WHAT ARE THE UNIVERSAL VALUES – PART ONE
I want to start by looking at the values which are about how we think and react, whether to others, situations or just internally.
I’ll begin with being honest. This means more than just being truthful. It also implies not committing the sin of omission: hoping no-one will realise if we don’t tell them. If you’re honest, you own up if you have made a mistake or done something wrong, you say if you don’t agree with something (without being unpleasant), you don’t try to hide either weaknesses or strengths.
This links to integrity which really means being true to yourself. It implies being clear about your values, and not compromising them, but it also means being aligned: your heart and your mind being in accord with each other.
Then when we look at how we think and react, three more strong principles come into play. Firstly there is learning. As humans we constantly learn if we want to continue to develop[ ourselves to be at our best. This means that we do our best not to repeat mistakes form the past, and look at how we might handle things better this time.
Secondly there is the principle of looking forward as well as backward. This means considering the consequences of our actions and reactions before we do anything. It implies avoiding knee-jerk reactions and short-termism.
Thirdly there is the principle of applying common sense to a situation. (I often think common sense is anything but common!) It means distinguishing between what matters and when you’ve just got a bee in your bonnet. It requires stepping back and gaining perspective. It also means being practical: we may want to change the world but we can only do it one step at a time.
Now you may already have thought of something in this category that I have missed – these are only my thoughts, gleaned from working with people over the years. Yet, oh my God, the world would change immediately if we all consistently lived to these values and principles.. and we can choose to do so, if we wish.