In the “Inside the pledge” series of posts, we further dive into the themes and sections of the Live Sincerely Pledge. We invite you to explore in your own way any specific topic that touches you – leave us a comment here, post your thoughts on your own blog, write in a journal, make an art piece, whatever inspires you to reflect!
You may notice that the pledge has a lot of 2-line sentences! This not only makes for a nice poetic sound when read, but also demonstrates a key element we wanted the pledge to incorporate: balance. The best parts of life are discovered when we find just the right balance: accepting our nature while challenging ourselves to reach outside our comfort zone, or finding the elusive place between independence and dependence. Life isn’t black or white, and even if it could be, who would want that, because you’d miss all the messy, muddy grays in the middle – and those are what make life so beautiful. By reducing the contrast, you develop the ability to see the nuances between shades of gray. (Oh, geesh, now that particular phrase is ruined, isn’t it!)
One of the easiest ways to find one of your own areas of opportunity is to examine yourself for where you swing most wildly… where are you most out of balance? What is your biggest hangup you can’t get out of your head, and have totally allowed to carry more weight in your life than its actual significance? Or, there may be that one, positive healthy thing you spend a lot of time and energy on and it’s all good… but is there a flip side to it that you aren’t exploring in the process? How can you expand yourself to grow in something complementary or even very different?
Another theme of the pledge is the duality of life. Here’s the thing… some stuff just sucks. No point in sugarcoating it, and denying it doesn’t make it any easier. Life is not fair, and bad things do happen to good people. Some people are mean. Life is difficult, confusing and painful. This is the side of things that is usually easiest to see, ha!
However, if we get too focused on those negatives, we will not see, notice, appreciate and enjoy the flipside of that coin… that some people are good, and some people are downright amazing. Sometimes you are on the right side of luck. Sometimes good, even GREAT things happen to good people who really deserve them. Sometimes we get MORE than we deserve. Life is filled with beauty and choices and relationships and opportunities.
Something you may notice is absent from the pledge is any element of faith or religion. If your life and belief system contains a faith or religious view, I bet you read the pledge and see it there, even though it’s not specifically mentioned. You might say the pledge as a prayer, or utilize your faith community for support and encouragement. However, we did not include any sort of faith in the pledge explicitly, as we believe anyone of a non-conventional faith or who is an atheist can absolutely live sincerely in exactly the same ways as someone with any traditional religious belief.
It’s important that we not assume everyone else is just like us (“us” being our individual self, our family, our local peers), and not judge others for their personal beliefs. Wherever we draw inspiration from, whatever gives us hope, whatever we have “faith” in (be it science or humanity or nature or a religion) can be a source of power for us on our individual journey. The pledge is inclusive of everyone and anyone, and we all can live sincerely within how we each live, what we believe, what we think. Let’s commit to supporting each other without imposing our own opinions, and looking for ways we can learn from our differences, as well.