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I've been thinking a lot about values and why people choose to act the way they do.

My tentative conclusion is that a lot of humanity doesn't undergo much conscious self-reflection (which leads to accountability if you're being honest with yourself and have a generally positive nature) and subsequently falls pray to suffering the same missteps over and over again. I'm hoping it's this and not that more people are mal-spirited than I already believe them to be.

Anyways I realized that without self-awareness of one's moral code, people are prone to do things they later regret. If people stopped and thought for every little action, "does this conflict with my values?", a lot less self-loathing, pain, and suffering would occur (and consequently people would lash out less at others around them.)

So my question to you all is this-

Summed up in one word/phrase, how would you define your moral code? What is the primary value that you attempt to live your life by? If you know what it is, it can be a sort of mantra or guiding thought behind your daily actions that helps you to discover the "right" answer in difficult situations.

To get this started, mine is either "Truth" or "Strength". I've been considering each a great deal and haven't been able to narrow it down to one yet.



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And since this is a tattoo forum feel free to post pictures of tattoos you have that illustrate these values. I know Lochlan for instance has "fidelity para vida" on his knuckles.

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I am a sucker for words, sayings, etc as they have way more meaning than the surface value of them that we often just let spill out. Probably why my focus in grad school is Linguistics under the practice of Psychology. Jake as you said Fidelity for me is a very big one hence why it is on my knuckles. People come and go and unfortunately are in it for their own gain to fulfill short term fixes rather than the long haul of having those they loves back through thick and thin. At the same time I do understand people come and go into one anothers lives for a reason but it is important to stay true. So I try to live daily loyal to my friends, crews, self, and work so passion shines bright in the small and larger pictures. After all, all we have is our word and a handshake.

Here are some cool blogs and threads on the site revolving around words that I often read:

Gougetheeyes did this cool blog on Literary Tattoos.

Mrs. RAD did this blog on Song Lyric Tattoos.

This thread in the Tattoo Designs forum area on Tattoo Fonts/ Tattoo Lettering.

This thread in the War Stories forum area titled Band or Song Tattoos.

I look forward to hearing other words LSTers live by, thanks Jake.

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So heavy for a Sunday morning. I fail at this all the time, but for me, at a really basic level, comes back to treating other people with how you want to be treated. Call it the Golden Rule that's so often associated with Christianity but it's an idea that has pervaded almost every religion, past and present.. Buddhism, Hinduism..

It applies to almost anything you can think of: holding back some negative comment, giving a homeless dude a cup of coffee and a bagel, working an extra few minutes to get a job done, not trying to swindle anyone. And I've found those days I really make an effort and try to stay positive it makes a huge difference in my own quality of life.

The joke about me between my friends and girlfriend is that I'm an angry, grumpy old man stuck in a 27 year olds body. But so much of the time I'm angry or grumpy because of something I perceive as not treating others (or myself) right. Cable companies trying to bilk the last dollar out of everybody, advertising trying to sell poison to the public, even someone just being blatantly rude or offensive.

I can't think of how to boil it down, really. I do have "Faith, Hope, Love" tattooed on me..maybe that's it.

I'm surprised I replied to this post -- thanks Jake for making my brain work on a cloudy Sunday morning.

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Honesty. Not only with others, but with your self.

Love. My conception of this has changed a lot since my early 20s. My kids and my faith have changed that conception.

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I strive to live by the Yamas and the Niyamas, as defined by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutra's. They're pretty similar to a million other codes, these are just the ones I am choosing to shoot for. In traditional "yoga," these concepts are just as important as the poses and stretches, but it's pretty unlikely that you'd ever encounter them in a yoga class in America, as many modern yoga teachers are completely unfamiliar with them.

The Yamas have to do with restraint/ how you treat others, they are the "dont's":

Ahimsa (अहिंसा): non-harming (including vegetarianism)/avoidance of violence, including verbal harm

Satya (सत्य): truth/absence of falsehood

Asteya (अस्तेय): non-stealing, non-cheating, non-coveting

Brahmacharya (ब्रह्मचर्य): appropriate use of vital essence (celibacy or faithfulness in marriage, having self restraint and moderation in everything)

Aparigraha (अपरिग्रह): non-coveting, no envy/jealousy, unhealthy competition, limiting possessions to necessary things

And the Niyamas, the "Do's":

Shaucha (शौच): purity/cleanliness

Santosha (सन्तोष): contentment, renunciation of the need to acquire (yeah, it's a hard one)

Tapas: austerity/discipline in striving for spiritual knowledge/liberation from karma of past deeds, overcoming vices

Svādhyāya (स्वाध्याय): self-study or study of spiritual scriptures, philosophical discussions on the meaning of life

Ishvarapranidhana: self-surrender/ardour, love/belief/recognition of presence of life force/light/supreme creator within ALL living beings

There are also four very important rules:

kshama: tolerance to those who think differently

daya: mercy, kindness

arjava: simplicity, lack of arrogance

hri; a lack of self-admiration, self-pride because of one’s actual achievements, and conceit/ self-praise on account of one’s imaginary virtues.

I'm certainly not implying that I've got these down, it's a work in progress. I know the "assignment" was to pick one word, so I'd have to pick Ahimsa if I really only got one. I did get the tattoo picture part right, though, that's the invocation to Patanjali on my feet, who authored this code I'm reaching to attain.

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Well if it has to come down to one word I think that for me it would have to be either honesty or kindness.

As a phrase it would be either Do on to others as you wish them do on to you. Or soon you will have to make the choice between what it easy and what is right.

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I know its two words... but since I was a child I've tried to live by something called the "golden rule". which is treat others how you would like to be treated. i know it sounds cheesy but its as real as it gets. i do that, and if the corresponding person is a rude in return, then i write them off. im not religious, i dont think ill be rewarded after death for the things i do in this life... but its just nice to be nice and be a good person. i might think of some shitty things in my head at times, but its good to have manners and respect when dealing with other people and that goes a long way.

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I agree with tattoosbyfox. I give everyone a chance, treat everyone i interact with, even the smallest eye-meeting while driving past moments, and then go based on their attitude. If they return the positive attitude we're good, if they dont then they're usually about as meaningfull to me as the rock in the gutter. There are some special cases here though, people who have a good reason to be upset, or ive done something to wrong them somehow.

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