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values, religion

1. VALUES. What a person values is what a person highly regards, thinks much of, most often thinks about, especially enjoys, favors, and treasures.  What a person values a person feels is desirable, worthy, important, excellent, meaningful, powerful, and has significance, greatness, superiority, notability, and usefulness.  Each person chooses his or her values and he or she lives to express those values in his or her lifestyle.  Thus, each person develops a lifestyle based on values.  Some values are practical and lead a person to live a lifestyle that is healthy, inspired, active, open, deep, artistic, wise, sustainable, and full of liberty.  Whereas, other values are impractical and lead a person to live a lifestyle that is harmful, boring, passive, narrow, shallow, confused, unsustainable, and lacks many freedoms.  How practical or impractical an individual’s values are often has to do with how practical or impractical his or her family’s values are.  A family’s values have been influenced by its local small society (or various small societies and or large societies).  Societies have values.  A society (or societies) suggests and or encourages families and people to choose particular values.  A society’s values are likely practical if most people are healthy, inspired, active, open-minded, deep, artistic, wise, sustainable, and empowered with liberty.  Whereas a society’s values are likely impractical if many people are unhealthy, bored, passive, narrow-minded, shallow, confused, unsustainable, and lack many freedoms.  A society’s values, a family’s values, and each person’s values are affected by all social elements and natural elements. 

2. Overview of conditions that affect values. While numerous social and natural elements are optimal, society’s, families’, and people’s values are likely practical; thus most people live a lifestyle that is  healthy, inspired, active, open, deep, artistic, wise, sustainable, and full of liberty.  Such social elements include most members of society: living in a well-functioning family and having deep friendships; having a healthy daily routine; being in a healthy economic situation (having adequate food, clothing, shelter, tools, art); useful and hands-on education (learn to be capable and sustainable, discover connections); having enough freedoms; and engaging in art and creativity.  Such environmental elements include clean drinking water; unpolluted air to breathe; the fertility of soil and the vigor of habitats to provide people with natural resources for food, clothes, shelter, tools, and art); and the vigor of habitats to supply people with serenity, excitement, inspiration, and a deep culture.  Everything is connected to everything; thus, societies, families, and each person having practical values is mostly likely achieved when everything is optimal, when all social elements and all environmental elements are optimal. 

3. PRACTICAL VALUES. Various examples of doing things and experiencing things that likely promote practical values. A person likely has practical values if he or she is living a lifestyle that is healthy, inspired, active, open, deep, artistic, wise, sustainable, and full of liberty.  Each person forms values (and thus, lifestyles) based on his or her experience with family, society, and the environment.  Some practical values and some experiences with family, society, and nature that foster practical values include the following.  For instance, hiking in the local natural outdoors with family and friends helps keep the body in good shape and kinships & friendships in good shape.  Valuing close family and deep friendships is usually practical.  It is with the family and best friends that conversations are the greatest, deepest, and most meaningful; and deep conversations help to enrich and broaden the mind, help to inspire health, activity, art, and help to provide wisdom about sustainability and freedom.  Hiking in the natural outdoors helps one to value the natural outdoors.  Valuing the local natural outdoors is likely useful.   The outdoors is big, vast in multiple directions, complex, changing, dynamic, exciting, calming, and mind-opening.  Being immersed in the outdoors helps to open, broaden, deepen, and enrich a person’s mind with ingenuity and inspiration.  By watching the cycles of local nature, people can better understand how to live sustainably and how to help the local environment.  Valuing health is likely practical.  While a person is in good health, the person will most likely continue to be in good health, help his or her family and friends and local society be healthy, and be able to help sustain the local natural outdoor environment.   Health is largely dependent on a person’s state of mind.  A person is likely healthy if his or her mind is inspired, active, open, deep, artistic, creative, clever, and wise.  Being in the vast, complex, dynamic natural outdoors helps to inspire, activate, and open a person’s mind (thus, helps a person to be healthy) and influences a person to value the natural outdoors.   Being in the local natural outdoors inspires a person to live healthily, to sustain natural resources, to learn, to be free and responsible and capable, to be creative and artistic, and to help family, friends, and the local community.  Being in the local natural outdoors inspires people to be creative and enrich the local community’s social elements and to sustain ecosystems and habitats.  Valuing ecosystems and habitats is likely practical.  Vital natural resources (such as drinkable water, clean air, fertile soil, food, and potential materials for clothes, shelter, tools, art, etc.) come from vibrant ecosystems and habitats.  Vibrant economies come from vibrant ecosystems and habitats.  If ecosystems and habitats can sustain themselves and continually produce resources each year, people will be continually be able to harvest resources year after year for many generations to come.  (However, if people over-harvest and deplete habitats, people will run out of resources.) Valuing a sustainable economy is practical.  During a “good economy” (a sustainable economy), people will continually have resources to use. (A “bad economy” (an unsustainable economy) will deplete all resources and people will eventually be left with no more resources.)  Valuing being able to make your own products is likely practical.  It is wise for a person to know how to make his or her food, clothes, shelter, tools, and art.  Furthermore, it is wise to know how to make products from local natural resources.  Each person can keep track of their local resources.  (Whereas, to the contrary, it is a lot harder (and often impossible) to keep track of distant resources.)  It’s wise for a person to watch the abundance of his or her natural resources and to harvest natural resources in a way that allows nature to annually replenish itself (don’t over-harvest, pollute, or deplete a resource).  Being at a school in which students make their own products from local natural resources will help students develop values for making their own products.  Valuing freedom is likely practical.  Within freedom, a person can think for himself or herself and naturally come to realize that it is useful to value freedom, a sustainable economy, family and deep friendships, health, creativity and art, knowledge of sustainability, plants, animals, water, soil, air, seasons, phenology, and local habitats.  Spending adequate time in the wilderness gives each person the freedom to think and form practical values.  If wildernesses are flourishing so that each person has the freedom to think, societies, families, and most people will form practical values.  Also, being free to have the time to have deep conversations with family and best friends also inspires practical values.  Indeed, being in freedom, with family and friends in the outdoors, is compound help in developing practical values.  While social and natural elements are optimal, values will mostly likely be practical, and vice versa.  Everything is connected to everything; thus, values are related to all social elements (health, economy, school, government, values, etc.), culture, and all natural elements (habitats, plants, animals, water, ground, air, etc.).

4. IMPRACTICAL VALUES. Various examples of doing things and experiencing things that likely promote impractical values. Likely, a society’s, a family’s, or a person’s values are extremely impractical if all the elements are in dire condition; for instance, if: grandparents, parents, and children are separated from each other for the bulk of most days; families spend a lot of time away from home each day; most daily schedules are too hectic; most professional jobs are boring; the extreme divisions of labor make most careers too narrow; school generally gives wasteful tedious busywork; many people spend too much time in tiny, mind-numbing, depressing, indoor spaces; many people lack enough freedom to have the time to do enough exercising, being outdoors, relaxing, and resting; most people lack enough time to have deep friendships; many people lack enough time to prepare food in a nutritious way; many people lack enough time to adequately engage in art;  intelligence is reduced to fragmented trivia; fame, money, career, vain fashions, reckless parties, and shopping become more important than kinship, friendships, health, and sustainability; and the drinking water has toxic chemicals, the air is polluted, habitats are destroyed, and natural resources are depleted so that there is not enough for food, clothes, shelter, and tools.  Everything is connected to everything; thus, if values are impractical and destructive, likely many elements are in poor condition as well.  If many elements are in poor condition, it’s logical that many people have impractical and harmful values.  If many things are dire: freedoms are lacking, deep friendships are lacking, education is fragmented and useless, culture is shallow, food lacks nutrition, the daily routine is hectic and boring, water and air is polluted, biodiversity is decreasing, and habitats are being destroyed, it’s no wonder that people form impractical and harmful values.  Everything is connected; it’s no wonder that societies, families, and people around the globe have many impractical and harmful values, for instance: buying exotic mass-produced factory-made products is more important than hand-making unique products from local materials; making lots of money is more important than spending time with family; being popular with thousands of people is more important than having a few deep friendships; living in a big house is more important than living in the bigger outdoors; having a perfectly-manicured weed-free chemically-fertilized green lawn is more desirable than supporting local natural habitats; standardized test scores are more important than knowing how local habitats work; removing wrinkles and having younger-looking skin is more desirable than spending time outdoors to feel younger and healthier; eating nutrient-stripped fast food prepared by corporations is more desirable than eating nutritious food prepared at home; flying to a foreign country is more magnificent than walking in the local outdoors; greed is more necessary than sharing; etc. 

5. INCREASING THE PRACTICALITY OF VALUES. Various examples of doing things and experiencing things that likely promote practical values. If values are impractical, developing values that are more practical has a lot to do with improving all the social and environmental elements.  Values will likely become more practical, for instance: as habitats and ecosystems flourish again; as biodiversity increases; as soil organically becomes more fertile; as water and air become less polluted; as people spend more time connecting with the natural outdoors for wisdom, inspiration, excitement, and relaxation; as freedoms and autonomy increase; as people learn how to make a broad range of necessities (food, clothes, shelter, tools, art) for themselves; as local societies make their own necessities; as each family makes their own food in a nutritious way; as kinship and friendships deepen; as education becomes more practical and focuses less on trivial things; as the daily routine becomes less hectic; and as grandparents, parents, and children spend more time together at their home and in the local outdoors. 

Everything is connected to everything; thus, values are related to all social elements (health, economy, school, government, values, etc.), culture, and all natural elements (habitats, plants, animals, water, ground, air, etc.).

6. VALUES, LIFESTYLE, WORSHIP, AND RELIGION. Values have a lot to do with worship.  A person usually acts (lives a lifestyle) according to his or her values.  A person has values and takes actions for a purpose.  The highest purpose(s) for why a person does the things he or she usually does is the stuff that a person worships.  What a person worships shapes his or her religion, just like values shape a person’s lifestyle.  Through lifestyle, a person expresses his or her values.  Through religion, a person carries out life in a particular way to worship.  To worship is for a person to connect with his or her values and highest sense of purpose and to live the most precious way that the person know how.  Lifestyle and religion are ultimately the same thing, because a person’s lifestyle regulates his or her religious practice and religious practice regulates a person’s lifestyle.   A person’s most-desired lifestyle is living the most precious way that the person knows how throughout the day, the week, the month, the year, and lifetime. 

7. Values, lifestyle, worship, and religion that support morality, spirituality, sharing, and sustainability. A person’s values, lifestyle, focus of worship, and religion usually include spiritual qualities and moral motives.  A spiritually-minded and morally-oriented person values non-material purposes to actions such as selflessness, kindness, honesty, courage, patience, and sharing.   A person’s highest purpose of acting selflessly, kindly, honestly, courageously, patiently, etc. is likely to be spiritual, to connect with the supreme infinite spiritual power, the ultimate source of  selflessness, kindness, honesty, courage, patience, etc. and sharing.  Sharing is an important spiritual action.  It takes many spiritual skills to share; for instance, it takes selflessness, kindness, honesty, courage, patience, and trust to share.  A person shares because he or she knows that spiritual powers, energies, nourishments, and resources are not owned and cannot ultimately be controlled by people.  Spiritual Nature is the source of spiritual powers, energies, nourishments, and resources.  People can use, share, enjoy, and celebrate the spiritual powers, but people cannot claim them as their own powers.  Mankind does not have spiritual powers of its own.  Only mankind’s “Maker,” “Creator,” “Spiritual Nature,” “Divine Love,” “The Great Spirit,” etc., or the one spiritual “God” provides mankind with spiritual powers to borrow.  While there is freedom on Earth, people may choose a mortal lifestyle and a religious routine that reflects their spiritual understandings of sharing power.  The physical outdoor nature of Earth has many physical powers, energies, nutrients, and resources that a person can share with other people and other creatures.  While there is freedom, many people know that the natural outdoors’ powers, energies, and resources should not be owned, sold, and bought, and cannot ultimately be controlled by people.   People are free to borrow natural outdoors’ powers, energies, nutrients, and resources as long as people give the powers, energies, nutrients, and resources back to outdoor nature.  While people live a spiritually-minded lifestyle of sharing, they are more likely to live an ecologically-sustainable lifestyle; an ecologically-sustainable lifestyle is a mortal lifestyle of using, sharing, giving back, protecting, and celebrating local natural resources.   While small societies can live on the local land for free, natural resources are free, and local societies are free to protect their local natural resources and help keep them thriving, people freely share with one another.  While local resources are free and flourishing, people share without restraint with each other, since there is no worry of resources running out (there is no worry about lack of food, clothes, shelter, tools, and art).  While local resources are free and flourishing, there’s only a need to locally hunt, gather, grow, and prepare food to freely share with the local society.  While local resources are free and flourishing, there’s only need to locally hunt and gather materials and to hand-make clothes, shelter, tools, and art to freely share with the local society.  And the local society freely shares with each local person, because what goes around naturally comes around.  While local resources are free and flourishing, there is no need to buy and own resources; there is no need for money.   While local resources are free and flourishing, giving and sharing are unrestrained because there is no concern about balancing a checkbook; there is no financial budget to limit any person.  An ecologically-sustainable lifestyle acknowledges the connection between all social elements and natural elements.  An ecologically-sustainable lifestyle supports and tries to harmonize with the connections.  Likewise, a small society’s ecologically-sustainable culture supports and tries to harmonize with the connections.  Thus, a society’s ecologically-sustainable culture entails many sustainable practices such as: that family, friends, and the local society live, learn, and play together in the local outdoors; that family, friends, local society, local culture, local nature, the seasons, health, joy, economy, freedom, art, values, and education are in unison together; that health connects joy, economy, school, freedom, art, values, the seasons, and vibrant local habitats; that economy connects health, joy, school, freedom, art, values, the seasons, and vibrant local habitats; that school connects health, joy, education, freedom, art, values, the seasons, and vibrant local habitats;  that art connects health, joy, school, freedom, art, values, the seasons, and vibrant local habitats; and that values connect health, joy, school, freedom, art, values, the seasons, and vibrant local habitats.  In a sustainable culture, everything is connected to everything.  The outdoors is the multi-purpose vast space in which all social elements function together.  There are not lots of large public buildings, each of which is for a different social element.  There are not interior building spaces that divide and separate social elements.  There are not lots of buildings: a residential building, a government building, an art building, a school building, an economic building, a health building, and a religious building.   There is one outdoor space in which family, government, art, school, economics, health, and religion are all connected together and all function together.  Furthermore, there are not lots of interior building spaces to divide the social elements from the natural elements.  Social elements are dependent on connections to the natural elements; and vice versa.  Families have shelters for protection from harsh weather conditions and perhaps for protection from some animals while sleeping.  However, most of life it lived outdoors, in connection with everything.   Values are practical while all social and environmental elements are connected and optimal. Everything is connected to everything; thus, values are related to all social elements (health, economy, school, government, values, etc.), culture, and all natural elements (habitats, plants, animals, water, ground, air, etc.).

Links:

Southwest Michigan's Sustainable Pursuits
In Southwest Michigan, various examples of how people are trying to improve social and environmental conditions to promote practical values in society.

Additional Sustainable Pursuits
Various examples of how people of Michigan, USA, and beyond are currently taking action to enrich and sustain nature and society and to promote practical values.

A Great Life, Great Culture
Explores a lifestyle and culture that supports practical values.

Questions about Civilization and Uncivilization
Explores values in civilization and uncivilization.

Nature Connections
Explores many natural resources and habitats that people value.

100% Totally Sustainable
What it takes to have the optimal conditions in society and nature for people to have practical values.

Imagine a School
A Practical School. A school at which each student learns how to do practical activities that enrich and sustain the health of himself or herself, society, and the environment. A sustainable school. A school in which children learn about their connections to social elements and natural elements; and children learn how to be a benefit to society and nature and to enrich and sustain society and nature. 40 ways a school can be a benefit to children, society, and nature.

Sustainable Design is so Valuable it's Invaluable:

z-design
A landscape architecture firm in Three Oaks, in Southwest Michigan. The firm’s mission includes designing each landscape with multiple purposes: each landscape to be beneficial to society and nature and to be beneficial, beautiful and enticing, useful, and engaging to the people who use it. Also, the firm’s mission includes helping society expand its understanding of the value of nature and natural resources.

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