From Martha Beck, author
(I have learned that it is proper to give credit for a quote at the beginning rather than at the end; I have been giving credit after the quote - thanks for calling this to my attention Deb Willbefree).
Because I live in Arizona, I spend lots of time with folks who've spent decades in the desert sun. Many have exquisitely youthful faces, attached to chests that look like dehydrated crocodiles. It's not the sun damage that bothers me (though that is a health hazard). It's the difference between the patches of skin the owner finds important and those dermal areas he or she clearly ignores.
The importance of complete coverage extends far beyond cosmetic issues. We all tend to focus on things we deem important while ignoring related items. One of my clients complained that she wasn't losing weight despite following her diet perfectly at every meal. She cheated only by consuming four candy bars as snacks. Another client once said, "I'm a very honest person; I lie only when necessary." Psychologically speaking, this person had the face of a teenager and the chest of a dragon. Uneven application pervaded her life.
Sunscreen and values should be applied uniformly. If you believe in kindness, slather it on the janitor as well as the CEO. If you wouldn't excuse yourself for inflicting cruelty on another person, don't make excuses for other people who are mean to you. I remind myself daily that it's never too late to apply a protective layer of integrity to parts of my life I've ignored.
Are there universal truths? What is your philosophy of life? Have you ever thought about your guiding principles?
I have read and studied universal truths a little bit. A universal truth is something that is true no matter the culture, the religion, the historical spot - like telling the truth. Telling the truth is universally accepted as the best choice. Murder is not acceptable. This can be a tough subject because we get into abortion, capital punishment, and war. I don't think it's tough but many do - the concept of innocent life being taken is a consideration. Killing is different from murder. The way we treat the elderly, the infirm, the weak among us - we get into human dignity and human rights considerations.
Integrity. Can you think of someone who is the definition of this word? How do we raise our youth so they have this quality?
The two weight loss patients - one with the four candy bars a day for snacks and the one who only lied when necessary - necessary why? It's hard to imagine someone on a weight loss plan who thinks 4 candy bars would fit in - she followed her weight loss plan perfectly at every meal so therefore she had done it right. Ignoring related items - we compartmentalize I guess. We stick to our plan through the week and then the weekend shouldn't count. We keep trying to sneak in some off-plan eating only to find out once again that it doesn't work that way. I have known people who take perfect care of the neck up - the hair is perfect, the make-up, the jewelry but the rest has not been given near the care. The acrylic nails are beautiful. What is put on the body is more important than what is put in the body. I am guilty of even worse - I have often gone to the store and prayed I didn't run into anybody I knew because I looked so bad - no make-up, bed head, sweats. The self-respect just wasn't there.
My philosophy of life is that I want the world to be a better place because I was in it for a time. What's yours?