Got myself caught up during these weeks with another mind game (I wish I could say days but when something runs thorough my mind it wanders its way for weeks). All I think of are the values your parents or society taught you it’s a must to have and follow and then you add, on the way, the ones that you consider important to be added to your personality in order to represent you, to create who you are.
You grow older and you affirm day by day, that’s me, I will continue doing that thing but I’ll never end up doing the other one. Until that day, the “never” day, shows up attractive and appetizing and if you think, what if?
“A single example of extravagance or greed does a lot of harm – an intimate who leads a pampered life gradually makes one soft and flabby; a wealthy neighbour provokes cravings in one; a companion with a malicious nature tends to rub off some of his rust even on someone of an innocent and open-hearted nature – what then do you imagine the effect on a person’s character is when the assault comes from the world at large? You must inevitably either hate or imitate the world.” Seneca says in one of his books, a warm recommendation from a friend, Letters from a stoic.
And then I ask myself: What if everything I grew up considering to be me doesn’t really stick to my soul as tattoo, what if I always consider my values to be guidance, but the taste of dropping them is sweeter than the regret of not trying it?
What if to go faster feels better than going further? Why they have so much fun doing it and you end up in your sheets, sweating, thinking you hold on to something which you created only in your mind? And all about that, why is your mind putting so much effort in creating this powerful and so twisted word “value” that everyone declines it and plays with it in order to create themselves, or lie themselves, or lie ourselves.
Values kept people humble, others have been killed by stating them and defeating them, so why am I so stubborn to stick to them? As we can see, people get so much further without values, especially in this material world, that as a person who asks questions, you can’t stop thinking, hey wait a sec, you just got in front of me because you were lighter with a few… values.
I see this whole game as a matter of life and death indeed, because in the moment you choose to drop one single value, that single piece of puzzle who makes you who you are, you become no one, a body without a soul, just like the zombies you see passing daily next to you. The ones who decided to cheat because it was easier than admitting they were wrong when they chose the person next to them or maybe they were wrong when they chose to show to the person next to them fake, decimated image of who they are, the ones who decided to take advantage because is easier to make a fool of the one who’s not that strong, the ones who showed their power in order to destroy and not to create, the ones who’s feelings created shame and tears, to ones who considered is better to back off when it was time to stand straight and defend.
Sometimes you want to give up to your values because it’s just easier this way. It’s easier and it seems like a lot of people are doing it.
But then you have your brother who comes and shows you the better side, you have the waiter who runs to you with 1c change thinking you must have forgot it, you have the little girl who shares her cupcake with you, you have that friend that doesn’t think of himself firstly, you have your little cousin who learned to speak her mind quietly and respectfully, as drama and yelling doesn’t bring any good. You have around all these people which are showing you, through small examples, that values indeed stick to you, they represent who you are, and either you feel it or not, they have they role in this huge complicated world, and you speak your identity through your values.
Seneca concludes “the right thing is to shun both courses: you should neither become like the bad because they are many, nor be an enemy of the many because they are unlike you. Retire into yourself as much as you can. Associate with people who are likely to improve you. Welcome those whom you are capable of improving. The process is a mutual one: men learn as they teach. ”
I am by your side.