As I mentioned recently, I've been working on laying out my personal Book of Shadows. Right at the front of it, because I follow a very personal and unique path, I have decided to lay out my beliefs and those things that are important to me. As part of that process, I revised my personal mission statement so that each of my core values is represented and articulated in a practical way.
I first started this mission statement about fifteen years ago, and I feel like it's finally in a good place that truly represents me.
I am a mystic. I see the interconnectedness of all things, and I understand that, when I hurt others, I am also hurting myself. Because I understand that I am an inseparable part of the Earth's ecosystems, I seek to preserve and protect Nature and all of her children. (Interconnectedness)
I am a hacker. I refuse to fight my natural urge to tinker because even the best systems can be improved if I try hard enough to find the bottlenecks. I understand that creatively breaking things can reveal unintended results, and I seek to use these exploits in innovative ways to improve my life and the lives of those in my charge. I will not be distracted by that which is broken. When I encounter problems, I will solve what I can one action at a time. I will not criticize without a suggested plan for improvement. "Good enough" isn't good enough for me. (Continuous Improvement)
I am eternally a student. I believe that constant learning will keep me from stagnation, and I actively seek out knowledge in whatever way interests me from moment to moment. I believe that all knowledge is valuable, no matter how trivial it may seem, and I oppose all efforts to restrict or constrain information. (Knowledge)
I am a free spirit. I'm not ashamed of what I believe, what I'm interested in, or what the neighbors might think. I accept that my life is my own to live, and I believe that living according to the values of others will only lead to a life I didn't choose. I extend this freedom to others, and I seek to influence not control. (Freedom)
I am a jester. I find the humor in all situations—especially the bad ones—because the best response to the worst situations is to laugh at the absurdity of it all. I understand that criticism and wisdom are often best expressed through contradiction, sarcasm, and foolishly speaking truth to those who don't want to hear it. (Laughter)
I am a social justice warrior. I believe that everyone deserves an equal opportunity, and I seek to remove barriers wherever I find them. I use my privilege to amplify the quietest voices, and I am not afraid to speak truth to power. (Equality)