Let’s take a trip to the market. Write down these items in your workbook, and rank them in order of how important they are to you:
• Car • Jewelry • House • Education • Clothes • Shoes • Books • Food
How did your shopping go? Which item was the most important to you?
You have just expressed your values.
What have values got to do with this?
Everything! After all, value is a more personal measure of worth, such as how important an individual considers certain things, beliefs or principles.
Interesting! What you are telling me now is that I ranked books and education as the most important because I value books above other things.
Since value means the worth of something to someone, does that mean two people can’t have the same values?
Of course, two people can have the same measure of worth for a particular thing. In fact there are some things that everyone values and these are referred to as the basic human values.
Human values like: • Equality • Honesty • Honor
• Respect • Self control
• Responsibility • Diligence
A lot of people think that because these values are so common we are born with them.
But we are not born with values. We learn them as we grow up
For example, we get values from: • Community • School • Religion and culture
• Family or Home • Peer groups
So when my mum told me to always respect elders, my pastor told me to pray and my best friend told me to always trust her, they were teaching me values.
So, because we were raised by the same parents and attended the same schools, my siblings and I should have similar values, but because values are personal they won’t be exactly the same.
Exactly. Let’s go to the market again. This time, write down this list and rearrange it according to what is most important to you.
• Not cheating in exams • Not engaging in unprotected sexual intercourse • Punctuality in class • Dressing conservatively • Respect for others • Always telling the truth
Can you see your values in this list?
I can! I see that I value most not engaging in unprotected sex.
Me too! I guess we have similar personal values.
That must be one of the reasons we are such good friends. Of course you can be friends with people who have different values.
The key is to be tolerant.
Being tolerant means respecting other people’s opinions, even if you don’t understand or agree with them. Tolerance is the key to having a peaceful society.
But what if I notice that I have habits that aren’t in line with my values? Isn’t it hard to change your behaviour?
Well Tunde, you’ve taken the first step if you notice that you have a habit that doesn’t work with your values, and you know that your values are more important to you.
You can change a bad value by replacing it with a good one. Then you can make better decisions. You’ll find that you’re happier and more confident when you’re sure that your actions line up with your values.
I think we’ve learned a lot today. Let’s meet up tomorrow to talk about a new topic.
Sounds good to me. I’m going to go home and make a list of my values, and make sure I’m acting according to them.
That’s a good idea, Wunmi. I’ll join you.
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