Motivation Through Quotation: Styles, Currents, Principles, and Rocks
By, Donna M. Monnig
Another quote that I find very important was said by Thomas Jefferson: “In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.”
Styles (clothing styles, lifestyles, hair styles, vehicular styles, etc.) come and go, much like the current in a river, one flowing by right after the other. Not only is it easier to swim with the current, but it’s more socially acceptable. And unless the newest styles are particularly extreme or immoral, then it probably doesn’t matter all that much if you do swim with the current. That’s not to say you shouldn’t be your own person and think for yourself, if you still like something that isn’t as popular as it once was there’s no reason not to stay with it. As the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
What Jefferson most likely meant, is that in matters of style it doesn’t really matter what you do because styles, of whatever sort, come and go. But your principles are what define who you are, a person should be solid and resolute in what they believe and stand like a rock to defend those beliefs. The saying reminds me of a line from one of Aaron Tippin’s songs that says, “You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.”
It’s so easy to just go along with whatever everybody else is doing, and in matters of style that’s usually fine, but when it comes to important things, like honesty, integrity, morality, right and wrong, life and death, even where you stand on politics, religion, etcetera, you should stand for what you believe. And if you don’t know what you believe than it’s probably high time to decide.
In conclusion, I’ll leave you with a little rhyme of mine.
Stand Like A Stone
It doesn’t really matter when it comes to style,
Such things always change after a while.
But when it comes to principles you must have your own,
So, be solid as a rock and stand like a stone.
And yes you could say, “Practice what you preach.”
Now that I’ve given you my little speech.
I’m far from perfect you know that much is true,
So how about, “Do as I say and not as I do.” ?
©Donna M. Monnig
[Note: This was originally posted here in 2011 but has been removed and re-posted for technical reasons.]