What do you value in life: money, material success, learnedness, attention, praise, pleasure, being right all the time, honesty, stability, spiritual development, what is the most important idea that defines who you are. We may not be fully conscious of this, but our lives are ran by values. When a person’s main value in life is success, there is this determination and tireless effort exhibited in getting what they want, but if a stronger value like honesty does not precede success then we have another person that is ready to do just anything to become successful.
There are values that should be placed first as foundation and such are termed virtue’s. When the most important values in our lives are money, family, fame, recognition, success, pleasure and not love, integrity, solitude, equanimity, long suffering then what we value the most become unfulfilling because there is no real substance behind them. What is family without warmth and devotion? What is fame without sound character? Where will money lead to without discipline? What will life become without equanimity?
Vice take over precedence when we value and indulge them. It seems to be that the life of vice is the short route to material success: drugs, alcohol, hypocrisy, prostitution, modern slavery are big business that even so called elites get involved with because of huge profits. Living by virtue is very difficult in such a world because honest people may experience bouts of poverty, frustration, rejection, but I tell you the truth_ such periods are the most defining in each person’s life. When you finally get out of such situation you are more stronger and experience great freedom.
When people despair in negative or testing situations a downward spiral will begin, that is why longsuffering and patience should be held as valuables in life. A family man that loses his professional job and despairs may feel the quickest way to redeem himself is to get into vice because he values anger. He may be temporarily successful, he may bring pleasure to his family like never before; but such lifestyle wouldn’t last and trouble lurks at every corner. It would be better to go menial and exercise patience before another opening; for when such hardship is over he will feel better like never before.
Life gives everyone the opportunity to express what they value the most; some choose dishonesty over honesty and have good excuses for being dishonest. Some value sexual rampage over decency and encourage others to indulge same. Some will tell you that money is everything and have power to solve all troubles. When our values are materialistic we can never experience peace, we can never live life in a grounded manner. But when we are ready to even lay down our lives for truthful virtue’s we enter into a new portal of living.
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