A principle is a principle even when it’s inconvenient.
The fact that it’s that inconvenient, a pain, arbitrary, and applies universally (including yourself) is what makes it a principle instead of just a rationalization of your own biases.
Sometimes, while describing my own principles, I’ve been accused just trying to make myself look good.
Which is kind of funny.
First that means they’re clearly not of aware of the times – the many, many many times – that I’ve screwed up my own principles and failed to live up to the person that I think I should be.
Second, I mean it when I say that principles are universal and apply to me as much as they apply to other people.
That means that if someone else’s behavior violates a principle that I’m espousing and my behavior exemplifies the positive… that’s not an accident, but neither is it an attempt to paint myself with the “good” brush. That’s simply an example of me succeeding at living up to the principles that I hold.
Believe me – there’s plenty of times that I don’t.
And that’s true of everyone. We all fail to live up to our own ideals at least some of the time.
The question is – do we actually work to live up to our ideals, or do we just espouse them when it’s convenient?