Stand for your values
By Jean Ricot Dormeus
The Greek philosopher Socrates received a death sentence for expressing unorthodox ideas and corrupting the youth. He chose death over exile to avoid the appearance of unrighteous behavior and to stand for the values he had lived by. Because of his courage to uphold his convictions and his contributions to the field of ethics, he exerted a strong influence on philosophers around the world. Socrates’ story speaks to the profound significance of our values.
Most of us hold dear a set of principles, habits or beliefs as a life guiding system. They set our North and determine our priorities, lifestyle, and living conditions. It matters that we are aware of these values and stand for them regardless of the consequences.
If we don’t choose our values deliberately, we get them by default from our upbringing, the school we attended, and the groups we hung out with. These default values cause us to reproduce the patterns we have been exposed to and makes it very difficult to change aspects of our lives we don’t like.
The Korean General Social Survey (KGSS) showed that respondents prioritizing spirituality were the most likely to be happy, followed by those prioritizing social relationships, including family, friends, and neighbors. Those who prioritized extrinsic achievements (money, power, educational attainment, work, and leisure) as well as health were least likely to be happy. These findings clearly indicate that the values we cherish determine our level of happiness and the quality of our lives.
Nigerian author Idowu Koyenikan found the right words to call our attention to values. He said, “A highly developed values system is like a compass. It serves as a guide to point you in the right direction when you are lost.”.
Cultivate timeless values and stand for them. They will help you bring about the changes you desire.
Jean Ricot Dormeus
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