What matters to you? As humans we value parts of our lives and ways of being within the world. Whether that is living a life of adventure, connecting to family and friends or taking care of the environment… there are some things you care about. Scuba diving opens opportunities for doing what matters most to you.
Diving is a way to live according to values
Being in nature, learning, exploring, status, leadership, activity and physical fitness… there are so many things that can be important to you. Maybe you value some of the things on this list, and not others. Or perhaps your list is entirely different.
Values are freely chosen. They are the qualities you want to express and the directions that guide your choices and actions. Living according to your values is a bit like following the descent line to the depths. The more closely we stick to or values, the more meaningful our lives are and the happier we are with what we achieve. (And the rougher life gets the more useful it is to hold on!)
There is something about being underwater that seems to bring a deeper connection to our values. The extreme environment means that experiences are intensified, so whether you value supporting others and sharing your skills, encountering nature or seeing places others fear to visit … it feels so much more when you do it underwater.
Divers share common values
Have you noticed that your relationship to water changes when you become a diver? Nothing you can do in life will get you closer to the ocean than diving into it. Experiencing our ocean environment enhances our bonds with nature and with each other, because we belong to a group of people that value the health of our oceans and marine life.
Divers share a desire: to go diving whenever and wherever humanly convenient! So we value the people and communities that make scuba diving possible. Travelling divers have the ability to make an impact and our choices determine the effects of dive tourism on local communities. We learn about other cultures and what other people value.
For the same reason, we value our health and wellbeing, scuba divers want to be fit-to-dive! Fortunately, diving can help us with that too! Research is beginning to describe the therapeutic benefits of scuba diving. We may often struggle to make changes for our own health… but we will do it to keep diving!
Divers value different things …
.. and that’s okay! What matters to your buddy might feel less significant to you. There are so many opportunities in diving and so there are lots of things you can do that reflect the values you hold:
- Collect ghost fishing gear to protect the environment
- Dive as a team to carry out an important project
- Participate in citizen science such as logging your trash on the Dive Against Debris app
- Train to rescue marine life
- Learn and teach others by becoming an Instructor
- Share your love of the ocean by guiding as a Divemaster
- Feed your creativity with underwater photography
- Become a self-reliant diver to meet values for safety or autonomy
- Gain a sense of achievement by honing your skills as a diver
People do the same activity for different personal reasons, or different activities for the same underlying purpose. As divers we can share our values and support each other to keep moving in our chosen directions. Scuba divers can make a difference when we act on what we value PADI’s Four Pillars of Change.
Dive according to what matters to you, and take your values deeper.