Building Contentment With Real Values

March 20, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog

So much is going on in the world these days.  So many of us loosing so much.  And so many putting their community ahead of themselves.

Fame, money and power are the qualities we have chosen as a people to measure worth and accomplishments.  We read and watch news about celebrities with excitement.  “He is dating her and she is dating him.  She has a baby and he is no longer with her.”  We would take the opportunity to shake the hands of a celebrity and consider it to be a milestone in our lives.  We know nothing about them as people, but we are impressed by what they represent.  And what is that? A film written by a writer in their home and produced by men and women who either believe it to be of critical importance or that will make them loads of money?

What about the Wall Street bankers and speculators who fly private jets and walk into a room as if the world owes them a favor? These are the people that create awe for their fortunes, but have had no qualms about creating a financial meltdown.

I’m still thinking of the Japanese firefighter captain who left his family after the earthquake struck to go secure a wall and came back to witness the loss of his home and family.  He could have stayed home after the quake to make sure his family was safe.  But he felt he had a responsibility and with that came a high price.  He will need to find solace in having done what was right.

My interest is not in berating celebrities or Wall Street bankers.  It is in reminding ourselves that our societal values are a little screwed up.  I want to remind ourselves that when we think about our own lives and the lives of others around us we don’t use a value system that is corrupted.  It is hard, I know.  We have a whole media system shoving those values down our throats on a daily basis.

A couple of days ago a friend who’s been very successful in his career, and is now in the process of change, said to me he had the financial stability to make a move because he had never bought into the high style living of Hollywood.  I saw in him a man who had built his life based on a permanent value system.  He has been married to the same woman for over forty years who he still loves and cares about very much.  When he speaks about her, one can hear the deep love he holds for her.

In the end real contentment comes from who we are as individuals and the relationships we have built and cherished in our life time.  Don’t be fooled by the glitter; it really is short lived.

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