It is easier to fight for one’s principles than to live up to them.

Alfred Adler

People seem to forget this all the time. Most think that they will consistently stick to whatever they believe is right. This is, up to one point, true – it’s easy to stick to principles when they are not being tested. However, when life becomes complicated and throws you something unexpected which is, in a way, a test of how much you really believe in your principles, most people give in to the pressure – here in Serbia, for instance, we all know stories of cops trying to bribe a driver who passed the red light (instead of writing a big fine, he takes a smaller amount and doesn’t write the ticket), and we wail about the corruption of the police. But I know of an equal number of stories of drivers who initiate the bribe themselves, so as not to pay the larger fine. We complain about corruption, but when it’s our ass on the line, we often try to wiggle out of responsibility.

Of course, it’s never so black and white. There are some very gray situations, some laws are plain ridiculous… I’ll give a few examples, from student politics, in a future post. But still, I think that the overall picture would improve a lot if people decided where to draw the line and, no matter where that line is, stick to not crossing it.

If sticking to principles was easy, everyone would be doing it. Sticking to principles is hard.

2 Comments to “principles”

  1. I’d like to read more of your little anecdotes about life in Serbia. As an Australian, it’s pretty hard to relate, but interesting nonetheless. Thanks.

  2. Whenever possible I’ll try to prove my points through examples and anecdotes from my personal experience, so you’ll definitely see more stuff from here. It’s also very interesting for me to see how people from other countries relate to these experiences. Underneath it all I think most things are universal, but at the same time we do have some quite… specific situations (e.g. as I mentioned in a previous post, a member of the largest opposition party gave a speech during a session of the Government in which she cursed our president, black-magic style: “Let his seed run dry, may the sun never warm him, let him await God’s punishment.” I kid you not.)

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