WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY VALUES
When we brothers and sisters were school going and young, our father was suffering a lot in his job, mainly due to his honesty, which he cannot compromise with. We saw dishonest people rising and taking command. At that time, we used to think that if honesty does not pay then our father should say goodbye to honesty. And, with dishonesty, of course, he can be a winner. And, the example was our next-door neighbor.
Do you think our father changed? Not at all. Throughout his life, he remained honest irrespective of results he got and taught us the lesson of honesty. I used to think, at that time, that in life I will not stay honest like him and will change if required. But guess what? Could I change? Not really. Honesty has been a greatly practiced core value in the life of all our family members.
Friends! Values are your beliefs about what is right and what is wrong. As per the Cambridge English dictionary, values are the principles that help you to decide what is right and wrong, and how to act in various situations. Helping society is a great value and so is trustworthiness. If you do something that deceives your fellow citizens directly or indirectly, you compromise with your value of trustworthiness.
Friends! Think about your values in life. Values are your identity. Values decide what is essential in your life for making a living. Whatever you do in life reflects your values. When your actions match your values, your life is good. But when you do something that does not match with your values, it gives you unpleasantness.
Albert Einstein said, “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” Values in life are more important than success. It is possible to be successful sometimes by sacrificing your values. But that success will be hollow. And if you do not compromise with your values, you will feel internally satisfied, even if you are left far behind others materialistically.
Well! Do you know what your values are? Let us see how you can identify your values.
IDENTIFY YOUR PERSONAL VALUES
There are certain core values that need to be followed by each and every person of the society. Examples: Integrity, honesty, self-respect, loyalty, and happiness, etc. But there are certain values that are deeply imprinted in your mind. These are your personal values. Examples: Family, spiritual beliefs, discipline, humanity, hope, freedom, communication, and personal fitness, etc.
Let us be clear first about our personal values. In case you want to identify them, think about people, situations or conditions in life that gives you happiness. For example:
- In case you feel happy when you achieve something big in your profession, achievement orientation may be an important value for you.
- In case you become happy when you do something great for your parents or children, family may be the value you possess.
- When you become happy by winning the trust of someone, then trustworthiness is the value you respect in life.
Think about your values. Write down ten values that you really love to follow in life.
Your personal values may sometimes get changed. For example, at one stage in your life, you may start feeling that your parents should take care of themselves as you have to put your time and energy in your professional growth. Thus, your value of family may then take a back seat.
However, there are certain core values which will never change and must be followed by everyone.
UNDERSTAND THE CORE VALUES
Core values are basically fundamental beliefs that govern the society. These beliefs guide people to understand the difference between right and wrong. Core values are permanent and do not change for person to person or from time to time.
As far as core values are concerned, right and wrong are clearly defined.
Like, when honesty is right then dishonesty is wrong. This is true always and for everyone. Period.
There is a need to understand the core values of the culture, society and the surroundings in which you live. If you do not follow these values, there may be chaos in the society. Therefore, never ever think to compromise with these core values.
Examples: Integrity, faith, trust, loyalty, humanity, honesty, personal safety, self-respect, giving back and patriotism, etc.
DO YOU COMPROMISE WITH CORE VALUES?
Core values are guidelines for your actions. If your actions i.e. whatever you are doing today is in line with the core values, you will feel happy. But when your actions are against any one of the core values, it will give you internal tension and your happiness may be sacrificed.
Quite often we read about people taking bribes. They compromise with the core value of honesty. They may still feel happy as they have satisfied their greed of money but they have broken a basic human law, a core value of honesty. With this act, they have created an environment where others will be encouraged to be dishonest and this may cause the society’s downfall. Can you gauge the seriousness created by just one person breaking a core value at one place? That is why core values are important. You should never compromise with a core value. It can have serious consequences.
WHY SHOULD YOU NOT COMPROMISE WITH CORE VALUES?
As far as personal values are concerned, you have a right to change or reprioritize them. But core values are to be followed strictly. Compromising with them can create serious consequences. Let us see why you should not make a compromise with core values:
- Compromise means surrendering you’re conscious. When you accept something which you know by heart that it is against some great value, you lose self-respect. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “there can be no give and take on fundamentals. Any compromise on mere fundamentals is surrender. For it is all given and no take.”
- Compromise brings lower quality standards. When you are not able to achieve top standards, you compromise. You settle to something which is not authentic.
- You undermine your dreams and goals. You settle for something less than that you really require.
- Compromise makes you inconsistent. When you accept everything to please others you lose your identity. Your decisions are not based on facts and values. They are based on what is acceptable to others.
- You become morally weak. When you do something which is against the core values, temporarily you may get your work done. But in the long run, you lose as you become morally down. It can force you to repeat the mistake again and again. As C. S. Lewis puts it, “If you give in to that first compromise, you may give in elsewhere.”
- You develop a fear of being caught for your wrong deed. Often people have been found to compromise their core values to gain financially. Everyone needs money, especially when several EMIs have to be paid month by month. But if they believe seriously in the principle of abundance and perform their duties well, I believe that God has a way to reward them. Only a bit of patience is required.
- Spiritually speaking, you create your karmas. Ultimately, someday you will have to pay a heavy price.
LET YOUR VALUES LIGHT YOUR PATH OF SUCCESS
Friends! Everyone desires to have great success in life. Some people follow the values by heart, keep faith in God, make their best efforts and earn it.
But a few people lose faith somewhere on their way and compromise with core values. With that, they get success but move on to a path which is not ethical in nature. This is where the corruption starts. In the long term, it weakens the morale of society and initiates its downfall. Ultimately, it is not only the person but the whole society that suffers.
Thus, you can understand that the core values are very important. The societies that work in strict accordance with their core values always prosper. It is our responsibility to help our society to develop, grow and prosper. And for that purpose, the first and foremost condition is never ever to compromise with basic core values.
Friends! There are bound to be temptations when we move ahead on the path of success. But it is in the interest of all of us, not to give in to those temptations. Let us morally be strong enough to stand up to our core values. And the core values will then light the path of our success.
SOME IMPORTANT POINTS:
- You have a choice either to practice or not; practice values every moment. Think seriously and take a decision.
- Remember what Josemaria Escriva says, “Compromise is a word found only in the vocabulary of those who have no will to fight.” So, don’t compromise if you have the fighting spirit.
- When you have to start compromising yourself or your values for the people around you, it is probably the time to change the people around you.
- Success needs to be built upon a solid foundation of values. Otherwise, it may be knocked down when small challenges come on the way.
- Don’t do anything in such a way that at the end of your life you feel bad about how you made your achievements.
- Remember the words of Lord Edward Cecil, “Compromise is an agreement between two men to do what both agree is wrong.”
Friends! Let us make the best efforts to be a man of values. Sticking to values may be quite challenging some times, but it will surely give you great happiness and eventual success. You will then be known as a man or woman of values.
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