Rebirth of Reason in Florida
for insight into how to construct your own Values List.
RECOGNITION OF NEEDS
By the law of identity, an entity has a specific nature and no
other. As Ayn Rand said, "A is A--and Man is Man." Therefore, as a
human being, I have a specific nature and no other. The foundational part of
that nature is my set of human needs
in the spiritual, emotional, mental, physical and universal realms.
The following collapsed outline can expand with the click
of a mouse in Microsoft Internet Explorer.
- SPIRIT (SELF) -- Ethos
My ultimate value is my own life. My Vision for my own Self
is to live a rich, rewarding, satisfying life. This demands the
rigorous practice of the ultimate virtue of Selfishness which consists of
these component virtues:
- Self-Acceptance: I plant my feet firmly on the
ground where I am while accepting that I have new places I
desire to go.
- Self-Assertiveness: I honor myself and my values
in thought, word and deed. I exercise authority only over myself and expect
others to do the same.
- Self-Responsibility: Only I can take
responsibility for my destiny. I accept this
responsibility with joy and expect others to do the same.
- EMOTIONS (SELF-ESTEEM) -- Pathos
When I am able to reason and to produce values, I know that I am able to
live and worthy of living my explicitly stated Vision. My ethical relationship with
myself is Rational Egoism. My aesthetic relationship with the
functional beauty of the products of my own and others' efforts is Romantic Realism.
I continuously discover ways to achieve self-esteem and
explicitly identify these Governing Values in writing through introspection,
identification and validation through the virtue of:
- Pride: I am committed to achieving my own moral
perfection by shaping myself into the image of my own chosen values, sharpening the saw
in all areas of life. This commitment to achieve moral perfection
reduces ultimately to the commitment to follow reason. When I
invigorating virtue regularly and then find myself in unhappy social
settings, I have both the capacity and the right to exercise the enjoyable and youthful luxury of earned
insolence, that liberating "walk away" power that says, "I do not
need you. Next!" I focus on minding my own business
and demand that others mind theirs. To quote Ayn Rand: "It is not
advisable ... to venture unsolicited opinions. You should spare yourself the embarrassing discovery of their exact value to your listener."
As a person of high Self-Esteem, I consider myself able to
live and worthy of living. As a result, I consider myself able to
achieve and worthy of achieving the following governing values:
I am ultimately my own best friend and I swear, by
my life and my love of it, that I will never live ultimately
for the sake of another nor ask another to live ultimately
for mine. I embody the best of rational egoism and
stand as the bitter enemy of those who openly declare self
love as a sin and a danger.
The essence of maximum liberty is maximum control of events at the
level of the individual. In other words, self-government
forms the basic unit and standard for all government. This
principle needs ultimately to guide every social interaction and choice,
especially within the treacherous field of relationships of all
stripes. I reject notions of "duty" across the spectrum
of relationships, whether social, familial or political, in favor of
well-reasoned and perpetual self-interest. I value the freedom to think and to live, and I oppose initiations of
physical force, threat of physical force, and fraud. In public and
private exchanges, I regularly speak and write against the evils of
tyranny over mind, body and property.
I act purposely to keep my body in
peak performance. I feed my body constructive,
uplifting, useful nutrients and exercises every single day.
These exercises include practice of the fine arts of leisure, rest,
relaxation and humor. I view properly practiced relaxation as a
productive art. I comprehend the distinction between being merely active
and being genuinely productive and embrace the principle that activity
does not equal accomplishment. I reject the high-stress
"cram all you can into every day" lifestyle in favor of a more
calm, cool, integrated and life-affirming approach to living that lets
me "stop and smell the roses" at my discretion. I gain great
from my own unique sense of humor.
I act purposely to keep my mind in
peak performance. I feed my mind constructive,
uplifting, useful knowledge every single day. I ask empowering questions to get empowering answers that feed my
growth, ability, and productive capacity.
I practice the fine art of continuous improvement. I know my desired
outcomes, take massive action to achieve them, notice quickly what does
or does not work, and change my approach as required until I achieve my
desired outcomes. I achieve this value through employment of the
industrial 5S standard:
- Sorting: I put away in an orderly
manner what I am not using.
- Sweeping: I maintain the
cleanliness of my work area as well as my person.
- Simplifying: I make a distinction between what
I need and what I do not need, then excess what I do
- Standardizing: I employ standard parts and practices
across the board wherever feasible.
- Self-Discipline: I discipline myself into
promptness by keeping my thoughts, attention, and energy totally on
the task at hand.
I feed my net worth constructive,
uplifting, useful financial decisions every single day.
I grow intense in my excitement as I achieve my dreams and fulfill my
magnificent obsessions. I make no apologies for my desires as a
human being in general, a man in particular and myself
specifically. I possess the natural right to pursue happiness in
accordance with the Objectivist Tri-Quation. This includes
enjoyment of the arts and the various genres those arts encompass.
I expect success in many areas of life, and face challenges head-on.
I respect each of my fellow human beings as an end in
himself rather than as the means to my ends. As a
result, from that very large pool of beneficial
relationships I can select a much smaller number of
relationships to experience deeper forms of bonding.
Leslie is my best friend and the number one person in my life. I give her my
all. From her I have gained great value, especially in the form of
psychological visibility. I give Leslie every possible
kindness and generosity, and never take our relationship for
granted. I regularly praise Leslie's virtues of
kindness, sweetness, caring and beauty.
I am grateful each day for the existence I enjoy, and lavish this
appreciation on those who contribute to that joy. I form friendships with those who
share my values so we can mutually enjoy psychological visibility.
I select as friends mature and independent people who take total
responsibility for their lives and their emotions, and I never accept
responsibility for handling the emotions of another person -- only my
own. I enjoy sharing my unique sense of humor with others
and enjoy having them share theirs with me. I give freely to those who will use
my gifts morally, wisely, and productively. I feed my society constructive,
uplifting, useful interactions every single day. Aristotle
identified in his ancient treatise The Nicomachean Ethics
three elements of genuine friendship:
I carefully select trustworthy people of good
character as candidates for friendship. In some
degree, all good friendships must be friendships of
From that pool of candidates of good character, I
select those whose company delivers mutual enjoyment for
friendships of pleasure.
From that pool of candidates of good character, I
select those whose company delivers mutual tangible
benefits for friendships of utility.
I love my family and express that love often through visits, phone
calls, and letters. I feed my family constructive,
uplifting, useful interactions regularly.
- MIND (REASON) -- Logos
My metaphysical relationship with
the universe at large is Reality. I ruthlessly apply reason to the business of living. I strive for constant
event control within the organic computer I call my brain. I act in harmony with its
nature as a reality-integrating organ. My epistemological relationship with my mind is
Reason, which begins with facts (sensory data); organizes
these data in accordance with facts (the mathematical relationship among concretes); and
is guided at each step by rules that rest on the fundamental fact (the law of identity).
The rules of myth-free reasoning require that each cognition be reduced back to the facts
with which one started. As Ayn Rand said in her paraphrase of Francis Bacon, "Nature,
to be apprehended, must be obeyed." I plan my
achievements using reason in each of my various Roles
through the virtue of:
Rationality: I practice the following
four component virtues to adhere to reality by method of logic:
- Independence: My primary orientation is to
objective reality, not to other people. I accept the profound
moral responsibility of forming my own judgments and of living
by the work of my own mind in a proactive fashion. In
principle, an independent person is as alone in society as he is
on a desert island, since in either situation he accepts the primacy of existence
as absolute. By contrast, a dependent person lives through or
within others and accepts the primacy of consciousness
as absolute. Thus, to a dependent person, solitude means death.
- Integrity: I learn the proper principles of
living, then follow them regardless of unwarranted protests from
either my own or others' emotions. Practicing integrity based on
rational principles leads to self-preservation, while attempting
to practice integrity based on mystical principles leads to
- Honesty: I refuse to fake reality or to
pretend that facts are other than what they are, and recognize
that pretense can neither erase an existent nor create one. I
apply fully integrated honesty based on facts of reality
to search every nook and cranny of my mind for bits of
mysticism, then smash that mysticism mercilessly. Because the
ultimate standard of value is individual human life, moral
principles are absolute within their proper context. Thus, lying
to obtain cash from an honest and productive person is morally
wrong, while lying to protect one's children from kidnappers is
- Justice: I judge people's character and
conduct objectively and act accordingly, granting to each person
that which he earns. I adhere to the trader
principle by encouraging good (life-enhancing) behavior and
discouraging evil (life-diminishing) behavior. Because
what really counts in life are the virtues that support life,
one should praise and support virtues first, and combat and
brush aside vices second. I do this using a toolbox of proportional strategies
that range broadly from recognition and high praise of people's
best virtues to constructive criticism of their questionable
actions to outright condemnation of their worst vices.
Moral judgment can only be passed on observable behavior, not
psychological problems. I identify individual human life as the
standard of value and the individual's own volitional reasoning
and property as his proper method of sustaining that value. I
use reason to reach my moral estimates through two steps: first,
identification of the relevant facts; second, evaluation of
those facts by reference to individual human life as the
standard of all values. Through good judgment, I fill the following roles:
I must use Self, Self-Esteem, Reason and Purpose to maintain the self at
all times. In addition, Vitality and Brilliance act as my
highest optional ways of esteeming the self. Kaizen also
serves my personal growth in all areas. I interact alone with
the universe to sharpen the saw and to earn these values.
To fulfill my stated mission in life, I work for NASA to expand the
human species beyond Earth. This role feeds my Passion,
Brilliance, Wealth and Confidence.
I seek constantly to build my Wealth through a wide range of
rational investments that reshape the Earth into the image of human
values, the root of all valid economic values.
My membership in the Setzer family, to deliver the value of Family
Love to me, requires that I reciprocate this value to them.
I must use my Reason to engage in a clear dialogue with those whose
Friendship I value to discover their optional values and help them
to achieve those values whenever possible.
As a spouse to
Leslie, I must produce certain values for her to experience the
value of Romance.
To experience Brilliance, Friendship and Passion in my life, I
regularly promote and participate in the activities of my
Objectivist Club and related organizations. I actively employ
all available legal and moral measures to secure Liberty whenever
and wherever possible. I actively engage in activities of Toastmasters
increase my own Brilliance, Passion and Confidence.
To be resolved ...
- BODY (PURPOSE) -- Telos
My moral purpose in life, like that of every human being,
prosper and to live happily through achievement of my
explicitly stated Mission to propagate the human
species to new homes away from Earth. Fulfilling
this purpose requires a businesslike interaction with my surroundings. This
consciously chosen central purpose explicitly defines my abstract
values and my associated concrete goals and action plans, allowing me to
integrate smoothly all my actions into a rational whole. My political
relationship with my fellow human beings is Rights as actualized
ideally through an economic system of laissez-faire capitalism.
At all times, I act with a
clear sense of purpose through the virtue of:
- Productiveness: I adjust nature to suit my needs,
with the end in mind and putting first things first.
I constantly acquire knowledge and shape matter to fit my purpose,
translating my ideas into physical form and remaking the earth into
the image of my values. Through thought and action, I can rearrange
entities to suit my purpose, but in all cases, the metaphysically
of nature cannot be broken. As Francis Bacon said,
"Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed." When dealing
with others of known or potential value, I think win-win, seek first to
understand, then to be understood, and, wherever possible, synergize
my efforts with those others. However, I do not suffer fools gladly;
instead, I dismiss their false, arbitrary, or irrelevant assertions
with a wave of my hand and a hearty "Bah!", thus
optimizing the use of my most precious commodity, time, the
stuff of which my life is made. I break through barriers to my
success through integrated thought and action. I consistently
affirm to myself, "I will not be denied." To those
who satisfy the virtue of Justice and augment my Productiveness,
I offer the virtue of Benevolence, which consists of
three component virtues:
- Civility: I act toward them in a civilized fashion.
- Sensitivity: I seek to understand fully their
- Generosity: I give them the benefit of the doubt
within the bounds of reason.
- EXISTENCE (RESULTS) -- Cosmos
I enjoy the results of leading a rational life in an orderly and
thus effectively benevolent universe.