Even though a correct evaluation of somebody’s abilities and values in hidden in the area of social and human sciences, I consider this type of evaluation a totally psychological thing, that can only be performed by individual itself if he has necessary knowledge and communication capabilities.
Before going further in this discussion I would like to find the common source or the base for all the conclusions about my values and aspirations. I think it is a balance. One can say that that they are inner harmony, satisfaction, happiness and moving ahead. I call it balance because such definition covers all aspects of my psychological condition, family status and professional relationships.
It is already too mainstream to speak about development in regard to somebody’s business or professional performance. There are quite a few guidelines describing the process of making one’s life and business successful just employing one idea: development, or by definition of Peter Senge, mastership. Generally speaking, people with a perpetual desire to learn, to improve own skills and knowledge live in two dimensions: personal and organizational.
While they are learning gradually, they receive personal satisfaction of excelling in this process, at the same time they remain motivated for more development by dissatisfaction. From the other side there are organizations that benefit with these open-minded employees because of their initiative and personal vision of the development of the company.
Once I was making an exercise called “My values” and at the same time I read science researches. I found out that there are rather may aspects that our life is dependent on, but we have to set priorities choosing the most and the least important for us. For myself I have chose five of them: family happiness, inner harmony, family security, recognition and health. My reasoning varied for each of them, but only very recently I understood that acting intuitively, I have chosen those which could be placed on the one side of balancing board (what I want and which I can influence on), while on the other are already presented my physical condition, mental ability, skills, knowledge, etc. Researches, described in “The nature of Human Values”, revealed me that all covered in human mind ( at least self determination ) could be classified and explained. Sociologists and psychologists made a great deal of work, but I also found that chosen by me values are “desirable”, which I desire, which shows a particular direction in my life. For example, logic, loyalty, ambitions are also important for me, but I can’t want to be logical, because it may or may not be my personal feature; at the same time I want to be wealthy, but I can’t completely influence on it. For sure, it is possible to devote all life to making money, but does it really make sense?
Let us take a close look at my values now.
Inner harmony – this value can actually be listed alone, which is the goal for all human being and even religions. Also I think that it can be a definition for happiness, however it should not be the ultimate purpose of life, it is rather a necessary condition. I would not want to waste my time trying to achieve unreasonable goals or blaming the society I live in for a bad luck. I want to do as much as I can be happy with it, one drawback of inner harmony is that it doesn’t reflect such principles of our life as a sense of service and feeling of being necessary for somebody else.
Family values – these values usually include family security and family happiness and they are rather relative. They tend to explain emotional and practical sides of my personality, such as making enough money to provide my family. If I were to list social values, I would put family as the first one, because it is my own small world, which I care about, which cares about me, and which presence is essential for my physical and psychological survival.
The next one is recognition. When somebody tries to take seriously his own social life, he can be confused looking for the ways of evaluating or estimating it. Is it a position at a job, or amount of salary, or tangible assets? None of them. It is impossible to apply something material in this extremely psychological field. Working in society, I should feel own necessity, receiving respect and recognition from others. Combined with adequate reward and family happiness, this will make life full and useful.
The next one in my list is health, it does not mean that it is the least important for me, it is a guarantee of the balance of my physical life, if it goes away, all other values will not matter anymore. But it happens sometimes that people consider health a normal personal condition not a value, simply they take it for granted. Just ask them what could they choose: health or wealth plus recognition plus adventure and so on. The answer is really simple; nobody can deny importance of health. The only thing, I can ask God, is health; I will cope with others, just asking Him: “Teach me.” not “Give me”.
One of the most important of my values is education. This is coming a lot from my parents. They now realize the value of a college education and what it means to the whole family. Both of them explained however if they had received a college education thing would have been a little easier around the family.
Honesty is very important in my family too, so I inherited that one. Honesty is the backbone of a persons word I can even remember my very first honesty lesson my parents taught me. One evening my grandfather went to show my younger sister those silver dollars and somehow they were missing. I recall coming home from school to an empty house I will never forget that valuable lesson my father taught me that day. It is not until now I realize what they were talking about; it was taking my grandfathers silver dollars and playing with them when I shouldn’t have done that.
It is both hard and easy to project own life in years. It’s hard because only God can do that: just recall recent tragedy in USA, by centuries living in a peace country, when thousands of people were killed in planned military operation. Nevertheless, life planning is easy. Dreaming about myself in 10 years, I found that my core values reflect desirable life style: happy family, relatively big business in a small city and respectable positions in community organizations. Omitting, therefore, first 4 values, lets discuss about the recognition. Why the city should be small? Because life in it helps to avoid peculiar to businesses in big cities, stressfulness and competitiveness. Reaching a certain professional level and working for a society, I would not need to prove own usefulness again and again in a small city. I shall not be lost among a number of similar businessmen and will receive recognition not only from those who works with me, but also from their neighbors, family members, friends, etc. Shows this position my weakness or inability to compete? The time will show.
It may sound strange but to me being able to smile is a very important value to have. I had an experience with a Japanese girl who could speak very limited English two months ago. We had a very definite language barrier and did not know a great deal about each other apart from that we both played the same sport. She smiled at me and I smiled back and we have been bridging the language gap more recently, as she becomes more competent at English. Hence I can say our friendship all started over a smile.
I feel prejudice and stereotypical views and perceptions are holding the world back from increased peace and happiness. I am sure a smile is the only universal language and is not used nearly as much as what it should be and the effects of hate are being felt, as war, terrorism and crime becomes far to familiar and widespread.
I feel that if we all made the effort to, smile at a stranger occasionally that maybe we could brighten their day and this infectious behavior could finally begin. I must warn the reader of this essay that a smile is the foundation of an attitude change towards the better. An attitude change sounds far too complicated for the average person but I am sure that a smile every once in a while would not be inconvenient and a positive attitude change is a direct result of the emotions involved with a smile
The values that I have learnt from my family, keep me alive today, in every possible way. I’ve learnt about life. I’ve seen life, and I’ve lived and experienced what life really is, and I still have the rest of my life to live. The future is the most exciting thing. You can change your future in a second. Life is what you make of it. Never forget your roots, for they make you what you are. Always be yourself, because you are unique. Dreams can and will become realities, but only if you believe.
I’m still unsure if there is such a thing as a law of life. I think that life is what you make of it, never taking anything for granted, because it could all be gone tomorrow. I think that we, being everyone on this earth, need to take life one day at a time. I believe that we have a responsibility to live, to help and respect others. Maybe that’s the law of life. Maybe it’s love. I don’t know if there is one such law, or if there are thousands. I think that if we are able to look at the world and bring all of the goodness of it into us and live it, then that will be a pretty good start.
Values are developed in a precise context of place and time. They are neither pre-established, nor eternal. In abstraction they can disappear, but they are incarnated in actions and institutions. In other words, they are at one and the same time an expression of the world which gives birth to them and of a way of behavior.
There is a running debate between attempts to give formal expression to these values and their translation into real life. The danger is that in the name of pragmatism or out of a certain cynicism, the actors in society struggle to kill the debate. It is a permanent risk, and especially at the beginning of this Twenty-First century, on account both of the way in which economics rule our lives and of a disenchantment with politics.
Values are something very personal for everybody, though there are generally accepted principles that in my opinion every one should follow. One can disagree with the priorities that I’ve given to some values and with the order of importance I put them in, but certainly I can argue for any of them to very important for every human being.