What it costs you to have the courage of your convictions

March 5, 2021

courage-of-your-convictionsI was not gifted with tact.

But I was given the ability to draw inferences. To look ahead and see that If X happens then Y is likely to occur.

I was not gifted with patience.

But I did get a certain dogged (some might call it stupid) endurance. Because it always seems to me that the logic is obvious. And it if isn’t, a simple explanation would turn on the light bulb.

That’s not the way people are, though.

I can accept a lot of things, but this one thing about people I find very difficult.

The cost of having the courage of your convictions came up during a recent discussion with friends about a racist term someone used in a business meeting and how no one said a word, even though most (if not all) were shocked.

Had I been there I would have said something and I probably would have lost my job.

The cost of having the courage of my convictions.

courage-of-your-convictionsThat subject is more relevant today than ever as people all over the country continue to take Covid risks.

I know some in my normal life. I know some online. I read of others on my social media feeds.

Some are simply ignorant. They do not read or hear public health guidelines.

Some are in willful denial.

-Maybe they simply want to do what they want to do and just ignore what we are advised to do by public health officials.

-Maybe they build a (flawed) rationale so they can feel good about stretching or even flaunting the guidelines. This usually involves some combination of “I was tested, “We all wore masks,” and “We were six feet apart.”

Let me say again: Masks are not failsafe. Tests do not mean anything for more than the moment they were taken. Six feet is a political compromise because more than 18 feet, which is safest, is even more unacceptable to people. These are the FACTS. Not my opinion, but facts. Accessible to anyone who reads or listens. Also a fact: risky behavior spreads disease and will prolong covid in our country.

I have been vocal about this when I see people I know acting against public health guidelines. The possible consequences of their behavior are obvious.

You might say, “well, they’ve decided to take the risk.” All well and good if they are base-jumping, free-climbing or swimming with sharks. But not so good during a pandemic, when their risk-taking also puts others at risk.

These are ordinarily decent people. But on this one thing, pandemic behavior, they are unable to see how they are a part of the greater whole. How what they do can impact others. They just want to do what they want to do.

courage-of-your-convictionsMy views are not always welcomed. I know this because some tell me outright. Others avoid telling me some things. And still others avoid me altogether. I am sure some will continue to avoid me after this is over. If it is ever really over. Although I do see light at the end of the tunnel.

That is the cost of having the courage of your convictions and I must accept it, sad as it makes me. The truth makes people uncomfortable.  Holding a mirror up so others can see themselves clearly makes them even more uncomfortable.

But I am not in the business of helping people justify the behavior that puts others at risk.

A friend told me he stopped being the Covid police a while back, after watching good friends continue to act as though life was the same as ever.

But I can’t stop.

Why do you continue to speak up? you might ask.

I speak out because I believe that silence really does equal death today, in a way we never saw coming.

But they aren’t listening, you might respond.

No, many people are dug into their positions. But if one person changes their mind and begins doing the right thing, it is worth the price of speaking my mind.

My husband and I have discussed what we see in our circle. Some behavior is not surprising. Most of it, he thinks, is because these people are self-centered and selfish. They simply want to do what they want to do.

“I can’t think of a time in my life like this time, when a combination of trumpism and covid is showing us so clearly who people are at their core.”

Yes. The good people are obvious. The clueless and selfish people are also obvious.

I take it a step further. I think some people simply refuse to connect their behavior to an impact on others.  They wouldn’t ordinarily hurt a fly, but they won’t see that they are putting so many others at risk. It’s not that they can’t see it, it’s that they won’t.

Referring to people we know, I commented that someone we know would have to lose someone close them before their behavior would change. My husband agreed. Referring to another, I said that they would have to get deathly ill, themselves, for it to have an impact. And it still might not change a thing. After all, they’ve already gotten sick so…  He agreed.

These outcomes are avoidable. But not if you flout the advice of public health officials.

You can run, but you can’t hide forever from the facts.

courage-of-your-convictionsI am not patient. I am not tactful.

But I do care about what happens to me, to my loved ones and to us all.

And I will continue to speak out.

If you are one of those who are fudging the guidelines and have your rationale for doing so, know that I am not the only one who sees that. Many of us see it.

And yes, we do judge. On this thing I am VERY judgey and I am not the only one..

We will never see you in the same way again. We will never trust you in the same way we once did.

I am willing to pay the price for having the courage of my convictions.

But that new view of you? The distrust we now feel? That is the cost of your self-centered behavior.

And you have now paid it.



8 comments on “What it costs you to have the courage of your convictions
  1. I’m with you 100%. I wrote about a bit of this on my post today because I feel gaslighted sometimes and it enrages me. Just last night, I couldn’t believe when I read on our town FB page that a bunch of ppl want to get that bogus religious exemption card just so their kids won’t have to mask up in schools anymore. How insanely selfish? I had to call them out. I don’t care to debate with those people as I’ve realized you really can’t debate with crazy. One thing the pandemic has highlighted even more is how our population is truly divided into those who believe in facts and science, and those who operate on a totally different plane of reality, ergo: insane. It’s exhausting and definitely has cost me my peace of mind, to say the least. Thank you for your post, Carol. Stay safe.

  2. Diane says:

    I absolutely agree with you, Carol. And I am so grateful for people like you who have the courage to speak up. We need you. More now than ever.
    I’ve watched people flaunt the rules and guidelines, all in the name of freedom. And it sickens me. Now is our chance to show our love and support for one another. And we’re (so many of us) failing.
    The town I live in is a ghastly mix of ‘don’t know and don’t care’. But I will continue to follow the rules. I will continue to take the advice of experts.
    At the very least, I hope I can be an example…

  3. Betty Kaufman says:


  4. This time has certainly revealed a lot of people I had thought were sane. Even some who I always thought were nice. Luckily, the people I surround myself with are not that way except for a couple of relatives. Selfish is the best definition for those people.

  5. Jennifer says:

    Imagine what it’s like living in Florida with a science-denying governor who forbade counties or cities from setting their own mask mandates. Except for that first month, there’s never been a shut-down here, it’s almost as if we’re living in our own separate world. Thank god our local businesses have more sense than him. Disney and Universal want to make money, but they also want their employees and customers to be safe. They take their mask mandates seriously and have banned, for life, people who try to break that rule. I can’t even believe how many people are willing to pay that much money for a ticket, wear a mask to get in, and then take it off in the park and refuse to put it on when a cast member tells them to. There is no asking at Disney, either put it on or risk being surrounded by security and escorted off property forever. It should be that way everywhere. Sadly, it’s not.

  6. Abbas says:

    Most of us, as children, got a smallpox vaccine. I am close to 100% certain that I will not contract smallpox from anyone who may have contracted it. That’s because I believe the smallpox vaccine works.

    If a person truly believes that the COVID-19 vaccines work, they will take the shot and live their life worry-free of contracting COVID-19 from anyone who might have contracted COVID-19, just as they do for smallpox.

    But to insist, perhaps hysterically, that others take the shot, not so much to protect themselves, but to protect you, even though you are inoculated, betrays your belief that the shot really does not work.

    No one is telling people not to take the shot. Take the shot and protect yourself. If others refuse to take it, that’s on them. They can’t hurt you because you’re protected.

    • Actually the shot does not prevent all cases just as the flu shot does not prevent all cases. This is a big misunderstanding about how vaccines work. The vax means if you do get it you will get a lesser version. From John Hopkins: “in general, most vaccines do not completely prevent infection but do prevent the infection from spreading within the body and from causing disease.Many vaccines can also prevent transmission, potentially leading to herd protection whereby unvaccinated people are protected from infection by the vaccinated people around them because they have less chance of exposure to the virus”

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