This is more of a personal exercise in what I value in life and in power exchange relationships – something written down that I can refer to myself in times of need or direct others to in some cases.
Peace and conservation of personal energy
What I mean by this is that I despise conflict, as a general rule. I am not naive enough to think I can avoid conflict altogether, but I make conscious decisions to avoid it when I can. However, his does not mean I don’t hold opinions or ideologies. Far from it. But conflict takes energy and since my energy is limited, I prefer to save it things that that are positive. Also, I have found one of a few cases to almost be true:
- My want (need) to avoid conflict far outweighs my want of having my opinion heard, recognized, or discussed. I always have an opinion but the little things, what to do, where to go for dinner, what movie to see, etc., but by deferring to others on the things that don’t really matter, I can proactively avoid potential conflict.
- My opinion is such a closely held belief, morally and ethically that I know any differing opinions will cause anger and strongly expressed emotions. In these cases, I try to actively avoid bringing them up except for people ‘on-the-fence’ or with people I know already hold my opinions. Pretty much anything that falls into social justice lies in this category. I.e. if someone disagrees with same-sex marriage than I want nothing to do with them whatsoever, regardless of any other redeeming qualities. Because these tend to be polarized issue, I find no benefit in “discussing” these issues with people I know will never change. If forced into discussion, I have and will end relationships (platonic, familial, romantic, and even professional) with those that oppose my views.
- I am more interested in hearing an opposing opinion for academic or personal reasons that reserve expressing my opinion in order to invite additional sharing. In my experience people are far more interested in sharing their opinions if you have not directly expressed differing views. The majority of political and economic issues lie here for me. There are a few people I am comfortable actively debating with (because I trust our disagreements won’t negatively effect our relationship) but for the rest, I’m usually keen absorb all their views, regardless of my personal thoughts on them.
Learning for learning’s sake
One of the biggest shocks of growing up was the realization that it is physically impossible for me to learn everything I want to learn and consume every bit of media that I want to experience. I will never visit everyplace or experience the full breadth that humanity and Earth has to offer. I find this fact to be chilling.
But that doesn’t mean I do my best. The ability to continuously learn is one I hold most dear. Ignorance is mostly definitely not strength, BB. That at some point my mind will begin to deteriorate and I will lose knowledge at a faster rate than I gain it is unbearable.
But I still have plenty of time to read innumerable books, experience the best visual and audio entertainment, jump out of a plane, swim with sharks, and backpack across New Zealand. And let’s not forget all the physical and mental I’ve yet to experience with a willing partner and a suitcase of toys.
Integrity and punctuality
These may not seem like they should tie together so much at first, but they do for me. It’s really easy. I believe that people should, as best they can, live authentically, and without lies. I feel like this should be a given, but I’ve seen that often, it is not. By extension, being on time is hugely important to me. If I need to be somewhere, I generally plan to arrive 15-20 minutes early. I’d rather spend a few minutes reading a book or trawling through Twitter than to be later. For others, I generally expect the same. I understand that life happens, people make mistakes, traffic is suddenly bad, etc., but when people are consistently late, it tells me that their word cannot be trusted, even in things unrelated to punctuality.