I came across this quote:

There’s only one rule. Follow the line of your own desires.”

Malcolm Bradberry

While I think that this has merit, I have problems with some of the intent. Should you always follow your path? What if a parent really wants to leave their family and join the circus. Do they really just wake up in the middle of the night, fill their bandana with worldly possessions, toss it on a stick, flip it on their back and just jump on the next freight train to the town with the tightrope and three rings?

Or do responsibly think about all the people that your life intersects with?

What is the line between personal growth and personal responsibility?

In my mind I want to tell people to “Go For It”…but there’s also this little part of me that thinks- “well…maybe you have to think how that’s going to effect __________. I guess much of my thinking would be persons who have others depend on them: If a single. childless 20 year old wants to move someplace and make woven belts, I’d be pushing them out the door with an order for a belt. If my best friend mother of three who brings in income and also helps out her parents decided to go weave belts, I’d probably sit them down and talk to them… I know it might not be fair, but when is life fair?

So, what do you think about this quote?

Do we follow our desires without regard? Or do we weigh all the exponents?

Discuss

97 thoughts on “One Rule

  1. There have been multiple times in my life when I would have packed a bad and driven to some place new to start a new life if I didn’t have kids. You can’t only follow your desires without regard for how it affects others.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Ah if only. I think that’s a great quote for single people who are not responsible for the lives of others. From a personal point of view, I was a divorced mom by age 25. I tried to pursue my acting career. I got parts, but rarely got to see me child. I worked all day to support him, did theater at night and on weekends. I made a decision. His father split to go after his career. If I did that who would he have to teach him how to be a good human being? To feel loved? I made the responsible choice and never regretted it. He will be 48 this month. He’s an amazing man, husband, and father. He saw a mom who worked two jobs, supported him in his endeavors, and made sure he went to college snd followed his dreams. Sometimes that’s satisfying enough. I loved my teaching career and the fact that I chose to be a responsible parent paid off.
    I think every person had to make choices. But, Children shouldn’t have to suffer for our choices. And they grow up. We have a lifetime to pursue our own happiness.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Yep! As a teacher I saw that happen too often. Children left in foster care, neglected, abused kids, all because of poor choices by their parents. To damage a child because of the selfishness of a parent is not only sad, but often times criminal.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Ahh yes. Responsibility is a heavy thing. I would love to follow my dream, but I CHOSE to have a family, so that is my first priority. My other desires come second, because I chose my children to come first.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. We don’t know if our desires are just or even worth following. We need to follow God’s will (desire) for us.

    Then someone might ask, “How do we know God’s desires?” One way would be through prayer. But to pray we have to acknowledge that there is a God who relates to us. Once we figure that out, there will be no desire to follow our own desires.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. We should think about the responsibilities we have before going for it, but there are plenty of people out there who just yeet off into the sunset to follow their dreams without giving it a second thought. Maybe it’s the right decision, maybe not. I have a feeling it’s not the right one more often than not…

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Hmmmm. I would remove the word desire and replace it with heart. I believe following one’s heart includes both, intellect and intuition, which includes rationality and passion, and integrity, personal responsibility, and creating possibilities in life for the self, and others. In your example then, the mom of three would need to balance the belts and the kids….

    Liked by 2 people

    1. If you have kids, you need to make sure you remember them if you’re making your passion happen. Weaving belts is fine. Packing up and expecting your kids will be resilient if you don’t see them ever…not so much

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ah, I see, what you were pointing to, and now are writing….gotcha. Indeed, this is is true. When I included personal responsibility in my original comment, I was including the assumption that the kids would also be a top priority. However, upon reflection, I didn’t write that, and kind of glossed over that at the end, which, I think, is your point. Nice post and conversation, LA.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. How does following your desire exclude family? Didn’t the person desire to have them in their life? If you want something else that conflicts with your relationships, then you have to decide which is more important to you. That is still following your desire, not a ball and chain.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well, I think people don’t always think things through. I think people change their minds. And sometimes you don’t know what you want till later. It all depends on what your desire is, and at what cost pursuing it is

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Growing up with a mom who lived her life for herself and made stupid, careless decisions, I believe it’s important to think about your family and to not just selfishly think about what you want. I’m specifically talking about kids being the utmost importance. Great topic. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Ahhh, from History Man! A book on my “to read” list from Bradbury simply because he writes of Howard, the sociologist teaching in the 70’s… clearly two of my most favorite things! While I believe the novel is a satire, it is interesting to contemplate that quote in a literal sense. Does personal self-interest and the resulting goals created trump responsibility??

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I had a cool career. Then I quit and had a kid. I think you can do it all…just not at the same time. But that’s me.

        Like

      2. I think our society has forced women into that line of thinking historically and we still aren’t at a point to put aside those rules as men are able to do. It’s a great point, the dichotomy between what is acceptable for a man versus a woman. A debate that will rage on and on.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Personally…I think it’s awful no matter what person chooses to not think about family…but yes…we still think of the woman as a shirker

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Oooh! I didn’t know it was a satire! I have a quite a day desk calendar and this quote came up, so I took it in the literal sense!! Ahhhh…adds so much dimension to it….but when I think of all the people who think only of themselves….what’s more important…personal self interest or personal responsibility? How do we separate

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Claudette brought up a great point on social views and norms between men/women. This is a topic that can be discussed over and over and made up so much of my research. So much fun to ponder different viewpoints!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. It’s kind of a loaded question, isn’t it? So much depends no timing…

    I’m not one to subject my views here now because I’m at a crossroad… Also, I need to find a bandana big enough to fit in all my supplies. (Ha.)

    I don’t know what to say. But the comments are enlightening.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well, you know I’m a big believer in waiting to have kids till you’re in your thirties, so you can explore your passions and decide if parenthood is one of your desires…but yes…timing is everything.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I find that quote irresponsible. There are people who take such quotes very seriously, and may make stupid decisions. At a young age you have to think of doing something which will settle your future. As a parent you have to think of your kids. Maybe that quote is for a person who has earned enough not to be dependent, and who has no one to take care of.
    And then there’s that person who is abused in some way. If so, by all means get out and do what your heart tells you to. But don’t endanger your children!

    Do I make sense?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Totally make sense. I’ll give someone young a space to find themselves. Let them explore options and such. But at some point, I think you need to think about those around you

      Liked by 1 person

    1. To preface…I read this comment on my quote a day calendar and thought it was interesting. Deb said they are a historian and write satire…which I did not know. However…as I know plenty of selfish people who sort of follow this rule…I think it’s interesting to take it literally

      Liked by 2 people

  13. You answered the question and I agree with you. We have a responsibility to those who are dependent on us. But I love your hilarious example of making woven belts. I’d be more likely to pack a back pack and head off to become a thru-hiker, trail trash/ not-really-homeless person who spends the days moving through woods and mountains and the nights sleeping on the ground surrounded by fellow hikers in huts. These hikers are so interesting to me, especially the ways they find to pay for those months on the trail.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Given that I believe Trump must have had this tattooed on his arm as a constant reminder that someone wrote this remark just for him. and having seen what following it so slavishly can accomplish. I’ve decided it’s not for me nor for anyone else in the least attached to another human being they have feelings for.
    Hugs

    Liked by 3 people

  15. I don’t have time to read all 55 previous comments today so if I’m repeating someone else’s thoughts I’m sorry. I think we have to factor in that at some point the person’s “desire” was to “have a house and raise a family.” (Yes, there are accidental pregnancies but for purposes of discussion, let’s say the kids were planned). Yes, your “desires” can change but you have to consider how those desires will affect others. No one’s saying you can’t join the circus after the kids are grown.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I know two people who follow their own desires exclusively. I call them selfish. On the other hand, my daughter is thinking of moving once again and following a dream of writing comedy. We told her to go for it. My husband said, “Now is the time to do that in your early 20s.” FYI, she has a job that she can relocate and do the comedy writing classes after work.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Your daughter doesn’t owe anyone anything. Go for it and see what happens. But yeah…I think weve all seen selfish adults who keep looking for that elusive something

      Liked by 2 people

  17. Well, it’s a nice quote, but it’s not for me and my personality. I’m the responsible one, always. Would I like to grab my bandana, chock it full of fun and run off for a week? Heck yes. But that’s probably only in my imagination since the kids are depending on me. There was only one year that I lived for myself, away at college in another country. I had freedom then and I loved it.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. I agree with the quote. It doesn’t say, “without regards to anyone else.” It just says, “Follow the line of your own desires,” for which there is always a way to do.

    Now, can you do that without making others angry? Nope. But you can do it.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. lol I hope for that world, but I will say it may be lot less scarier if we all worked on being mentally healthy versions of ourselves. Then we could trust that what everyone is doing is not harmful.

        Liked by 1 person

  19. A great good thought provoking post. I married my high school sweetheart against my parents wishes. I really hurt them but believed and still believe I did the right thing. We had some good times and some bad times. But we had our son and accomplished much before he died 11 years ago. I didn’t leave my responsibilities and married who I wanted finally with my parent’s blessing.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. A friend shared a couple of quotation memes the other day. One said: “The difference between a good day and a bad day is your attitude.” The other said the same, except “your attitude” was struck out & handwritten alongside it were the words: “a lot more complex than some sanctimonious quote on the internet. ”

    Both are correct, both could apply to you, both could be what you need to see at any one time. Pretty much like every self-development type quotation out there.

    Ally asked about the author. I suspect if the compilers of the calendar knew the answer to her question, they’d not have included it. The devil is in the detail as they say.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. That seems like a rather selfish and narcissistic (“trumpian”) way to live. Life confers on us some responsibility to care for others and to care for the planet hosting us—even if we may sometimes be inconvenienced or denied our every desire. I much prefer Kurt Vonnegut’s “one rule,” as stated in his welcome to newborns: “There’s only one rule that I know of, babies, God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, as long as we all continue buying things made in places that don’t have rules regarding the environment or anything else, we are all complicit. I’m pretty sure both trumpians and non are pretty narcissistic

      Like

  22. If following your “desire” created a child then that becomes your leading desire but not your only one. It seems we create a lot of your own trouble by prioritizing desire over our responsibilities. C

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s