A person’s character results from their core values and motivations for acting. It is the quality of doing the right thing for the right reasons. Traits like integrity, honesty, loyalty, responsibility, accountability, compassion, empathy, gratitude, fairness, patience, fortitude, and others that promote good behavior encompass this concept. The traditional four virtues present in both ancient philosophy as well as in many of the world’s most successful moral traditions include practical wisdom, courage, justice, and temperance or balance. The 3LMP specifically promotes these four virtues as part of aspiring to a high degree of moral character. Always striving to improve one’s character and act accordingly is arguably the most basic, comprehensive, and important aspirational value.
We should always seek ways to align our self-interest with the interests of others to achieve mutually beneficial results. Not only does this approach foster free trade and thereby raise standards of living for both parties, but it also fosters cooperation, mutual benefit, long-term relationships, and a high level of trust. Investing time to genuinely understand another person’s thinking, preferences, and proclivities to determine what constitutes a “win” for another person is a necessary prerequisite to achieving and engaging in a win/win agreement. As such, carefully listening to others is an important skill to be refined to realize this aspirational value.
We should always remain willing to consider new or different ideas, opinions, and conclusions from the ones we currently hold. This open-mindedness should be the case for all issues. If we confront a better idea, opinion, or determination, we should not be afraid to modify our current position on any subject. This willingness to change does not mean we ought to be fickle. However, we should recognize that none of us is perfect, and we all currently hold some incorrect views. Remaining open-minded is the best way to learn and improve. There is simply no downside to being open-minded.
We should recognize that people look, speak, celebrate, love, think, act, and even live differently. We should aspire to genuinely accept the peaceful behavior and beliefs of others that differ from our own, even if we do not personally agree with or approve of them. We recognize that all people are imperfect and therefore act imperfectly at times. Let’s resolve, at least legally, to tolerate the rights of others to live however they choose so long as they do not violate the 3LLP.
We should aspire to be caring, compassionate, generous, and helpful towards others in need even when we are not required to do so, and there is nothing tangible to gain. While we absolutely reject forced kindness, we seek to inspire people to voluntarily be kind towards others because it is the right thing to do and for the sake of creating a peaceful world.
We seek to inspire people to maintain a dignified demeanor of friendship, politeness, goodwill, and respect toward others. We reject the idea of harboring unjustified hostility towards others, calling people derogatory names, or being rude. We should set an example for others to emulate. This remains the case even when others act in uncivilized ways. We each retain the ability to choose how we respond to others. Harboring anger, hostility, or resentment is unproductive and does not foster peace. We can always agree to disagree in a calm and respectful way. Let’s treat others as we would want to be treated ourselves.
We should be firmly committed to pursuing knowledge about what is objectively true about nature and the universe. We value clear dispassionate thinking, logical reasoning, true facts, and rational inferences from those facts. This commitment remains the case even if the facts of reality overthrow our current beliefs. We should not stubbornly cling to erroneous facts, beliefs, or conclusions merely to appear to be “right.” Instead, we should pursue the limits of human knowledge wherever it leads.
Trust is the foundation upon which all productive human relationships are built. Our best relationships are the ones where we have earned a high level of trust. We should never miss an opportunity to build trust with another person. To build trust, we must first be trustworthy. We should always act in ways that inspire others to justifiably believe in our integrity and underlying high character strongly. We should encourage all people to honor their word and fulfill what they promise to foster ever increasing high levels of trust with others.
We recognize no human is perfect. We all make mistakes, which we should enthusiastically own, accept full responsibility for, and constructively learn from. We should promote and maintain a commitment to excellence in all areas. We each have countless opportunities to improve in all ways. We recognize that learning is a life-long process requiring practice, diligence, and commitment. As part of being an excellent human, the 3LM attempts to inspire all people to frequently bring the best new version of themselves forward and continually work towards self-improvement in all areas of life.