prejudice n.

  1. a. The act or state of holding unreasonable preconceived judgments or convictions b. An adverse judgment or opinion formed unfairly or without knowledge of the facts
  2. Irrational suspicion or hatred of a particular social group, such as a race or the adherents of a religion.
  3. a. Detriment or harm caused to a person, especially in a legal case b. Preclusionary effect, preventing further pursuit of one’s interests

The awesome thing about this film is how the characters move past their prejudice and become friends! Because we are human, we are subject to prejudice based on our upbringing and life experiences. Sometimes we have them because a kid in our neighborhood beat us up or because grandpa got robbed long before your were born. The benefit of learning to be open about other people is that we can overcome those misgivings and misconceptions. One of the many benefits of growing up Army Brat is you learn about other cultures and societies and even other prejudices and hate.

One that I was very aware of growing up was that Turkish refugees in Germany had a problem with Americans. GI’s were often attacked during fests and other events if the American’s weren’t careful. At the time, I was angry with these young Turkish men that would attack our soldiers and airmen … for reasons I don’t remember anymore. I know that as a young teen, I worried about being on the receiving end of one of those attacks. As I grew older and travel more on my own around the cities we lived in, I grew less worried and less concerned about being attacked. For a long time, I hated Turkish refugees. I moved back to the US, and forgot about this problem our men and women faced. I eventually learned to let it go and not harbor resentment for what happened.

I had a prejudice towards a specific group of people in a specific place. We all have some pejudice, I hope that we can learn to be more open, trusting, and willing to change.

iron wil

Life’s a Dance

This song was popular many years ago when I was a teen. I am not sure where I heard it first … which doesn’t matter really. It is however part of my personal playlist, songs that are attached to personal and poignant times.

The lesson that I take from this song, is that life is learned as one goes along. If we are lucky, we might have someone that acts as a mentor and can help us learn and avoid mistakes. Sometimes that person is a parent, teacher, church leader, or neighbor. He could be a coworker or even a boss. The concept is that if we are willing to be humble and teachable, we can find mentors and enlist them to our cause. I have been able to find mentors that have helped me through tough personal times and that have helped me navigate difficult office politics. My college advisor was also a mentor, he constantly encouraged us (there were 3 of us friends) to reach for high goals, he also encouraged us to start a student organization on our campus. While we left because of another professor, the organization we put in place was strong and thriving when I last checked on it.

I have found mentors in good books and holy scripture, while they couldn’t always speak to me and offer me words of encouragement; I was able to learn from them and overcome personal and professional challenges. The dancing is life, which needs to be negotiated like a dance floor. We should be aware of our surroundings and the “lay of the land”; always “reading” those around us and working to make personal improvements. One of the hardest aspects of changing is that those we are closest to may not understand or accept our metamorphosis. In some instances that means we have to let go of that partner and move on. They may still be part of our lives (especially family) and it doesn’t mean that we have to cast them off; it may mean we have to spend less time with them until they can accept the path that we have chosen.

iron wil