Thursday, April 15, 2010

Musings on values

I have said recently that we have to know what we want to be happy. This is true but we also must make sure the way to get what we want is in line with our values. Our values are the concepts and ideas we hold important. When we decide upon a course of action to change who we are we must make sure it does not violate these values. If it does then no matter how effective the change, how great the reward we will have saddled ourselves with regret.

Regret hold us down and help feeds the little voice that tells us we are not worthy. On the other hand even if we fail at change but do it within the parameters of our values then we come away with a moral victory. While we may still have the behavior we wished to change we also know we have held true to the higher truths that make us who we are.

It is important to understand that values can change, they are based on our understanding of the world and our definition of what is right. They guide us to act morally, but even the same action in different situations is not necessarily right. Take for example throwing a punch. It is fine and right to do it in a boxing ring, or to hit a punching bag in exercise. The same punch thrown at a child is not to be tolerated. Understanding that values come in to play in situations is important but more important is that this gray area does not create room for us to wiggle around in and talk our away around our own values.

What it should do is make us strive to understand the situations we find ourselves in as completely as we can before acting.