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  • #138934
    Jax
    Keymaster

    Thursday 10, January 2008

    “Said a king to a wise man, ‘I wish to be valuable to my people,
    please show me how.’

    Replied the wise man, “First be valuable to yourself. This avoids self-deception.
    You see, the less value a man has for himself the more he believes
    he can contribute benefits to others.

    This brings injury to both. To give gold you must have gold.”

    ________________________

    How many of us try to find ways to help others before we have learned to help ourselves?  To give money when we ourselves are not making ends meet?  To give of time when we don’t have enough time for our own enrichment?  Many societies have elevated the martyr to an envied position so that people think they must sacrifice for others no matter what the cost.  Yet if we simply focus on our self for a while we will find we have much more to give, which won’t involve sacrifice at all!

    #147750
    Jedi_Phoenix
    Moderator

    This is an interesting idea!

    I had always believed in helping others…thats actually something I agree on with Christianity and one thing that really lured me to the Jedi.

    But this person has a point.  How can we be of help to others if we can’t even help ourselves?

    However that last sentence bugs me:

    Quote:
      Yet if we simply focus on our self for a while we will find we have much more to give, which won’t involve sacrifice at all!

    Helping others should involve a bit of sacrafice, or else everyone would do it.  The intensity of that sacrafice can only be measured individually and by ourselves.  I think what they were hitting at though is that we need to help ourselves before we help others.

    Just my thoughts.

    #147751
    Jax
    Keymaster

    I think we’ve been conditioned to believe that it takes sacrifice to help others, thus that’s what we expect.  But why does it have to be that way?  Sacrifice is a state of mind.  I’ve helped people without feeling I was sacrificing anything.  I was simply making a choice to focus on them at that moment.  And I learned a lot from the experience, making it quite worthwhile. 

    Question everything, and see where it takes you. 

    #147795
    Chilibo
    Participant

    This unfortunatly would be my biggest problem. I do not place any value on myself. All I know is what I know and can do so that’s how I help out.

    I would like to hear from others on how they claim to be valueable to the ones around them.

    Chilibo

    #147797
    Jax
    Keymaster

    how can you give anything to anyone if you have no value?

    #147804
    Aslyn
    Participant

    I’ve always felt that this is one of the primary reasons for ensuring that we train students towards self-understanding so early on in their training. It’s easy to feel that we have little or no value towards others, and the only truly effective method at countering this is actually determining wherein one’s substance lies, thus to enable you to understand what you’re good at, what you’re capable of, and where your strengths are. From this, naturally, comes a sense of confidence and, from there, the sense of having value – not to others, but to ourselves. You need to learn to like yourself and, as a consequence, see value in your own life – independent of the value that others place upon it.

    To a certain extent, it’s rather introspective, but I’ve always believed that the Jedi path starts out as an individual experience designed to aid in our own personal development – to create growth, motivate change and, naturally, to stimulate our understanding and consequential exercise of personal autonomy. It teaches us to be independent and partially self-contained: capable of simply being, no matter what.

    But after that, we go further, and look away from the individual, instead concentrating on what we can for other people – much along the same lines. Give them a shoulder to cry on if they need one, certainly, protect them from physical violence if it becomes necessary, yes, but most fundamentally of all, help them to realise their own potential as individuals, autonomous and capable of exercising personal choice to a very strong extent. But how can this be achieved if we don’t see these things in ourselves? The blind can lead the blind, but only into a wall. If you want to help others, naturally, one must remove the blindfolds and walk forward with their eyes open. Then it becomes possible to lead others the same way.

    #147805
    Jax
    Keymaster

    Exactly.  :-)

    #147806
    Chilibo
    Participant
    Quote:
    how can you give anything to anyone if you have no value?

    My question exactly. What counts as being valuable? As I see it everyone counts what is valuable differently. It’s very hard to put a finger on it let alone cater to everyone.  If someone else finds something I do valuable then that’s fine and dandy. I just do what I do and know what I know. I don’t really hold anything of myself valuable. I am just “me”.

    #147807
    Chilibo
    Participant
    Quote:
    I’ve always felt that this is one of the primary reasons for ensuring that we train students towards self-understanding so early on in their training. It’s easy to feel that we have little or no value towards others, and the only truly effective method at countering this is actually determining wherein one’s substance lies, thus to enable you to understand what you’re good at, what you’re capable of, and where your strengths are. From this, naturally, comes a sense of confidence and, from there, the sense of having value – not to others, but to ourselves. You need to learn to like yourself and, as a consequence, see value in your own life – independent of the value that others place upon it.

    To a certain extent, it’s rather introspective, but I’ve always believed that the Jedi path starts out as an individual experience designed to aid in our own personal development – to create growth, motivate change and, naturally, to stimulate our understanding and consequential exercise of personal autonomy. It teaches us to be independent and partially self-contained: capable of simply being, no matter what.

    But after that, we go further, and look away from the individual, instead concentrating on what we can for other people – much along the same lines. Give them a shoulder to cry on if they need one, certainly, protect them from physical violence if it becomes necessary, yes, but most fundamentally of all, help them to realise their own potential as individuals, autonomous and capable of exercising personal choice to a very strong extent. But how can this be achieved if we don’t see these things in ourselves? The blind can lead the blind, but only into a wall. If you want to help others, naturally, one must remove the blindfolds and walk forward with their eyes open. Then it becomes possible to lead others the same way.

    I do live by what you say here. I’ve always felt that I am “me” or as you put it “capable of simply being, no matter what.” Also I don’t intend to lead or attempt to lead unless asked, because I know only what I know and can get someone to understand where I am at in my life. That would partly be in reference to what they see as valuable in me. So if someone perceived that I had a better quality that they wanted to understand from me I’m more than willing to explain how I understand that thing or things. I understand everyone has talents and know mine. I know what my strengths are and also know my weaknesses. I’ve always followed what I perceive as the best course of action for me.

    And more of a joke, I’ve known some blind people that “see” better than I do. You’ve seen the “Clickers” that can walk around just by clicking with thier mouths. I’ve tried that for a long time and walked into many a parked car.

    #147808
    Aslyn
    Participant

    Then you have value. Even if you don’t understand the reasoning behind that. But it is that understanding that is important, more than anything else. But you do bring up a reasonable question in asking what is valuable. I suppose, for myself, I tend to see value based on what it is a person is capable of – if they are not able to act, do they have the potential to be able to do so? And, realistically, it’s not even about value: it’s about believing that your life is worth living, and that you have reason for doing so. For some people, that requires a purpose, a reason for acting that circumscribes their lives, while for others, it’s merely enough to live, and let life come as it will.

    It is a curious concept, but I suppose I tend to feel that, once you have a reason to live – once you have a motivation to persist, and you feel both confident and comfortable with this, you can move forward to help others, because not everyone is necessarily comfortable with their own mortality – sometimes people live only because they fear death more. If you have no purpose, you just keep going. A person who understands the value of their own life doesn’t waste it, and acts – they truly live rather than merely seek to flee death, or permit their lives to drag on because that’s what is natural for them. Truly wishing to live, and to live with a sense of purpose or drive – that’s where the value comes in.

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