Something occurred to me today, and while this post won't necessarily be directly photography related, it is something that's on my mind. The question that occurred to me is what makes us who and what we are. I've seen studies that say that we are the product of our 7 closest friends.
I think it's more than that though. I think that at our core, we are who we are and it takes a lot to change that. At my other, call center, job I was second in line to get a call as we were nearing the end of the night. My boss told me to switch my status if I wanted to as I had already had a rough night and was looking forward to getting off work. Switching my status would have prevented me from getting a call. I told her I wouldn't. If I did that, then what happens? The guy behind me gets the call. I wouldn't do that to him. I told her that General Order #5 is To quit my post only when properly relieved. Granted it may not be a duty post, haven't stood that in 10 years, but it's still intrinsic. It's still part of who I am. If it's my duty to take that next call then so be it.
That's what prompted me to write this post. No matter how crappy my day was, no matter that it was only two minutes before quitting time anyway, I physically could not lie like that. And that's what it would have been...a lie. A lie to myself and a lie on the time card. And even if it weren't an outright lie, it simply wouldn't have been honest.
It got me looking at some of the influences in my life, and I realized that every person I idolized or character that I was fond of growing up and into adulthood each had their own set of rules. Growing up I idolized Superman. You can't get much moral than that for a small kid. I remember watching Christopher Reeve growing up...and the image of him talking to Lois Lane and saying that he never lies being still firmly implanted into my head.
Then there was the Marine Corps. While I can't tell you I idolized any particular Marine, there is definitely the Marine ideal. What the Marine should be. Honor, Courage, and Commitment. I've often heard it said that self-discipline and honor are what one does when no one else is looking. If we can't hold ourselves accountable, we can't expect someone else to hold us accountable.
Even the movies I've enjoyed where the "hero" is on the wrong side of the law more often than not, they still follow some internal guideline. Rules of right and wrong that are unbreakable. From Leon in the Professional, to Jason Statham's Frank Martin in the Transporter series. They both had their own rules and guidelines. Even Dexter lives by a strict moral code imposed on him by his foster father, Harry.
Even in books my favorite characters tend to be intrinsically motivated. My favorite book series, Anne Bishop's "The Black Jewels" series is a perfect example. Even the most powerful people in their society still adhere to their own code of honor and justice. It's often said throughout the series, "Everything has a price."
Given all of these, I've often thought that who and what we are is an amalgamation of what we take in. Our friendships, our favorite characters, our favorite movies, etc. I've certainly held myself to my own measuring stick. One thing I've noticed...I never reach the top of that stick. There's always room for improvement, and there's always room to be better.
That's what I strive for everyday, and in all aspects of my life. To be a better businessman, a better consultant, a better photographer, and a better father. A better person.
That's all for this week. Like I said, this one wasn't directly photography related, but then not all my posts are. See you all next week.
Keywords: Business, Characters, Commitment, Courage, Fiber, Fiction, Honor, Life, Marine Corps, Morality, Morals, Rules, Self-Discipline
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