“I meant what I said and I said what I meant.”
Dr Seuss, Horton Hatches the Egg
People say all sorts of things, don’t they? And often, when they say them, we hear all sorts of OTHER things, don’t we? Take fidelity for example:
We place a high value on faithfulness in a relationship, but many couples assume this to be a shared core value without actually checking that they both agree what it means, and confirming that they have a shared interpretation of.
Big idea One is:
Check that shared values really are shared. Do you both understand the same thing by the words you use?
We (I mean our species, not you or me), tend to be loose and liberal when it comes to promises of loyalty and faithfulness. We can change our minds at the drop of a hat, and once we have done that we’ll re-write an entire story to support the change of heart (“Yes, I know I said I loved you, but that was then, before I found out what you are really like.”)
Big idea Two is:
We are all capable of re-writing history when it suits us. It’s easier to do that than it is to question our own sincerity.
I’m not a total cynic, but think about it, we kid ourselves all the time. We mean what we say when we say it, but things change and so do our opinions.
For example, we spend a lot of time judging others – especially those with a high profile or high office – implying that we wouldn’t fall into the traps that have snared them.
INfidelity is a popular game; if you believe the statistics one in two of the people you know are or have been at it. Once thought to have been a predominantly male pastime, the latest figures show that women are equal partners…
Fidelity was one of the top search terms that led people to my blog. That’s odd, because I don’t talk (or write) much on the topic. Come to think of it, I guess that people only talk about fidelity (or faithfulness), is when it is in question. As a long-time-ago-friend of mine used to say “If you have to talk about it, it’s already too late”.
Big idea Three is:
Whether we are talking about being faithful to a person or an idea, it starts with being true (and faithful) to oneself. This is a tough one because we have a limitless capacity for self-delusion, and when it comes to our conniving minds, we can easily convince ourselves that what we said one day, is of no value the next.
“It’s easy to be faithful when you want to be, the real value is in being faithful when you don’t want to be.” I made that up, somebody else should have.