Adventures In Spiritual Living

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Some Higher Values to Cultivate #1

William Cooper

By William and Kaye Cooper

Introduction

Our goal in this life and after is to make as much progress as we can to achieve nobility of character like that of God. It sounds unattainable but in fact we are all capable of achieving that goal considering the vast span of time and the immense assistance we are given. Nobility of character is achieved by progressively understanding, appreciating, and adopting higher values. The following post presents a few higher values for you to consider and try on for size. 

Your understanding of these values will not remain the same over time. They are not static. As you think about them and live with them, they grow. As you experience their consequences and complexities, your understanding of them changes. Consequently, it is rewarding to revisit them periodically.

If you are interested in values and their application in character development, you will probably enjoy some of the other posts in this “Values and Character Development” category.  

A Few Values to Consider

  1.  Acceptance
    Love is the most potent and transformative of spiritual qualities.  Acceptance is an expression of love. Both love given and love received carry power to transform.  Acceptance allows people to express their uniqueness.  It says that peculiarities are permissible, interesting, and maybe even desirable. It allows unique people to belong and to fit in.  Acceptance encourages the freedom to care about (love) all sorts of people.Acceptance is not an endorsement of another person’s words or behavior.  It is about treating them as a person with the right to explore the meaning of life as it applies specifically to themselves.  It is about giving each person the time and space to grow into who they can become.  Accepting someone as a person opens the door to relationship.  A loving relationship can empower everyone involved to grow.  Acceptance even goes so far as to say, “This person is a child of God with infinite potential for change and growth even though they are different from everybody else.”  Acceptance gives the gift of time, opportunity, and encouragement to grow to goodness even by a unique, and maybe roundabout, path.
  2.  Authenticity
    No one is complete and perfect.  You can be comfortable with who you are and at the same time, you can look forward to growing.  When you present yourself to others as you actually are, there is no pretense about what you believe or who you aspire to be.  You are free to allow the goodness in you to express through your words and actions.  Your friends will be attracted to the real you.  Authenticity is being gently honest about one’s feelings and thoughts regarding what is good, bad, real, false, honorable, or base. Authenticity is a virtue to be encouraged in everyone.
  3. Balance
    Balance enables all parts of a person to be nourished and to grow—physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.  In an individual, balance describes a partnership between soul and intellect.  Balance of a life makes room for all the things that are truly important to the person.  Balance in a team allows each person involved to reach their potential and to contribute their unique gifts.  Balance in the universe insures the most effective application of personal talents:  your spiritual self directing your intellect and your intellect controlling your physical person to achieve the goals set by the spiritual self. The quality of balance makes this possible without internal turmoil.
  4. Compassion
    Compassion is first feeling another’s suffering and then acting to help.  Compassion pours healing on the injuries of struggle, the regrets of mistakes, and the pain of being an imperfect person living in an imperfect world.  Compassion grows as we do, beginning as empathy for those closest to us and expanding ever outward to include all people we know, then all we are aware of, and finally all who exist.  Compassion is Spirit’s way of life, the seed of service, and an entryway to spiritual joy.  Compassion understands, forgives, grieves and desires to help.  It most often applies to the hardship of others but sometimes it is appropriate in our attitudes toward ourselves.  Service to the needs of others brings joy by satisfying our compassionate desire to help and our need to feel like we are doing something toward a remedy.
  5. Confidence
    Be confident in your ability, because you are loved by deity and valued and you will be given all you need to fulfill your true potential.  You may be delayed at times.  You may need to dig deep within yourself for wisdom and strength.  It may be necessary to seek help or support–even to act in the face of fear and uncertainty.  But the whole universe is friendly and supports you in all things noble and honorable.  You have unknown resources that will see you through difficulties to a better conclusion than you think possible. But don’t expect everything to happen as you wish.
  6. Courage
    Courage is the answer to all worthwhile challenges.  Courage is a commitment of the inner life to face danger, fear, or challenges without giving in to the very natural urges to run away and hide or to strike out to protect yourself.  Often courage is a decision made before facing what threatens you.  Sometimes it is a decision made in the moment.  But it is never truly a surprise, because those small, daily choices to do the right thing build your capacity for courage.  Courage is most often a quiet thing, and that is why you may not realize how courageous ordinary people are.  Courage is not about proving yourself to anyone else.  It is about doing the right thing, no matter what, and you are the only one who needs to know.

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