The Bigger Picture – Part 5

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Image source: http://www.terrenouvelle.ca/

BY SIMONE SMITH

Welcome back city of Toronto! What a fantastic couple of weeks. Finally the sun is shining and we can start enjoying our Canadian summer. How has everyone been? I am sure for some, life has been great, for others not so good. Regardless, we are all in this together, whether we may think so or not. It is this thought that will help us understand that many of us suffering from similar difficulties, life has a way of making us understand how human we are. Our ups and downs must be embraced and fighting against them only makes it harder. It was the reason why my last article focused on gratitude. It involves embracing life as it is and being thankful for everything that you have, regardless of whether it may be what you want at that time. This can be hard, which is why I gave everyone some homework last time. I am interested to see how things went. Please feel free to reach out to me with any difficulties you had. The goal of The Toronto Caribbean is to provide not only information about our community, but support as well. We as a team are working hard to ensure that our community is striving to do better, to do more.  

I am continuing with a series that I am now starting to view as a necessary undertaking. Knowledge of self has always been important to me because once I knew who I was, I was better able to deal with what the world threw at me. It is important that I am able to do the same for you. My purpose is to assist my community in the pursuit of self-knowledge. The last few months I have been using exerts from Dr. Paul Wong’s Summer Institute, 2013 Lecture 5: The Double Vision Strategy for Becoming Unstuck. This was a lecture conducted by Dr. Paul Wong, a meaning therapist located here in Toronto. For those who are interested, you can find more of Dr. Paul Wong’s ideas and philosophies at www.meaning.ca.  What do you value? This is an easy question to answer without really thinking about it. I want the readers to start digging a little deeper. It is easy to stay on the surface. It is going deeper that brings the most rewards.  Values act like a navigation system. They guide us to differentiate right from wrong and enable us to pursue the life that we want. Issues arise when one’s sense of values is confused and misguided. Without direction, we have the tendency to become confused and misguided and this can lead to an individual wasting their lives.

I have a list of questions that were introduced during the seminar. Each question will lead to another question. The point of these questions is to help you dig below the surface of your thoughts and hopefully they will bring some clarity and direction. The first question is, what is the first thing that comes to mind when you imagine having all the freedom and money to do whatever you like? Take some time to answer this. Really think about it. How would you utilize your freedom? How would you utilize your money? What motivates you to make this choice? How would making this choice make life better for you and others? It is important that we keep in mind that serving others is an important part of being in a community. There is something about helping others that propels us to a better way of living. Finally, what is your greatest desire in life? The ability to answer these questions is a great way to start really understanding what you value in your life.

Our values are individual and are either chosen or given to us by our cultural, religious or parental upbringing. Values change throughout the course of our lives. For a student, they value getting good grades, because without them, they are not able to move forward in their quest for higher learning. As adults, these same students begin to value good teachers, because without these teachers, they would not have mentors. These same students continue to develop and begin to value a good work environment. Once they enter the working world, they understand that there can be some toxic people who make for a toxic work environment. They also begin to value communication. This usually happens when they become involved in a serious relationship. As life continues, values change, are reformatted, and are reintroduced at different stages. There are even times when what we value may not be seen as important to others. This is okay as well. People do not lead your life, so their thoughts on what you should value is going to differ. Formulate a compass for your life and use your values as your guide.

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