When we're born into this world, values are handed down to us by others before us, by others around us. As children, parents teach us what is right and wrong. We were too young to certainly make that choice for ourselves.
Family values are essentially a reflection of society's values - those derived from the predominant religious values embraced by the state. Are we then really selecting our values?
If so, what are our influences if not for family, society, religion and state? Books, movies, music, and modern pop culture are still part of the same - external influences. When do we ever explore innate instincts and inner contemplation? That's a topic for another day.
Playing with Values
Today however, I'm only going to focus on external influences to choose and shape personal values.
As kids, we are enamored by heroes as depicted in comics and movies, to the extent of worshiping them. Is it not easier then, to piggy back moral education on the character traits of these heroes?
Children select the heroes whose character traits and actions they wish to see in themselves. As adults, while we may admire and subscribe to select values, we rarely if ever apply those values in our daily actions and interactions.
Story vs Study
Philosophy and spirituality as subjects are far removed from daily life for most individuals. Many who delve in, remain armchair philosophers more concerned with hoarding knowledge than applying it.
And yet religion, regardless of the one we are born with, allows everyone to embrace it easily. This is because stories are easier to digest and understand than treatises and lectures.
Be your Hero
In that same vein, let us create our own stories and superheroes, by casting ourselves as the lead protagonist. Let us write our playbook - creating stories that showcase the values we hold dear, in action using episodes from our own lives.
This playbook can be your mythological book with a Godly version of yourself, making decisions and acting as you would like to. Every time you feel like you are failing in your values, look to your book and write a chapter of how you would like to triumph against the struggles and adversities of daily life.
Remember, this is your life. Write your playbook and play your own game!