by, 06-25-2011 at 02:57 PM (437 Views)
Of all the questions I don't have answers to right now (What kind of person am I? What do I want in life? Where do I fit?) the one that I struggle with the most is the question of personal values. What do I value, if anything, and why? Most of the time I feel so detached from the rest of the world that I can't seem to have any subjective opinions. Things just are, and everything I see inevitably goes in cycles which I can't see as good and bad, or right and wrong; they just are. While this might come off as wisdom, a thought is only as good as it's applicable use. Objectively observing life like this only increases the distance between myself and the world in which I live. I have decided that I want to be a part of this world, so now I have to put myself back in it.
What do I value? I actually value a lot of things, even if I don't think of them that way. I value education, experience, culture, loyalty, determination, work ethic... and yet, I constantly question the core values of these so much that it makes me doubt the validity of any of my values. To understand where these values come from, I work backward; education, culture and loyalty all rest on the core value of "humanity." Do I value humanity? It's caused a lot of harm to this world, and I don't feel like I am personally a part of it yet, so how can I value this? Yet I need to in order to support my surface values. Work ethic implies that I value progress, which is another core value. And determination implies that I value the emotions that drive people, which is an even stranger concept. Why would I value emotions? Furthermore, to say that I value human emotions brings me to the question that's been sitting in the back of my mind for a while now: Do I value happiness?
Lately I have decided that I have a deep appreciation for suffering. Rather than fight what has always been a part of my life, I decided to embrace suffering as something beautiful, as a part of being alive. So in a strange way, I do value suffering. Yet I still don't know if I value happiness. These two concepts are on the same side of a scale, after all. To deny one is to deny them both, isn't it? Suffering and happiness are relative to each other; you cannot have one without the other. To deny that I value happiness, even to doubt it, is to place more value on suffering, which is terribly unbalanced and unhealthy. In a way, this is not accepting suffering at all but taking away its very meaning. I subconsciously know that if I deny myself happiness, eventually there can be no more suffering; in fact, there can be no more emotion. For all the time I spent denying myself pleasure, I've been subtly killing myself from the inside. If I am to choose life over death, and to choose to be a part of this world, I have to make the choice to let myself feel again. This is where I derive my values from: what I need.