How many of us formulate our own principles of life and live by them?
I have begun to see a pattern and 'am curious and excited to explore it further. (High time I did I guess....I am sure there are plenty of people out there who are smarter and have observed a lot more....much earlier than I have in my life....and I would love to hear from them).
Every person who has created waves in the world, every person who has accomplished something extraordinary, every person who is admired and respected by the world has a key principle/set of principles that (s)he follows and swears by... Among these are some who are so passionate and sure of themselves that they influence and mentor others to adopt those principles (Spiritual Gurus, Political Leaders etc). Is there something that can be called a common principle that makes an appearance in almost every famous person's diary? Or can these be categorised roughly into a dozen/half-a-dozen buckets? Won't at least one of these sets of principles appeal to any given person? (I am sure it will...).
I think schools should have a subject that stimulates such thinking in children. The subject of principles and values. Not necessarily forcing children to adopt something but inspiring them to discover (can't be invent I think) the principles and values that drive him/her. The world will be a better place to live in if each one has wonderful principles/values that go along with others' principles/values or at least do not clash with those that others have...
All Relegious leaders definitely seem to have advocated a few common principles like kindness, tolerance, honesty, sacrifice et al. Principles by MK Gandhi, MLK, and Nelson Mandela belong to one category that was driven by similar causes. Swami Vivekananda was a man with wonderful principles. Ayn Rand's principles may not have been accepted universally but there are many people who are influenced by them. Many Indian sages (Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Ramana Maharishi, Adi Shankaracharya) including Sri Sri and Swami Chinmayananda are examples of principle-led lives that influence a huge circle of people.
I think it would be wonderful for each one of us to spend time and study the lives of great people, listen to contemporary principle-led leaders with an open mind and then form our own set of principles and values that drive us and inspire us come what may. It would mean a very satisfying and fulfilling life and what more does one want? I guess some of these principles may be based on a goal (for example, Gandhi's) while others are just principles that help one lead one's life well...
...I will start my conscious journey today. :-)