Core Values For A Principle Centered Life

Thinker

by Jayaram V

When we look back and review our experiences, the following principles about our lives become apparent. It is not that they are the only ones. However, they are the most common ones to a majority of people.

Core Principles

1. Life is filled with suffering. Whether you are big or small, young or old, rich or poor you cannot escape from suffering. Our imperfections and vulnerabilities make our suffering even more difficult to resolve.

2. You cannot control all aspects of your life because you have limited information about almost everything that you deal. It includes knowledge of yourself and others. Therefore, you have a limited control over what happens in you and around you.

3. You cannot fully comprehend the truths of life because you lack the intelligence, and the all-round vision necessary to comprehend truth from all possible perspectives. Besides, we are prone to emotions, logical fallacies and prejudices. Our vision goes only up to a certain point, beyond which everything is hazy and dark.

4. We are largely responsible for our lives and actions. While we are subject to certain random events and natural processes that are beyond our control, in retrospect our lives are largely shaped by our thoughts, actions and choices. Ironically, while we shape our future, we cannot predict it accurately.

5. We are never free from duality and pairs of opposites such as pain and pleasure, and heat and cold. We are a mixture of opposites, and we live in a world of opposites. Due to attraction and aversion, we are drawn or repelled by them and attached to them either positively or negatively.

6. We do not know whether morality is always the right choice. In a world ridden with temptations, distractions, and competition, it is difficult at times to justify the virtue of virtuous living. It appears that largely the world favors those who break rules and conventions and disregard virtue and honesty to achieve their individual goals.

7. We seem to live in a very violent world where seem to be either silent or absent most of the time. Nature has its own sense of justice and right and wrong. There is no place in Nature for virtue and compassion. Nature promotes and favors brute force and those who succeed in controlling others and securing the resources enjoy greater chances of survival and greater number of opportunities to prevail over others.

Core Values

Living in such an unpredictable environment, what are we supposed to do? It is not easy to answer this question because it depends upon many factors and variables. What type of life you may choose, and how you may live it depends upon your experiences, perceptions, beliefs and a number of other factors including your awareness, social conditioning and mental attitude. However, whatever lifestyle you may choose, you cannot secure peace and happiness without honoring the following values of our lives.

1. Good health. Health comes before everything else. Whatever profession or occupation you may choose, you have to ensure that you remain in good health.

2. Wealth and comforts. We live here for a limited time and in that limited time we must have at least minimum comforts to make our lives worth living. Some people may consider wealth and comforts evil. Hoarding excess money or earning it through dishonest means is certainly good for your spiritual Wellbeing. However, to achieve peace and balance in your life, you must aim for financial security.

3. Security and stability. Life is uncertain. We cannot entirely remove the uncertainty surrounding our lives. However, we must address our concerns and anxieties and try to stabilize our lives by building necessary safeguards, cultivating good habits and not taking undue risks.

4. Peace and happiness. If God suddenly appears before you and asks you to seek just one boon, what should it be. I would choose peace and happiness, because if you have peace and happiness, it means you have everything else in your life and your life balanced and well rounded.

5. Fulfilling relationships. Fulfilling relationships means people who care for you and whom you care, people who respect you and whom you respect, and people who do not try to regulate your life or want to be controlled in turn. It is a relationship not bound by expectations and demands, but based on trust, freedom, compassion, understanding and genuine love.

7. Opportunities to grow and prosper. We are growth oriented. We are never happy with our progress or achievement and we always look for opportunities to grow and prosper. Although, we may not always succeed, we should never let an opportunity go waste, which may help us to grow mentally, spiritually or materially.

These are the ideals or conditions which most people want to achieve in their lives to experience peace and happiness. When people live in countries and cultures where they cannot achieve them, they feel lost, frustrated and unhappy.

Presently, the world is so structured socially and economically that it seems to favor a few at the expense of others.

The inequalities of our world have the potential to create bitter acrimony between communities and nations since a constantly growing population has to compete for dwindling natural resources and be content with a narrowing window of opportunities.

While we have made rapid progress in the field of science and technology, spiritually we seem to be marching backward as most people are turning to materialism and renouncing their spiritual beliefs and values.

To bring balance into our thinking and actions, we should not only adhere to the above mentioned core principles and values but also cultivate the following virtues.

1. Deeper awareness about life, its purpose and value

2. Right thinking in all aspects of life.

3. Right conduct in your thoughts, actions and relationships.

4. Love and compassion towards yourself and others.

5. Understanding and tolerance in matters that have an impact on other people.

6. Respect for life in all forms

7. Forgiveness towards yourself and others.

You can make your life what you want it to be within in the limitations to which you are subject. Whether, you believe in multiple births or a single birth, you cannot deny that your actions and decisions will have consequences for you and others and you can build your life and future largely on the principle of give and take.

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