Comedian Groucho Marx quipped, “Those are my principles. If you don’t like them, I have others.”
I have principles. And sometimes I follow them. Well, usually.
I also have opinions. I have opinions about politics, yard sales, health food and fortune cookies. (Actually, more about the fortunes than the cookies.) But they’re opinions. I COULD be wrong about some of those things.
And I have opinions about four-year-olds. Like the one who came screaming out of the bathroom to tell his mother that he dropped his toothbrush in the toilet. He watched her fish it out and toss it into the garbage.
That is when something occurred to him, something about when a toothbrush ought to be discarded. He ran to the other bathroom and came out with his mother’s toothbrush. Holding it up, he announced,
“We better throw this one out too then . . . it fell in the toilet a few days ago.”
That confirms at least one of my opinions about four-year-olds.
But it also points to something more than an opinion – a principle. In this case, the principle is about the importance of trying to do the right thing, even if you’re a few days late in doing it. Martin Luther King, Jr. put it well: “The time is always right to do what is right.”
And one like it is this: doing the right thing, even in little things, is never a little thing. And that’s not just an opinion. It’s a principle that works.