15. Cultural Cycles and Climate Change- Living Natural Values 2
Here are some further examples of how the application of natural human values can enhance the way we think, relate to others and act. In doing so we are then in a much better position to meet the serious challenges facing us in today’s ever-active competitive world.
How We Think
We need to be free from excessive desires, habitual reactions and claims for success or failure.
The guiding values should encourage a more balanced and consistent approach, free from personal, ego-driven motives, and mechanical reactions. One statement often heard is, ‘We have always done it that way.’ Quite common are also excessive claims for success or blaming other people for failure. We all have acquired certain habits and fixed expectations, that if mechanically followed can limit our response to the real needs of the moment. Useful values here include: consistency, temperance/moderation, detachment.
“Consistency is the foundation of virtue.” Francis Bacon
Plato spoke of temperance as one of the four divine virtues which was echoed by a follower:
“ Temperance is the greatest of the virtues.” Plutarch
Here a statement about detachment, which is not easy to put into practice:
“If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one pitch and toss;
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss.” Rudyard Kipling
How We Relate to Others
Be truthful and transparent in all your dealings with yourself and other people.
To speak the truth is natural. Truth binds. The binding is called trust, it is essential to every kind of relationship. Trust involves a confidence in the goodness, strength, reliability of another, which is only possible when people are open, transparent and consistently speak and act truthfully. It results in firm long-term relationships that last through the good times and the bad. The vital values here are: truth/honesty, integrity; and trust.
“ The truth matters…you don’t take shortcuts or play by your own set of rules.. and success doesn’t count unless you earn it fair and square.” Michelle Obama
“Let your words correspond to your actions and your actions with your words.”
“Trust is a treasured item and relationship.
Once it is tarnished, it is hard to restore it to its original glow.”
How We Act
We need to inspire other people by actions based on the natural human values, thus setting a fine example.
Inspiration comes naturally, it is most powerful when someone sets a fine example. It arises in full measure when actions are performed with love and care for other people, when actions are selflessly and humbly performed, when there is true integrity; as we think, so we speak, and thus we act. Such a fine example establishes a high standard for other people to follow, which is crucial for any society, at any time. The important values here are: selflessness, humility and loving care.
“There is nothing more worthy than the virtue of selflessness. Selflessness unites people.” Buddha
“We come nearest to the great when we are great in humility.” Rabindranath Tagore
“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will have peace.”
By putting into practice, by living the natural human values, great benefits accrue for all; Here are some quotes about the natural results of happiness, peace/contentment and unity.
“He who is virtuous is wise; and he who is wise is good and he who is good is happy.”
“Peace begins with a smile.” Mother Teresa
“Unity in diversity is the order of the universe. A man is different from a woman, but in being all humans, we are one.” Swami Vivekananda
The next Blog will address the subject of service which follows when the natural values are lived.