Dad was in the Marines - strong, firm, tough. As a teenager, we locked horns more than once! But I grew to love and admire him as I "grew up". One of the things he always told me was "Never do it just because someone else does it!"
Now, as an adult, I think 2 things about that statement.
1. It was a great way to save money! I couldn't go to the movies just because everyone else did. I couldn't go roller skating. It was just a great way to save money! We had very little money, so rather than just telling me "no", he made me give him a valid reason why I wanted to do something....and it couldn't be simply because everyone else was doing it.
But of course, he did have FOUR teenage daughters under one roof and he needed to save money!!!
2. It was his way of making an individual out of me. Why did I want to go to the movies? Was it "just because" my friends were going. Was it an "important" movie that I could learn something from? And what was the purpose of roller skating? LOL!!!
He was an incredibly smart man in so many ways. And he truly taught me that it is ok to be different. To seek the truth. To speak out. To have a voice.....but at the same time, to not run with the "crowd". To have a purpose in whatever I do. "Don't do it just because everyone else does."
In my art - that has been a true guiding force. I could sit here and create art just like everyone else does. I could mimic the current trends in design. But that little voice in the back of my head keeps saying to me, "Don't do it just because everyone else does." and that forces me to constantly think outside the box!
In my political beliefts - that little voice forces me to research almost every issue. I may not be for McCain/Palin, but you certainly know that I am against Obama and you know precisely why. That's not being extremist, it's being knowledgeable. Can you state explicitely why you are voting your ticket.....or are you doing it because "everyone else does?"
In my religious beliefs - that same voice is what forces me to study the Greek and Hebrew text, to continue to ask why we celebrate pagan holidays, why we believe the way we do. Is it just because a preacher said to do it? Is it because everyone else dresses up for Halloween? Why do we attend church when Jesus went to a synagogue? Why do we go on Sunday when He said to keep the Sabbath holy? Why don't we keep Passover when He said we should? Can you truly state why you believe what you believe or are you just doing what you have always done, what you grew up doing?
2 Timothy 1:12
"... nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed,
and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed
unto him against that day."
From a "Consistent New Testament" where hyphenated words represent one single Greek word:
"BUT I-am not being-ashamed, for I-am-knowing-absolutely in-whom I-have-trusted-and-still-trust, and I-have-been-and-am-still-persuaded that he-is powerful to-guard my deposit with-reference-to-that day."
Do you see the difference in those translations? To me, there is a huge difference between "I know" and "I-am-knowing-absolutely". That last one is final. There is no question. There is no room for doubt. It is a much more emphatic statement.
"whom I have believed" - that's past tense
"in-whom I-have-trusted-and-still-trust" this is past, present and implies future as well.
And why did they change "trust" to "believe"?
Not the same word! (hint - when the words are colored, click on the word to go to the link for more discussion!)
And dad knew how to play, how to joke, how to have fun!!!
I don't seek the middle of the road. What virtue is there in that? And I "don't do it just because everyone else does," I write and do things because I have very firm, solid beliefs, values and ideas. Because I have a passion about what I believe. What fun would there be in creating and designing if I were just seeking to stay in the middle of the lane?
What good is your life if you are not passionate about something?