Principles vs. Popularity
Principle: a rule or code of conduct (according to Merriam-Webster)
Popular: commonly liked or approved (according to Merriam-Webster)
Two interesting little definitions that appear to have nothing to do with one another. Yet they do. They have a lot to do with one another sadly.
How so, you ask? Here are some examples:
Tim goes to a rally in support of pro-choice for women considering abortion. He strongly believes that women should have that choice. He finds himself face to face with friends of his who are against pro-choice but stands his ground. Later, after the rally is over, when faced with his friends, he laughs off the whole thing and dismisses it. He does not want his friends to dislike or tease him for standing up for something that they do not support.
Amy contacts small groups of her friends to gain assistance with a problem a friend of hers is having. Her friend is being discriminated against because of the color of her skin. Amy feels that no one has the right to discriminate against another person and feels righteous in her cause. Later, an organization is created to promote awareness of the same issue and to help people understand it better and she is asked to join. She is afraid of what everyone in her community will think of her if she is that vocal about the issue. She lives in a community that is very discriminatory and is afraid the majority will turn on her.
I see this a lot in our community as well, more so than I would like to admit. I know a lot of people that have forsaken their principles to ensure that they remain popular, online and off. And, in a community where some very bad "norms" have developed, especially online, I find it sad that there are not more people willing to stand up for their principles. I find it sad that being "popular" is more important than doing what they know is right.
Where will this kind of hypocritical behavior leave our community? That is a question I cannot help but ask myself. If our community is too chicken shit to stand up for what they believe in and would rather hide than face the chance that others will not like them ... what will become of us? How can we fight for our rights within the larger society if we are too afraid to stand up to each other?
Is being popular that important? If it is, we will never see past where we are now. We will never get past all the fantasy bullshit and misinformation. We will never be able to look at ourselves in the mirror without any doubts. We will never be able to respect ourselves. We will never be able to live as we say we want ... with honor and integrity. You cannot have honor and integrity without principles.
Being popular is unrewarding and without substance if it is built on the betrayal of our own principles. If it betrays everything we know is right and good, what good is it to us? A shallow feeling of acceptance?
If that is the case, we may all as well pretend plain ole vanilla sex is all we need to satisfy us too.
Copyright © 2002 Rogue. All Rights Reserved.