Values as the Principles of an Individual
In the sense of ethical morality, values signify the importance of an object or action, based on what you perceive as morally correct. One’s values can be carved out before them by their parents, who ingrain rules by shaping their lives during childhood. Societal and environmental factors can also embellish the ways we interpret and react to certain circumstances. When deciding between what is ethically correct and what is not, our beliefs generally influence our decision making process. Many individuals encounter a circumstance at least once in their life time where they have to honor their personal values and prioritize them. In other words, a person’s principles or set standards of behavior, priorities or even their judgment of what is important in their lives is coined the universal term-values. Values are categorized as either personal or social. How we may act, or what we may say is usually different depending on the environment that surrounds us.
Personal values are “the things that are important to us, the characteristics and behaviours that motivate us and guide our decisions. For example, maybe you value honesty,” according to Andrew Black. Some try to be straightforward at every possible opportunity and believe it’s critical to state what you truly think, and when their thoughts are not truly expressed, they feel regretful. People value the power of honesty to motivate themselves to rid that sense of guilt. When it comes to education, many students have different values that they apply throughout their day. For example, one might value efficacy, by prioritizing their school work to maintain their grades. Some value integrity at the same time, and complete course work individually. However, there are some that although they value education, and good grades, they disregard integrity and cheat to get a mere A plus. According to authors Maciej Koscielniak and Agnieszka Bojanowska, “…we suggest that academic dishonesty is a pattern of behavior that can be successfully investigated from the perspective of human values…” Some value the essence of a good grade, over that of integrity and honesty. Every individual withholds values that are personal to themselves, motivating and encouraging them to do things that are important to them.
In contrast to personal values, our societal values are generally shaped and defined by the social environment we live in and the traditions and cultural beliefs of the people that surround us. These values define the social norms while establishing the boundaries between what is right and wrong, what is inappropriate, what is legitimate, forbidden, and impolite in a public setting. Generally, the way we act, and what we prioritize at home does not follow the same guidelines society follows. For example, almost everyone is aware with the fact that is not socially acceptable to disrespect a different religion or race by mocking it or degrading it. No matter what your beliefs are, one should understand that others may have different values. Specifically, in some cultures in Asia it is frowned upon for men and women to intermingle, while here in America it is encouraged to mingle with everyone and expand your social group. Some value the concept of modesty between individuals of the opposite sex, and those who disagree should accept that when in their presence. Additionally, in business, social values are fundamental to withhold a sound connections between colleagues and between the company and the community. In a work environment social values are what keeps a professional relationship between you and your peers. It is essential to exercise values such as dignity, punctuality, honesty, and commitment in a work environment to obtain social acceptance. Another example involves how one is educated.
Those who are well educated tend to develop positive values such as determination, honesty, wisdom, and maturity, however those who are poorly educated prioritize negative aspects like stealing or greed. Uneducated individuals tend to not value others property, life, or honor, thus leading to an increase in crime rate in society. According to Carolyn Cottom, “Four integrated concepts, called the Four Building Blocks, form the basis of our approach: Universal Values (kindness, compassion, cooperation, responsibility, and other such values rooted in the world’s religions); Excellence; Global Understanding; and Service. Taken together, these guiding principles promote the education of the whole child, with Universal Values as the first block – the foundation – upon which the others are built.”(Cottom 54) The individual values of the community members among a society come together to formulate the values that define a nation.
Values are an individual’s principles, set standards of conduct, priorities or even their judgment of what is significant in their lives. The environment that we surround ourselves by defines our social behaviors and restrictions. Our personal values are those that are important to us for our own benefit. Values that we learn and acknowledge as children progressively develops how we perceive society as a whole. Eventually individual, personal values come together, making the societal norms.
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