The inspiration for the If I Can... App has come through reading and reflecting on the poem IF by Rudyard Kipling as a young man and then later in life from the study of the fine Indian scripture, the Bhagavad Gita. They both speak of natural human values and the benefits from living your life according to them.
What are Values?
Values are the deeply held principles that guide our decisions and behaviours; they are those beliefs that are held in the heart. It is these decisions that form our character. There are some values which are universal i.e. common and natural to all human beings such as Love, Truth, Justice & Freedom. When one lives these values then balance, peace and happiness are experienced and a strong positive character develops. When they are ignored or compromised in favour of ego-centric decisions to benefit only me and mine, then stress, sorrow and unhappiness are the inevitable results.
The fact that there are universal values, applicable to all people, in all places, at any time, offers some hope for finding common ground between various traditions. It is for this reason that increasingly values are being used as a way to communicate a moral message to very diverse audiences in various aspects of life like education and business i.e. in the classroom and in the boardroom.
Living one’s life according to the guidance of these fine natural values contrasts sharply with the current focus on short term quantifiable results e.g. financial profit in business, school exam results in education. We also observe the pattern of life for many is one that leads to excess and over-emphasis on inappropriate values e.g. wealth, fame, power and pleasure often at the expense of honesty, fairness, compassion and real freedom.
Observing the high degree of stress and tension experienced today by many, especially young people, and all the distractions in life stimulated by ever-present technology offering content designed to encourage us to do, to possess, to consume more and more; a need was seen.
The idea arose that it would be useful to use technology to help provide regular reminders about positive human values which could easily be shared with friends and if practiced i.e. lived would help make a better life for everyone.
This was the vision from which the If I Can... App arose.