Developing A Personal Credo

Credo/Creed [Latin] = I Believe That

What should I do? Said the boy man to his father rulers. There is a seemingly endless list of statements hinting at a direction for every level of organization in our world. Think Vision/Mission/Creed/Motto.

Example of personal credo in a classroom.

The free will of our condition presupposes a choice… even when we feel constricted by the demands of the organization in question. 

Contrary to popular belief, yet indescribably obvious in observing the public realm, it can be seen that there is always an alternative… accepted or not, you can participate or you can excuse yourself.

Whether we notice it or stay oblivious, most of us spend some time building a creed into our life. It can be discerned in what we do on our phones, the places we go, or even the deepest secrets whispered in private.

Much of human past was spent attempting to bring people to particular creeds, whether they be written by the prophets of old, the scholars of Nicaea, the revolutionaries of Philadelphia, or the lawyers hoping that you will accept all cookies for a given URL. 

And to be clear, acceptance of one set of guidelines does not always exclude another. Making this sort of discussion incredibly difficult to have with yourself…

This being said, I would argue that the creeds at the forefront of society are not the ones to be suspicious of. Most concerning are those disguised, that sneak up from behind to inadvertently become habits (your Sheilaisms.)

In public school, there is much hubbub surrounding the “hidden curriculum.” More clearly, the norms and ways of life that most young students internalize, and some don’t. Like, playing well with others, being quiet during class, keeping your supplies organized, or even laughing at the right kind of humor. These behaviors aren’t explicitly written in the state standards, nor do we offer a formal class to teach them, it is expected that the majority will develop the habits just by being in the structure.

How much of your adult social experience presumes the same? In a world where the use of a credit card (which adds 3% to every transaction) leading to a higher credit score is the mark of adulthood. Where a mortgage is a mature investment (but never returns income.) Where sugar is mandatory for a celebration and beef an optional luxury. Where 40 hours is a career and 35 is “part-time.” This hidden creed, like an overzealous county highway sign department, guides us at every turn.

Taken a step further, it is this (supposed) direction-seeking-consensus that dominates the public discussion. What has changed in our needs as a species to necessitate the eternal bickering of modern institutions… mostly in terms of where to spend the money (ahem, excess? Resources?) Why must our economy demand stimulus when the natural world on which we are based used to sustain itself? Who’s side are any of us on anyways?

It’s easy to exclaim that we are on our own side, but that’s not really true is it? We are on the side of the things we value. And we value those things that make us happy.

I value systems that thrive with little input… hence a sustainable farm is in my future. I also value adventure. No, not the swashbuckling circumpolar type. More the adventure that comes from something truly novel, at least to me. 

I believe we all seek adventure. Put simply: we look for newness in our lives. 

Which is a desire preyed upon by many. Purchases = something new we buy. Social media posts = something new we see.

But nature, love, and the ideas we foster… these are some ever-abundant, NEW things that we can feel. And this makes all the difference.

Where are you finding your adventure today? This is your credo.

Nick feeds the bottle calves.

This post was written by Nick Schmitz, February 2021.

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