Often as I prepared articles and try to express what I believe, I am forced to ask myself this question: Do my thoughts and actions reflect what I am writing here? Am I trying to convince myself as much as someone else? Sadly, I have to admit often that my life is not very consistent with my stated beliefs. Maybe I am not alone in this regard.
In our society we place great emphasis on consistency, especially from those who propose to lead or teach us. I am certainly no leader; and, though writers may be thought of as teachers, I prefer to think of myself as a sharer of personal experiences. Those experiences just happen to include conflicting emotions and still developing thoughts and convictions.
Human intercourse (conversational not sexual) is an interesting and exciting exercise. Through it we can learn much and grow far beyond what we could do in isolation. Real intercourse of this type requires a certain candidness and a great deal more skill in listening than most of us possess, I fear. I am certainly better at expressing myself than at sifting through your expressions of self and attempting to truly understand you. Candidness is a fragile aspect of any relationship. It cannot exist if we use consistency as a “gotcha” instead of as an encouragement to re-evaluate and grow.
Is total consistency the virtue that we seem to think? If my life is in various ways inconsistent with what I say, is that a sign of weakness and deceit, necessarily? Maybe I am just looking for a way to excuse my own shortcomings; but, perhaps, inconsistency is a sign of continued searching, testing, and growing. Could it be that just recognizing the inconsistencies in our lives is a good sign, a first step perhaps in at last internalizing what we say we see and believe to be true? As a self confessed “inconsistent”, I hope so.