I heard this golden quote in a movie not to long ago:
“If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.”
It’s a lovely sentence that sounds just right; but, is it true?
I have being always suspicious about golden rules, especially when they sound just right. A right sounding golden rule is difficult to question. Nobody wants to find out if it’s wrong because is like destroying a beautiful artwork.
It sounds so right, they say, that it has to be right. And we prefer to put our faith in golden rules and not questioning them.
This quote in particular implies that it is better to blindly stand for any belief, even if not truly convenient, than falling for something we don’t know. Why is it better? It looks to me that it really depends on the qualities of the belief and the alternative anything.
There might be some cases in which standing for anything could have worked. For instance: a drug addict who might have not fall into drugs had he find a strong belief in some kind of principles. This may happen but, in my experience, solid principles supporters will be also tempted by a wide variety of drugs. Some will be able to escape from them but many will fall.
You may not agree with me on this but, isn’t it possible to stand for a belief so wrong (like some fanatics too often do) that it would be preferable to fall for anything else?
Moreover, is really that easy for a non supporter to fall for anything? I believe that you shouldn’t fall for anything if you stand on your own feet.
Or maybe you could still fall for anything but it would have been your own choice, and you shouldn’t be too afraid of taking the wrong choices. Some of those bad decisions may become your greatest learning experiences.
There is something in that quote worth considering, though. Being focused in something you really want to achieve might help you to avoid falling into distractions –being focus means avoiding distractions-, but it is not quite the same.
Being focused and standing for something are different. You can be focused as a result of a genuine interest in learning something while standing for something may often stand on your way of learning.
I am not saying that standing for something you really believe in is a bad thing. I know there are some times in our lives when we have to take strong stands, but I also know that those moments in life are sparse and tent to arrive rather seasonally.
You might be thinking about Viktor Frankl’s insight about having a purpose in your live. I can only show respect and total agreement with his book, his life and his idea and I totally recommend it if you are passing by an extreme life-threatening experience (like in a concentration camp), but not if you explore.
Whenever you decide to explore anything, you must get rid of any kind of preconceived idea (good or wrong) or the exploration ends.
What I am saying is: while not in those crucial stand taking moments, make good use of your time: stand on your own feet; keep your eyes open, think for yourself; question everything; learn to learn; explore…