We must remain ever mindful of our values. The best values are those that lift people up and help improve the world. They are the values that cause us to be good citizens and stewards of the Earth. They are the values that remind us that we have a responsibility to society, to the planet, and to future generations. These values include the 12 Essential Values of kindness, respect, empathy, compassion, acceptance, love, forgiveness, gratitude, integrity, equity, cooperation, and uplift.
Some values come at a cost; values like security, propriety, and control. These values often include some people while excluding others. We’ve all seen the desire for security become so extreme that it infringes upon people’s rights and pushes away people who mean us no harm. Or worse, those who need our help. When we exert our authority for what we feel is proper it often comes at the cost of the rights and needs of the marginalized and the oppressed. And the value of control can ruin relationships and even cost lives.
We have to stop and wonder what kinds of values are at play when children are being separated from their parents and placed into cages. We need to ask ourselves what we value when police officers are shooting unarmed civilians, and worse, often without accountability. What values are taking priority when we are closing our borders to people of certain religions or those from particular countries? What is the value that seeks to keep certain people in power even if it means overturning legitimate and fair elections?
Values matter. Our values guide our thoughts and direct our actions. One could even argue that our values are at the core of that which makes us who we are. For example, values like kindness and empathy can guide us in such a way as to make us seem as though we have a patient, caring, and loving nature. How we exercise our values dictates how we move through the world. Our values can even dictate what we are passionate about and what we are willing to fight for.
And so, be ever mindful of your values. And know that where your values lead, your thoughts, words, and actions will follow.
Founder, Century of Compassion