With the first visit overseas of our new president, this administration begins to make relationships with leaders from other countries. While our country is viewed in different ways by people all over the world, we have traditionally claimed public standing based on our commitment to a fundamental set of values. Whether or not that is accepted by another person or government, that commitment is where we base our worth.
In the same way, as individuals, a commitment to our own internal set of ideals can be a basis for our own sense of inner strength and public standing. We may disagree with other people’s ideals but we can respect their importance to that person and we can respect that that person adheres to them. In the same way, we can respect ourselves for discovering, defining, and sticking to what we believe has value.
The awareness that results from a careful consideration of our own inner world brings a depth of experience that cannot be achieved from pursuits in the outside world. There is a value to coming to know oneself deeply, to recognizing the pull of conflicts that are outside of our awareness, and to freeing ourselves to make the choices we want to make, even when our feelings or thoughts are fighting with us. We can come closer and closer to living our ideals accurately. It is not so much a matter of if I am a good person, but more a matter of how I am a good person.