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Creating Shared Values

What are values?

Values represent the highest aspirations and beliefs of an individual , a group or a society.  They are common to a range of secular and religious world-views and are found in most cultures. For example, integrity, a drive for excellence, respect for yourself and others, taking responsibility, being co-operative, actively participating, being caring, valuing fairness – “a fair go”, and democracy are all examples of personal core values and of values which communities and groups share.  For example, if you were to hold a discussion with any Australian community, they would probably say that, as a whole, they value equity, excellence and the promotion of a caring, civil and just society. Of course how we actually act in various circumstances is often not in accordance with our core values.

The way we create shared values is discussing with others what we care about personally and seeing whether they share these values.

Shared values in your home

Have you ever discussed this within your family? What would you be looking for if you do?

Some examples of shared values would be:

Respecting opinions.

Learning to listen respectfully and probe for meaning before deciding to argue.  Sometimes you don’t fully understand what the other person is saying.  If you do argue, do it in a respectful way, where you really listen to what the other is saying, which might just alter your opinion!  Make your own argument in a respectful way, using kind language.

Respecting the property of others. Not borrowing without permission. If you damage something, find a way to pay for it.

Working to be really sustainable in the home.  Recycling, using power in the off-peak times, composting to reduce garbage. There are hundreds of ways where your family can create and live your shared values.

The shared values of  Transform Australia.

Our Values… that guide our actions in Transform Australia:

  • We care passionately about the future of our planet
  • We are committed to real and lasting change in our world
  • We hold our leaders and ourselves accountable
  • We believe that justice and equity are vital for communities to thrive
  • We approach our lives and our work with audacity and courage
  • We celebrate the fierce compassion and love that parents feel for their children
  • We create respectful, empowering and collaborative partnerships in all that we do.

Here is an example of Core Values from the company Seventh Generation:

  • Seventh Generation is the nation’s leading brand of non-toxic and environmentally safe household products
  • Leadership, Inspiration, and Positive Change.  A company with the authority to lead, the creativity to inspire and the will to foster positive social and environmental change.
  • Make The World a Better Place. A community in which individuals possess the resources, knowledge, courage and commitment to make the world a better place.
  • Sustainability, Justice, and Compassion. A society whose guiding principles include: environmental sustainability, social justice and compassion for all living creatures.
  • An Earth Restored. An earth that is restored, protected and cherished for this generation and those to come.

Revisiting core shared values:

Individuals, families, groups and companies need to re-visit their core values every time they make a decision for action, to see if the decision is congruent with their core values.  Sometimes this creates personal anguish, as there are so many pressures from people who don’t truly share the values. But when we develop ways to dialogue, that is, truly listen to each other, we can create amazing results.

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