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Why Values & Principles Matter: A Personal Reflection

As I sit here towards the tail end of my first official Pickleball season, many reflections and thoughts flood my mind. Somehow, I cannot help but feel a tinge of sadness when I look at how something as simple as pickleball can lead us to, sometimes, become people that we do not wish to become. Yet, amid competition and trying to beat another player, we forget ourselves, though I believe nobody is completely bad or good.

Everyone wants to succeed but sometimes forgets their guiding values and principles. The people who have spoken to or worked with me know I take a neutral stance on right and wrong because of how relative it is to what we choose to see and our beliefs.

Ultimately, we are all individuals and how we perceive things can be very different. As a neurodivergent individual, I see things differently from many other neurotypical people. Starting this blog allows me to be frank and open in sharing my learnings from playing competitive pickleball and how it relates to other aspects of life. I think one of the things that I want to touch on in this post is about relationships and how it all intertwines with competition.

In all things, everything is about balance. And this balance needs to be steadfastly and steadily maintained by both or all parties within a system and sharing a systemic connection, which is called a relationship. This connection or this system too far towards one polar has a very polarising effect on what this relationship becomes. When we talk about being fair and giving and taking, it can't be a case where someone keeps taking or giving because that polarises and unbalances the relationship, likened to a scale tipping.

Relationships may be tough to handle, but they are still manageable. What pains me is that many of us can easily forget how relationships are so important. Some relationships have reached a point where they are beyond management and can no longer exist. How often have I seen people turn on one another for their gains and forget that we are still one community trying to make everything work? It is disappointing to witness people saying one thing and then deciding to do another. The self-proclamation of what they do right without considering what they do wrong. I've always believed in putting my money where my mouth is and owning up to what I've done. More importantly, I believe in acknowledging my errors and seeking forgiveness only if I have truly done something wrong. Having been on the receiving end of unbalanced accusations and malignment has also taught me that over time, no matter how long it takes, the truth always prevails.

I say this to highlight the implications of our actions. Every step we choose to take towards a certain direction always has an impact on others. To think that our actions don't impact other people simply showcases a very selfish and self-centred mind. And when people behave in a self-centred and selfish way, it then becomes difficult to manage that relationship because it becomes a one-way street. As mentioned, we can't discount that we are still part of a community where balance is required.

Everything is about maintaining that fragile balance. Sometimes, if you push too far in one direction, there will be a counter-reaction, as per Newton's third law. In making decisions, we must remember the values and principles that guide us and be honest about what we are doing this for. If our principles tell us to do all it takes to win or get ahead of somebody, then perhaps those are not principles but simply a self-serving outcome of yours.

Morals, values and principles are important concepts we must hold as human beings who wish to become better. I've made my fair share of mistakes and still will because I know I'm imperfect and will always have lots to learn and reflect on. But I've also learned that before we point the finger at someone else, we must ask ourselves this: "What could I have done better? How am I playing my part in maintaining the balance of my relationships?"

Every day is a new chapter and we must seize each day and seek to maintain that balance within ourselves and in our relationships with others. The next time you act, before you decide to take an action or utter a word, remember that all of this will impact somebody in one way or another. Let us remember that we play a part in maintaining the balance of every relationship we have.

This is Darren, until my next post, onward.


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