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Taking a stand

Taking a stand involves committing to a point of view or a course of action and sticking to it in the face of external influence / pressure. It isn't always easy to do as we encounter several forms of external influence and pressure that tries to derail this commitment, ranging from changing circumstances to guilt-tripping and manipulative coercion.

While we would expect to stand strong under some of these influences, we would also expect to change under some of these influences, for example, when faced with new evidence that prompts a different point of view.

This is where the oft-quoted principle of "Strong opinions weakly held" comes into play.

When the stand we've taken is rooted in our core principles, it is easier to ward off external pressure as there is low dissonance.

This is why people of religious faith (any religion) find it easy to make certain decisions. They just revert back to their faith to guide them. Similarly, people who believe in equal rights for all make their decisions from that core principle.

All religions are fiction. As are all humanitarian values like equality for all, freedom of choice, etc. There is no objective truth to them except that a majority of us wish to follow them and believe in them.

Our principles doesn't even have to be in a majority. We just need to really believe in them in order to base our decisions on them.

The stronger our faith, the easier we find it to stick to the stand we have taken. This is the 'strong opinions' part.

However, the 'weakly held' part is equally important as it ensures we are open to new information and new discoveries that can lead us to change our strongly held principles.

I've caved under external pressure and changed my decisions many a time. But what has increasingly helped me to not do that is to strengthen my core principles that I believe in.

What are your core principles?

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