consider (someone or something) to be important or beneficial; have a high opinion of.
We all have them whether we know it or not. We all live by the things we value whether we realize it or not. But I have never articluated exactly what it is I do value and where exactly those values came from. Reading this book:
and one of the first things he brings up is values. I've decided to do this post and see if I can articulate my values, why I hold them, and where they came from. Here goes......
Honesty - this is something that I believe I value highly. Having been lied to many times in my life, I would rather have brutal honesty than to be told a lie. I think this one came from experience. Not that my parents lied to me, but all kids are lied to for various reasons. I think this value is something I developed on my own and came from the people I had met in my early adulthood.
Knowledge - this is something that is important to me, and has become more important recently. Being able to understand something and analyze it on your own is so crucial in the times we live in. There is so much disinformation out there and far, far too many people just believing whatever they read. This came from my Mom. She was adamant about us learning. Didn't matter what we were learning, as long as we were learning. She taught us to read before we went to school and by the time I was 12 I was reading adult books. I think this was so important to her because she dropped out of high school to get married and raise a family. But she was one of the smartest women I've ever known because she never stopped seeking knowledge.
Hard work - Life is hard. You have to be willing to do the hard stuff. I respect people who work hard. Not necessarily physically hard, but mentally hard, and emotionally hard. I have a huge amount of respect for people who work in animal rescue. That is an emotionally wrenching job and yet they continue to do it. I have respect for that. I value hard work in myself but as I type this I'm questioning it. It seems to me that I have not had to work that hard in my life and I'm wondering if that it really true or is that just my perception? I've worked almost continuously since I was 16 years old. I've supported myself and never really relied on others for my needs. I've worked 2 jobs when necessary. I've worked jobs I didn't necessarily like but needed. No, I have done hard work. It was definitely not the physical kind but I have done hard work. I'm pretty sure this value comes from my Mom also. She was a hard worker and there were times when she had to deal with 6 kids and my Father was gone. She was amazing. I often see the lack of this in my students. They want the easy answer or the easy A. I will generally bend over backwards to help my students learn, unless they won't do the work, then I'm out. So yes, this is something I value very highly.
Relax and have fun - this is definitely something that I value but not something I practice regularly. Hard work is great, but you have to be able to kick back and enjoy life too. That is so important. I don't practice it regularly in that I found myself working all the time. I'm trying to pull away from that now. Being more present in the moment is definitely helping, but it is something I have to continue to work on. This is something that comes from my family as a whole. We would get together and laugh, especially as adults. It was always a fun time when we were all together.
Empathy - this one is not so clear cut. This is defined as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. I definitely value the ability to understand what others are going through, but not the softness that usually goes with that. People have a tendency to take empathy too far. Instead of seeing someone in need and giving them a helping hand, they want to do it all for them and that I don't value at all. I actually see this as one of my really strong points. I can see both sides of a situation (usually) and empathize with both sides generally without judgement or being overly sympathetic to one side. Again, as I'm typing this I realize that I have lost this lately especially with all the politics that has gone on. I haven't tried to be empathetic to the 'other' side. This is something I need to work on. I'm not sure where exactly this one comes from. Probably my Mom, probably some of my life experience, just not real sure.
My values have changed over the years, as I hope they would as I grow and mature. I used to value money. Money was very important in my life. I'm not sure exactly when that changed, but it has. While money is important in that I don't want to be broke and homeless, it's not the driving factor in my life anymore. I will not do a job I dislike no matter how good the money is - and I've had that all my life. I never saw the sense of staying in a job you hated for 30 years just to get a retirement. Makes no sense to me. I used to value material things like clothes, possessions, cars, etc. I think that was closely tied to the money thing. But I have moved away from them also. There is a certain car I would love to own, but that's because I want it and not because I think it's important. If I never own it I'll be fine. I do have lots of clothes but lately I've been buying and wearing things that are comfortable and that look decent. I don't go for certain looks or styles or designer names. I go for comfort and looks acceptable.
This has been an interesting exercise. I don't think I've ever put any brainpower to what I value. I don't think I've ever really given it a whole lot of thought, but my values have really been the driving force of my life. I find it interesting that something that affects your everyday life can be so unknown. I mean face it, everything we do is because is because of what we value and think is important in our life.