Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Value of Values

Our values come from a combination of sources. Partly from what mom and dad taught, partly from school, church, friends, work and experience, our personal values are a result of the sum of the influences from the world around us. They are based on the society we live in, and change with the times we live in.

The values we hold directly affect how we perceive the world, and how we act to it. If your personal values say a thing is very important then you put far more effort into it than less important things. If your values say you are seeing something very wrong then you're more like to react to change it.

The values we choose to live by directly affect our lives. This is not a surprise. But how many of us have actually stopped and chosen our values?

Our overall society does not limit itself to sane and logical things. Values cherished in business school, such as ambition and greed, may be considered deadly vices to your religious leader. Television commercials will entice us towards glutonous triple-decker bacon-cheese grease things that our doctor is sure will kill us. There is no limit to the contradictions.

Doing contradictory things leads to nowhere. Praying for your fellow man on Sunday (or Saturday or Friday) then working Monday to maximize a profit or minimize labour costs is an example.

Do I believe something is the right thing, or was I simply told it was? Is right here, right now, as good as the right thing? If you say you're right, and I stand right behind you, am I right too?

It all depends on what values you hold. Thus, it is such a shame that our society puts such a low value on values.