"Ceasing to do evil, cultivating the good, purifying the heart. This is the teaching of the Buddhas" - The Buddha (Dhammapada, verse 183)
If you could encapsulate your philosophy for life in one sentence, what would it be? How would you summarise your beliefs, values, ethics and outlook if you could use no more than 20 or so words?
In the Old Testament of the Bible, there are some 613 different rules to follow, covering everything from morality and purity to food and society. In the New Testament, Jesus teaches that 'all the Law and the Prophets hang' on just two commandments:
To love your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind
To love your neighbour as yourself
If Jesus Christ can summarise his entire philosophy in just two sentences, then surely we shouldn't find ourselves facing too much difficulty doing so either?! Some of the greatest philosophers and ethicists in human history have also summarised their history-changing theories in succinct and snappy soundbites: Jeremy Bentham, a founding father of Utilitarianism, famously stated that 'the greatest happiness of the greatest number is the measure of right and wrong', whilst the Buddha encapsulated the teachings of the Buddhas as 'ceasing to do evil, cultivating the good, [and] purifying the heart'.
I wonder how you would encapsulate your own philosophy for life in just one sentence? How would you summarise your beliefs about how life should be lived, and how human beings should conduct themselves? Would you perhaps turn to a popular aphorism, such as 'carpe diem' (seize the day)? Or might you focus instead on the importance of living by a particular value, such as love, integrity, or respect? Whatever your philosophy for life, make sure you are committed to living a life of integrity and authenticity, living your truth and standing strong in the particular set of values and beliefs that you hold.