Rebecca K. Reynolds

Honest Company for the Journey

Authenticity for Artsy Types

One of the most subtle and deadly temptations that I know is the temptation to fit in a particular "inner ring" of society. I don't just mean high society; financial prestige tends to be tempting to only the silliest of people. The inner ring can be any group, even groups of great intellectual or spiritual value that we deem able to give us worth.

I dearly love the essay C.S. Lewis wrote about this temptation in Weight of Glory. One quote is below, and I will also link to a website where you can read the whole thing.

Such clarifying thoughts can be found here. Every time I read them, I feel permission to be a little bit lonely (in a healthy way) while I walk the earth. Lewis's words give me freedom to chase truth with more vigor, and to keep the role of community in proper perspective.

In this era of social networking and creating online personas, this essay should be required annual reading for every sincere artist/writer. Such good stuff.

People who believe themselves to be free, and indeed are free, from snobbery, and who read satires on snobbery with tranquil superiority, may be devoured by the desire in another form. It may be the very intensity of their desire to enter some quite different Ring which renders them immune from all the allurements of high life. An invitation from a duchess would be very cold comfort to a man smarting under the sense of exclusion from some artistic or communistic côterie. Poor man—it is not large, lighted rooms, or champagne, or even scandals about peers and Cabinet Ministers that he wants: it is the sacred little attic or studio, the heads bent together, the fog of tobacco smoke, and the delicious knowledge that we—we four or five all huddled beside this stove—are the people who know.

Oh, I can't stand it. This quote, too:
The quest of the Inner Ring will break your hearts unless you break it. But if you break it, a surprising result will follow. If in your working hours you make the work your end, you will presently find yourself all unawares inside the only circle in your profession that really matters. You will be one of the sound craftsmen, and other sound craftsmen will know it. This group of craftsmen will by no means coincide with the Inner Ring or the Important People or the People in the Know. It will not shape that professional policy or work up that professional influence which fights for the profession as a whole against the public: nor will it lead to those periodic scandals and crises which the Inner Ring produces. But it will do those things which that profession exists to do and will in the long run be responsible for all the respect which that profession in fact enjoys and which the speeches and advertisements cannot maintain.

And if in your spare time you consort simply with the people you like, you will again find that you have come unawares to a real inside: that you are indeed snug and safe at the centre of something which, seen from without, would look exactly like an Inner Ring. But the difference is that the secrecy is accidental, and its exclusiveness a by-product, and no one was led thither by the lure of the esoteric: for it is only four or five people who like one another meeting to do things that they like. This is friendship. Aristotle placed it among the virtues. It causes perhaps half of all the happiness in the world, and no Inner Ring can ever have it.