There’s No Popularity on That Soapbox

10 December, 2015

What does it really mean to stand for your values? It’s so easy to ‘speak’ about our ethics, another feat altogether to act in congruence with them, especially if this means that wholesale changes to our lifestyle might be necessary. And becoming

What does it really mean to stand for your values? It’s so easy to ‘speak’ about our ethics, another feat altogether to act in congruence with them, especially if this means that wholesale changes to our lifestyle might be necessary. And becoming vegetarian is a definite lifestyle change, as I found out recently. 

On the other hand, it’s pretty easy to make excuses for occasional lapses, or justify a slight tweak for convenience sake. Although I’m relatively new at this, I’ve already found myself wavering several times. Yet, if I’m only staying true to my ethics when it’s convenient, what is the point? Either I’m invested in my own choices, or I’m not. The point isn’t to pretend – that’s what I’ve been doing all along, if I haven’t been congruent with my own internal ethics. 

Staying true to my convictions can also cause some relationship difficulties, as I’ve discovered. Many people really don’t want to hear the ‘why.’ I can see their faces glaze over when I try to explain. They also don’t want to be inconvenienced themselves by a friend or family member that now has ‘special’ considerations. I get that – gosh, I have felt that myself in the past. 

At the same time, I’ve found myself wanting to explain. I’ve tried not to stand on a soap box about it, but if someone asks, then I’ll tell them. After all, that’s how we change the world, right? Wrong! That’s how we end up not getting invited to dinner parties anymore. Okay. I’ll silently trudge along my chosen path then, and bring my own grub to the party. After all, this is a choice I am making, in order to stay true to my own ethics. 

As another life lesson, what I have learned is this: following my own code of ethics may not be easy, and certainly isn’t making me the most popular person in my community, but it sure feels good nonetheless. One less inner battle, because I know exactly what I am going to do at every meal, and, I’m clear about why. 
Shawn Johnson 

Written by:  Shawn Johnson
Shawn Johnson