The Price of Principle

By U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Kenna Jackson [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Kenna Jackson [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Letting your mind be “occupied” means you consider the principle at play in most interactions you have in life. From the grocery clerk to the solicitor at the door, you must pause and ask yourself, “How does this align with the tenants and values of the Occupy movement?”

We operate our lives much like our vehicles. We have an assumed trust that the oncoming car will not cross the center line and enter our lane. We assume everyone will stop at a four-way stop, and that motorists will not go down a one-way street the wrong direction. By following the basic rules, we arrive at our destinations safely. It is a grand bargain that works for everyone on the road.

Sometimes there is a collision. Like the scene of any bad accident, you realize that every witness sees things differently. Even if the other driver was impaired, it does not change the fact that the “rules” were not followed and someone pays. Maybe it is as serious as the loss of life, maybe it is simply increased insurance premiums. But someone pays.

So it is when we find things that we may hold very dear to us but, for whatever reason, they no longer align with the tenants and values of the Occupy Movement, nor in the thinking of an “occupied mind.” This is when you pause and say “I must make a choice. What means more, this “thing” or the principles I value and the voice I have chosen? Will making a stand make a difference, and does it matter if I try, or can I just let this one go?”

One of the firmest stands I have made in my life is the solidarity I take with domestic violence and rape survivors. Unwavering in my commitment to educate those who live in ignorance of the cultures in our society that perpetuate these issues and generate more victims, I can not make exception even if I want to.

When I met my husband, he had been participating in a hobby/craft for decades. His involvement introduced me to a new world, where I made many friends and enjoyed myself immensely. It became the center of our social life and allowed us time with other couples with like interests.


Until we learned that one of the “members” of the group we were not as close to was a convicted felon who had beat the face of his then-wife in with the butt of a gun. He is serving his “extended supervision” portion of his sentence by violating the terms of the court every chance he gets in order to participate in the activities as though every thing is as acceptable as a speeding ticket. When he is arrested for his infractions, he blames his now ex-wife for reporting him, not recognizing it was his choice to violate the terms of his sentence in the first place.

As a result, I have felt forced to withdraw my participation and isolate myself from the group of friends I truly enjoy, all in order to first; teach them that this convicted felon’s behavior is not acceptable, and secondly, to prevent the PTSD and panic disorders triggered by this particular individuals’ actions from occurring. My husband is still considering if he can continue participation much longer.

Is this what I wanted? NO. Did I have a choice? NO.

But when when your principles means more than the things in life that humor you, it is worth the stand. When I know I affected at least one life with my decision, it is the start of change.

What change are you willing to stand up to make?

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