Like many of us, I have recently been forced to consider my values and those of the people who affect my life.
It is an important exercise to reflect on the values we hold in theory and those that guide our actions. We have been presented with a great many opportunities recently to think and feel about values.
It is not the easiest task to spontaneously list values, until they come into conflict. When our actions, or those of others, are called into question, the emotional heat we experience illuminates the values that are important.
I have assembled a list of values from various sources, to jog our thinking about what is important to each of us. Some are from business sources, some cultural, some political, to help readers bring your own to consciousness.
Literature tells us that values of the dominant culture/industrialized society are:
Domination, competition, expansion, unlimited growth, quantity, wealth, immediacy of gratification and as a consequence, short-term goals setting.
Contrast those with some from Human resources.com –
- Inner Harmony, Peace of Mind
- Personal Growth, Learning, and Self-Actualization
- Achievement /Accomplishment
- Financial Stability
A University Student Health Center staff developed the acronym “I CARE” as a tool for remembering and expressing values. In the final document, each word is defined by a series of value statements which describe how the value is expressed in their workplace.
Creativity, beauty, collaboration, responsibility, truth, loyalty, learning, family and friends, kindness, justice, fairness, interconnectedness, more-than-human nature, altruism.
What values will you include on your list? Which ones have guided your responses recently? I must confess that I have been surprised by some of my own reactions.
It is a difficult and sometimes painful experience to measure our actions and attitudes against the list of values we believe/think are important to us. It is so much easier to see the discrepancies in others. Good luck!
I am currently working on a project that surfaces cultural values and look forward to sharing those in another post.