What do we mean by values? Where do they come from? Do values guide us through to the purpose and happiness in life? Please join me in this journey on the roller coaster of values!
The carriage was making slow, but steady, progress wheeling on its almost vertically oriented metal tracks as if a rock climber was climbing a vertical slope step by step while holding on to the ropes. Carrying all of us, the carriage of this famous Blackpool roller coaster called “The Big One” finally reached the zenith. There it paused for about five seconds. This was just an add-on to the forthcoming surprise of a violent and a very long and steep “free-fall” ahead.
For me and my wife, these five seconds were the most enjoyable part of the entire ride. We looked around and saw the blue waters embracing the sandy beach and an array of busy shops along the side of a sea view road on our right. The green residential outskirts were on our left. The day was unusually bright with an open blue sky, yet another perfect day for our family holiday in Northern England this summer. Kids were sitting in the carriage behind and I am not too sure to what extent they were enjoying the view.
Then came the awful part of the “free-fall” and an associated churning in the stomach. Followed by senseless to-and-fro violent turns in both axis which continued even in a totally dark tunnel for a few seconds. This fully paid family punishment was finally over when we came to the end of this ride. Later on, when we discussed the experience amongst ourselves, as expected, kids enjoyed the part of the ride which we both found inhuman and violent. They seemed to have completely ignored the details of the serene, picturesque five second pause at the top of the ride we enjoyed the most.
Obviously, we all value different things. We all have likings and preferences and this keeps our focus selective. In the case of a roller coaster, the reason was apparent. Me and my wife and our kids, being in different phases of our lives and ages, understandably have very different definitions of excitement and focus.
Generally speaking, it is the underlying force of our personal values that drive our choices, decisions, goals and behaviour. Our values propel and guide our actions, judgments, and attitudes as an individual.
Personal values are the set of qualities, characteristics, or ideas about which we feel strongly. It is a set of our belief or feelings that someone or something is worthwhile or harmful. Our values determine our relationship with the world around us.
Values comes from homes, families, schools, society, friends, religion, culture, employers, the period of history in which we were brought up, even the influence of role models and celebrities. Even this long list is not complete. Many of our personal values are dynamic. They keep on changing over time as does our experience and the way we view the world.
The analogy to understand values is to consider a situation in which we are lying in our coffin after death. Our funeral ceremony is taking place. Surprisingly, we are still able to overhear what others have to say on this occasion. Whatever we would like to hear from our nearest family member, nearest work mate and a community friend will be what we value most in our lives.
Values are the statement of personal belief. It has a lot to do with our feelings. And this may be very different from facts.
Fact by definition is a truth established by repeatable observations and precise and verifiable measurements. For instance, it may be a personal belief that following religion makes you an honest human being. The fact may be that many religious people violate human values.
Life gives all of us three resources. A lifespan, mental and physical health, and financial, positional and intellectual ability. It will be sad if we remain immature to understand our values and lives a senseless and directionless life.
In my view, full human maturity means the ability to find time and explore and recognise one`s values. This is essential to live a meaningful and well-directed life of purpose. A happy life is based upon our own choices and upon our own values.
A little food for thought in the end! Beside and beyond our personal values, are there timeless universal values such as love, justice, goodness and truth which act upon us, all of us, whether we consciously recognise it or not? Do they have the power to determine the ultimate human destiny?
What do you all think?
Valueversity would like to thank and acknowledge the sources on the internet for the pictures of Blackpool and roller coaster “The big one”. It is believed that these images are for free sharing. Please do contact us if this is not the case. The relevant pics will be removed at once.