Adventures In Spiritual Living

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Some Higher Values #3
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Some Higher Values to Cultivate #3

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. The goal 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. Honesty

    Honesty is the foundation of friendship and the partner of fairness.  To speak truth calls on courage and discernment.  It requires gentle words and clarity.  Honesty respects the listener.  Honesty can cut or nurture, belittle or build.  May wisdom make all our honesty harmless and as valuable as treasure.

  2. Hope

    Hope gives us a special resilience.  It is hope that enables us to persist, that gives us the willingness to try again.  When we can see good possibilities in our future, we allow optimism to revive our strength.  But hope makes demands of us.  We must be willing to search for encouragement and to imagine the way we can succeed.  To recognize hope, it helps to see the best in ourselves and others.  And when all appears to be lost, we must continue to hope and to act accordingly because sometimes these are powerful enough to change defeat into triumph.

  3. Kindness

    A kind person cares how her words and actions impact others.  Kindness renders every thought, word, and action more gently. Kindness comforts and heals.  It softens necessity. It communicates sincerity, patience, and respect. Kindness can teach where harshness would only anger.  Your kindness opens the other person’s heart to hear what your soul is trying to say.  Kindness is love and love transforms both its givers and its receivers.

  4. Listen

    Listening to another can calm emotions and clarify thinking.  It can restore hope and encourage patience.  It can correct misunderstandings and facilitate cooperation. It is a promise to try to understand and a hand reaching out to help.  Listen with your whole mind, rather than planning what you will say next.  Listen to hear and understand the meanings and feelings as well as the words.  Allow the speaker’s posture, gestures, and expressions to speak as well.  Listening does not imply that you agree.  It means you respect the other person’s right to be heard and considered.  It involves not just forbearance but also effort to comprehend and understand words, emotions, and longings.

  5. Love

    For many of us showing love or even talking about it is frightening and even risky. It is too intimate and too involved in other lives, especially where the others are strangers and are different from us.

    But love bestowed in a casual way as we pass by is very appropriate and highly spiritual. Love in this casual sense includes compassion for hardship or pain, tolerance of differences, encouragement, support in achievement, opportunity, fairness, friendliness, good will, cheerfulness, unselfishness, gentleness, sincere concern for others … and more.

    Love expressed in this casual way is highly desirable and promotes a marvelous civilization in which everyone is trying to look out for everyone else.

  6. Openness

    Open your mind to new viewpoints.  Open your heart to new friends. Open your understanding to new explanations.  Open your prejudices to new meanings.  Open your expectations to other possibilities.  Open your conclusions to new information.  Open your methods to better approaches.  Explore “what if,” “imagine this,” and “who else.” If your body feels stiff, check to see if your mind is resisting the other person.  Being open allows you to explore.  It doesn’t mean you must change—unless you find a better way. Openness allows you to examine.

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