What is a Value?
“A value system is a set of consistent ethic values (more specifically the personal and cultural values) and measures used for the purpose of ethical or ideological integrity.”
“Core values are the things that people will and sometimes do, die for.”
Your values are determined by outside forces over many years whether you like it or not. In fact it’s not unreasonable to say they’re not even really your values, you’ve simply acquired them through exposure.
Value sets are influenced by countless things including your family (or even lack of family), your friends, television, politicians, Church leaders, cultural influences, books you have read, incidents (both positive and negative) you’ve seen or been involved in, the country you were born in, conversations you’ve had and much more.
Your values tend not to shift too much when you get past your early twenties. We all have a tendency, as with beliefs, to look for information to cement the values we already posses and filter out information to the contrary.
When Values Collide
Have you ever argued with friends or family members about politics, religion, or money? Most people say those subjects are “taboo” to bring up with someone you’ve just met, due to the variance in what that person believes in comparison to you. It could create quite a heated discussion because you have conflicting values on those subjects.
That’s the reason you simply cannot ever agree on certain topics no matter how much somebody tries to persuade you. Of course many of us still carry on banging our head against the wall, trying to convince people of our view.
That doesn’t in any way mean you can’t be in a really strong and stable relationship and/or friendship with somebody that has conflicting values. In fact, it can often be just the opposite because different values encourage compromise and deeper understanding if you’re prepared to listen with an open-mind. And yes, open-mindedness is indeed a value.
On the other hand, sometimes it’s wise to know when agreement will never happen.
It’s completely arrogant to believe we have a handle on what values are right and wrong and others expect others to only see it your way. Yet that is how every argument, fight, and war starts.
What are your values, and why is it important to know them?
It may be a simple question, or it may not be. What are your values? What values guide your choices in life?
Why is it important to be able to articulate your three primary values? Let’s start with your discovering them. Look over the list and identify what you value most—what you use to make decisions in life. If you see a word that almost resonates, but not quite, that may because there’s a better description for you.
I want you to come up with 8 “core values” and 8 “anti-values” that feel right for you.