April 09, 2004
Foolish Consistency

creative perspectivesA foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

What is a foolish consistency? Emerson never said, but I think a foolish consistency is something we do unfailingly without thinking about it. We are brand-loyal to our toothpaste; we travel a consistent route to work; we take lunch at exactly noon on weekdays.

Foolish consistencies are little habits that make up our unconscious daily routine. We could change them without harming anything and perhaps those alterations would be helpful in giving us new perspective.

How many things in your life are foolish consistencies? Do you think you can change one of them this week?

Do you have any wise consistencies?

Posted by kuri at April 09, 2004 06:45 AM


Consistent? “Black trousers”?
Can there be any other kind of trousers?


Posted by: taro on April 9, 2004 01:49 PM

Foolish consistency? Mine would be quoting Emerson too much. (Just kidding!)

I always get out of bed on the left. I almost never have breakfast on weekdays. I *know* I have habitual routes when I drive and walk that I could easily change if I made the conscious effort to do so. I’ll try to remember!

Posted by: Jenny on April 9, 2004 10:12 PM

I forgot the wise consistency: drinking water.

Posted by: Jenny on April 9, 2004 10:14 PM

Have you seen an American independent film entitled NEXT STOP WONDERLAND ? This Emerson quote is prominent in the plot. I believe one of the actors is Hope Davis.


Posted by: chuck on April 10, 2004 02:59 PM

Funny you should ask that.

I just saw this:
and there’s a line on there called “the plane of a foolish consistency” which made me wonder exactly what you asked. Strange coincidence!

Posted by: Paek Ji-won on April 15, 2004 10:33 AM
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