In three days I’ll be off. Not on my big trip, but to a little piece of paradise I have never explored before. Its soil hosts olive trees and its blistering heat is accompanied by legends and mysteries. It is a habitat in which philosophers breed naturally and financial crashes occur occasionally. Yup, I’m off to Greece. “Good for you”, you might rightly think. But – and you probably also guessed this right – there is a ‘but’.
I’m going there by airplane.
Right, so much for my credibility (if I ever had it anyway). Yet, this little trip I am about to make now is not my own. It was gifted to me by my beloved godmother as a ridiculously generous birthday and New Year’s present. Exactly this brings me to the topic of principles and when to hold on to them, or when to push them to a dark corner of your mind. Is it ever appropriate to reject (such) a gift?
I’m definitely a whimp when it comes to “thanks, but no thanks”. Moreover, certain people can make me bend all of my rigorous rules. They make me drop my vegan pride, and eat things I would never eat otherwise (like tomato soup-with-meatballs-without-the-meatballs or goat cheese, but only once and it was from goats which were treated nicely and fed homegrown non-human-food and I didn’t even particularly like it) or make me do things I would preferrably avoid doing (like flying an airplane to Greece). And I will ignore the shredding screams of horror in my head, smile and try to generate a true sense of thankfulness. And honestly, today I am very thankful to get the opportunity to visit this wonderful country I have never been to before, in the company of people that I love deeply (knowing that the rest of the holiday we’ll be sailing, and living on nothing but wind energy might help a tiny bit though).
A little while ago I had a good laugh with a quote I read in a magazine: “Principles are like farts. If you cannot hold on to them, you have to let them go unnoticed.”
But every once in a while, releasing the pressure with a good solid bang can be just that little bit more satifying.