Values as paraphrased from Merriam-Webster dictionary are a set of good principles or qualities that are inherently (naturally) desirable. Synonym for the word is ‘Virtue’.
Acceptable beliefs, cultures and principles that guide one’s characters and actions can also be termed as values.
Values are what we stand for.
Let’s take a little ride on the characteristics and importance of value!
Values shape one’s action.
They determines one’s decisions.
They mold our perspectives on things.
Values sets the pattern in our choice of peers/friends and relationships.
Let’s just say… VALUES set a blueprint for all we do in life.
Having noted the above, what are the sources of our values?
They are derived from:
• The home
• Learning institutions
• Mentor-mentee relationship
For us as societal beings, our basic source of values is the home. Our parents and guardians aid in the forming of our values & beliefs; they teach us to choose right from wrong. They share consequences of unacceptable and undesirable actions. They teach by what they have been taught and what they believe. Even after our parents teach us what is right from the wrong, we still unconsciously pick up some seemingly good values as we grow and mingle with people.
Having said all these, having learnt, still learning as we grow, and having possessed some values, why is it important we mind our values? We grow and mature to discover that some of the values we learnt are not what they should be to place us in proper standing in the society. We sometimes look back and realize that some of the things we were taught or learnt as being good were not what we thought they were or they are not fine for our present state and stage in life. We grow up and sometimes think “no, I need to change this or that”.
Permit me to say that some unacceptable deeds are some people’s standard values; which brings me back to the question- Why must I mind my values?
The mind and values have one thing in common, that’s imagination. It is imagined that when one becomes humble and respectful, he is accepted in the society, but when he is proud and cruel, he becomes unaccepted by the society. This is usually true.
Referencing from the Holy Writ, it is said that “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh”; ”as a man thinketh in his heart so is he”. Putting it in modern English I’d say “out of the values one possesses, his mouth speaks” and “as a man decides to replace his old values or not, so is he”. Thus as we grow in the body and mind, we must always be in the thinking box of what values we possess that might be deterring in our lives and dealings with people, and most importantly our Maker. This deterring values can range from refusal to deal wisely with or understand people around us, to allowing things to irritate or infuriate us, not being accommodating, being nice for the reward rather than being good for goodness’ sake, refusing to help those we could help to being satisfied with average results rather than going all out for more (non-resilient) to leniency with excellence, etc. These and many more are red-flags we can watch out for in order to mind and evaluate what we carry or hold as values.
Values serve in the place of culture while the mind acts on them by making us become conscious of them. This then makes up habit. This pertinently brings me to the question again…
Why should I mind my values?
I should mind my values for it affects my relationship with people around me. My values will become my habit; I can be termed bad if my values are bad or undesirable. The values I carry become my image anywhere I go, whether I am present or absent. My values give a seal on my integrity; with my values that I carry, people can tell what I stand for. My values will help in the incubation and formation of my every decision. They will decide success or stagnancy. The values you hold determines whether you will stand before kings or mere men. The values I hold determine my choice of heads (remember an adage says “two heads are better than one”, I disagree. I would rephrase and say “two good heads are better than one unknowingly-poor head”). Not forgetting that it also affects our choice of life-partner.
Let us do ourselves one favour, and that favour is by checking and ticking out the red-flags in our values, then challenge our minds to replacing them with good and acceptable values. No one ever has perfect values not even our dear parents, but our Maker. You can ask from Him those perfect values and He will abundantly give without regrets.
Get conscious of the values you hold and refine them!
Ending on this golden note once more from the Holy Writ, which says:
“…but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of GOD.”