March 7, 2021•163 words
A teacher once posed the question, "is it your actions or your thoughts that dictate who you are?"
I would immediately respond with an emphatic "thoughts!", envisioning a situation in which a 'good' person is forced - literally forced - to do bad things. Obviously the answer is more complex than that, but it took me a long time to realize that and I'm sure there are many things I'll continue to discover. He wouldn't pose a question that has an obvious answer; it's not fun that way.
Thoughts influence behaviors, obviously. But behaviors influence thoughts. If you act one way for long enough, you start to think that way, too (an extreme example is successful re-education camps, though torture is not necessary for these changes to occur) - and with the amount of (at this point pseudo-)ironic jokes I make, the blurring of this line is worrying. Becoming the things that I parody is not a great agenda item for me.