I came across a couple of discussion groups on-line recently that were on values and ethics. One group had, over a 3 month period, in excess of 900 contributions at the time I wrote this. The most interesting thing was how different some of the responses were and how similar others were. The responses are absolutely amazing and I spent so much time reading them my mind was almost boggling. Google “values and ethics” and there are about 4,640,000 results.
However, I’d like to talk about values. (Google ‘values’ and get about 147,000,000 results). I have a ‘thing’ about them as some of you may already know. They are more personal than ethics (and if you want to start a discussion about that comment, please do – I would be so very interested and would love to participate).
The difference in what we all hold as our own values can be affected by wider society, our peers, our culture or sub-culture, our education, media, our age, so many things.
Even the word ‘value’ is value laden by each of us dependant on our personal value system. I noticed in the discussions in the on-line groups, some people gave an economic meaning to the word whereas others had a less tangible meaning. Some people mentioned morals as being linked to values: Some linked values with integrity; I see integrity as a value.
We all have values and they will most probably change over time, and change in priority as our life circumstances change.
Some of the things I valued when I was younger are not so important now. My values certainly shifted in priority when I had children. I used to value certainty and stability more when I was raising my children as I wanted them to feel secure. When they were babies, sleep was something much valued (as my younger daughter knows with her latest one). As they grew older, I used to value sleeping in – now I value getting up early and enjoying the pre-dawn and watching the sun rise.
Then when they grew up and left home my some of my values shifted in importance; and shifted again when I became a grandparent. Getting older and watching my elderly parents with their health issues before they died has brought health way up the list of values over the past several years. One thing I still value very much – it has never changed – is knowledge and learning.
Quite often we go through life and don’t consciously think about our values. They are a guide for our behaviour. Those times when we feel uneasy and uncomfortable are probably when we are not being congruent with our values.
“When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.” Roy E. Disney
Here is a list of some values (in no particular order) you may like to look at to prompt you to think about what your values may be, or what you would like them to be.. Feel free to had your own.
loyalty respect honesty fun
passion freedom happiness justice
punctuality adventure success integrity
love security growth comfort
pride compassion connection safety
health contribution diversity achievement
faith spirituality discovery service to others
innovation creativity reliability determination
joyfulness co-operation joyfulness perseverance
I would be very interested to hear from you as to what you would choose as your top five values?
- Living with a set of values… (antonvandenberg.wordpress.com)