| by Sue Caplan

The Credo: What's yours?

This morning, during my habitual routine of scanning Facebook while imbibing loads of hot coffee and rubbing night cobwebs from my eyes, I spotted Danielle's (Bosslady’s) post on Outlaw Soaps asking Outlaws for their personal Credo. Credo.

My Boss uses good words. Credo comes straight from the Latin word, meaning “I Believe,” I don’t have a personal Credo, but maybe I want to get me one of those!

She wrote hers first, to get the ball rolling. “Respect your efforts, respect yourself. Self-respect leads to self-discipline. When you have both firmly under your belt, that’s real power.” – Clint Eastwood

That was pretty cool. I liked that. I scrolled down to see what y’all wrote. It was some awesome stuff. Jeff Underwood wrote: “’Don’t let your horseshoes point down - never put a blade in the ground - always look a man right square in the eye - don’t let the good life pass you by.’ - Charlie Starr.”

Now we’re cookin’ - That’s some good stuff right there! Then, Joshua Huston wrote “’Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.’ – Jean-Paul Sartre”

Michael Boj Florido wrote: “Every waking morning I realize I have to make a choice: start it good or start it bad. Nobody else dictates how the day goes but me. If I can practice this for the rest of the day then I know I can’t blame anyone else about it. Full accountability for how I’ve lived be end-of-day. I control how my day goes. Period.”

Yep! I’m on board with all of this. I’m starting to feel the blood coursing through my veins, I’m about to seize the day, I’ve got free will, I’m in control and I’m accountable, and I’m ready for this glorious freakin day!

Kevin Peace says “When a man’s handshake is his word! I still live by this; but it’s about long gone!”

Feel the theme yet? Well, first off, I have to say I’m blown away that a little soap company gets this kinda conversation going at seven in the morning. Second, I catch the thread running through all of these posts: self-reliance, accountability, integrity. This is real badassery!

I started to wordsmith my own credo as I drove to work.

What do I believe?

I liked all that stuff I read: I believe in accountability, in doing one’s best, in making responsible choices. I really, really believe in that. I read those words and felt inspired and energized. We are responsible for our actions, so make smart choices with your life. And your word is your bond -- that one is iron clad.

Yeah, but I’m also a tie-dyed wearing peacenik, you know, “You may say I’m a Dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” Love conquers hate. When in doubt, choose kindness. Practice random acts of kindness. Visualize world peace. These were the kinds of bumper stickers you’d find on my car. (Oh and, “I only shower with Outlaws,” of course)

Further down the Facebook page, things started to devolve just a little bit (as they’re wont to do on Facebook). One guy wrote: “G-d Hates Cowards. Blood makes the grass grow” That fella had too much coffee this morning! Maybe in response, or maybe just coincidentally, the next one connoted a softer view: “Protect those whose can’t protect themselves” Maybe the guy getting blood all over G-d’s carpeting is all about protecting the innocent, and these two commentators would enjoy having a beer together. It all made me feel just proud to be among Outlaw members that had strong points of view.

These are important things to think about. Because how can we be our best selves if we don’t really examine what it is we stand for? If we don’t ask ourselves, “What do I believe?”

I’m still shaping my personal credo. It’s not ready for prime time. It will have the word “Love” in it, of that I am certain. But “Balls of Steel” might show up in there too.

What’s yours? What’s your credo? It’s a cool thing to think about while you’re taking your next Outlaw Shower! Thanks for being in the gang!

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