Got to bed too late last night and woke up too early this morning. While lying in bed, hoping I might fall back asleep, I started reflecting on my life and values. To boil things down, I sorted out the values that are most important to me: honesty, integrity and empathy. I then attempted to define each one and why they are important.
Honesty means not deceiving myself or others and seeking truth in general, whether it is spiritual truth, truth in science or what is truly going on in politics. An important part of honesty is education – developing wisdom and thus discernment, the ability to recognize what is true and what is not true. I want to support people who value honesty, this is a wise investment in humanity.
Integrity is seeking to make the best decisions in my life and applying my best effort to whatever I have decided upon. A lack of integrity occurs when I allow my good intentions and the quality of my efforts to be compromised by laziness, greed, fear or any other negative mindsets. I want to support people who value integrity, this is a wise investment in humanity.
Empathy occurs when I recognize that every conscious being at a fundamental level wants to avoid suffering and instead have comfort, fulfilment and happiness. I am no different than any other being when it comes to these fundamental desires, even if I sometimes go about it the wrong way. Empathy leads to compassion. Expanding beyond the narrow perspective of selfishness, not just hoarding all of the good things I have achieved in my life for my own benefit, using my intelligence and resources for the betterment of all is compassion in action. When empathy and compassion are lacking, society degenerates and we all suffer as a result. I want to support people who value empathy, this is a wise investment in humanity.
When I spend time with people who are seriously deficient in these values, it becomes an energetic drain. Some people are obsessed with dwelling in negative thought patterns. Others waste the majority of their time (time that could be spent bettering themselves) indulging in laziness / poor decisions and then complain about their lives. If one humbly attempts to point out the flaws in their approach to life, they often become defensive and lash out at the person, who with best intentions, offers criticism. When spending time with people who are in a chronic rut, it is best to minimize the duration of the engagement, wish them well, make a silent prayer that they figure things out and move along. Engaging people with some degree of positive qualities already cultivated, building equity towards mutual evolution and dispersing the dividends to those who have also invested in honesty, integrity and empathy is a much better use of resources.