05 September 2006

The TRUEist Things...

The Trueist things... I've ever heard
(in no particular order)

1. A Sound Mind in a Sound Body

2. Moderation in all things

3. The Golden Rule

4. The Love of Learning

5. To Thine Own Self Be True

6. B.A.L.A.N.C.E. is Number ONE

7. The best Teacher is EXAMPLE

8. SILENCE does NOT equal CONSENT.

Irony of Ironies, the concept of a "sound mind in a sound body" can be traced back to a Roman poet whose name is synonymous with childish behaviour. Juvenal's actual quote advocates prayer, which also has a far different meaning than the concept. But four decades of battle between living and existing, or not, has taught me that the truth of the concept is far more relevant than it's origins, especially in combination with the other truths.

Moderation. Like the others, the more thought that is applied to it, the more it becomes useful in action. The more it is used in action, the more true it becomes. And the circle is completed for a tool that maximizes the living of life by minimizing the number and the consequences of mistakes.

"Do Unto Others as You would have Them Do Unto You". The more you imagine what the world would be like if more people applied this rule, let alone if everyone did, the more you realize the vast difference between the way things are and the way things should be. A most damning indictment of the human race.

The greatest gift one person can give to another is the lifelong love of Learning. Without which, one's intellectual and emotional growth will be as stunted as one's physical growth would be without food.

Ultimately, what matters most is what you think of yourself. The sum of those thoughts, at any given moment, determine one's actions and greatly influences the perceptions of others who are affected by those actions, thus determining their reactions. I believe that is what Shakespeare was trying to tell us so many centuries ago, but the translation has been warped into a caricature of selfishness by emphasizing the extremes of the phrase "To Thine Own Self Be True", devoid of a developed sense of morals and conscience. Another example of the damage possible when Moderation is not diligently applied.

I argue that the single most important word or concept, in any language, is BALANCE. A more "extreme" version of "Moderation" perhaps, but the fact is that some extremism is an unavoidable and often necessary part of life, and it functions best when offset by other extremes, thus they are BALANCED.

"EXPERIENCE" is said to be the best teacher, but I believe it is second to EXAMPLE. For the power of experiences to instruct and educate is multiplied many fold when combined with the memory of an example. EXAMPLE could well be defined as "others previous experience". This applies to nations as much or more than to individuals. And it is a Truth that is all too often easily dismissed by both.

"You Have the Right to Remain SILENT". And by doing so you do not give your CONSENT to anything. The only person who can incarcerate your mind is yourself.

And there you have it, the best advice I can give. A rough and rudimentary lesson at best. For those who may wish to more effectively incorporate these truths into themselves, find, read, and memorize Rudyard Kipling's poem "IF". And 'if' you apply the lessons learned, you will soon find yourself marching in the front rank of humanity's tenuous attempt at "civilization".