values act as a compass to me when i’m lost… which, I should say a word about being lost. the idea of being “lost” is culturally perceived as a very negative thing. in a culture that values immediacy and the capitalist view of “success”– being “lost” will often cause raised eyebrows and worried looks from relatives. however, it is a part of life.
sometimes you know exactly how to get where you are going, and other times you do not. wanting to rush through a phase rarely solves anything. the best way out is through. as rilke said, ” Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”
here are a list of values i’ve been thinking about of late:
- honesty. lies are only speed bumps to the truth, they may delay the outright knowledge of it, but they don’t delay the knowing. truth-telling is scary and awkward, but also revolutionary and life-giving. if we say it, we don’t have to hide it.
- empathy. people are simply doing the best they can with what they have.
- care. how I live is how I care. how am I caring for my community? for the earth? for myself?
- listening. how can I listen in a way that affirms people’s humanity? am i listening generously? whole-heartedly?
- critical thinking. what do I think and why do I think that way? critical thinking allows for me to both hold a belief in one hand and hold doubt in the other. with the evidence I have I believe this, but I also know i may be wrong. it also allows for constant re-examination.
- being where i am, not where i think i should be (and letting others do the same). this one is very tricky for me, but also the most satisfying when i am able to sink into it.