Modern Relationships. (A solution to the challenges we face.)
Perhaps our desire for pleasure has overshot the need for wisdom. The technology of our modern society, although enlightening, has taken the essential value of partnership away. We no longer need each other to survive. Furthermore, there are no wise traditions honored or held sacred. Instead, there is a deluge of entertainment offering titillating possibilities of pleasure for the individual rather than strengthening our capacity for love and compassion. I often ask people, “How do empathy and compassion show up for you? How do you define love?” (My favorite definition: Love is the ability to extend oneself for the nurturing and spiritual growth of ourselves and others.) In our modern “Me” society, I very rarely get a candid thoughtful answer. Usually, I get “I need to think about that and get back to you.”
When I do find people, who can give candid answers, they usually have an intra-loving-discipline; such as meditation, prayer, yoga, writing or art, where love for themselves and others are at the core of their being. Even in the more masculine disciplines such as being a police officer or a firefighter, for example, this awareness can be found if they find mystery in their pursuit and question their own existence through wonder. If they do, people tend to be humbled and develop a reverence for life and honor others.
So, my solution is to do what you can to get out of your own selfishness and into the joy of wonder. Sacrifice weakness and climb the mountain, perfect the art, improve others, study the amazement of life or whatever it is for you. Do what you need to do to get out of yourself, into wonder and be with others who do the same. You may disagree with them at times but at least you have a basis for your own strong character and will respect them for theirs.