What are your values?

What do you class as important and refuse to budge on?

The Cambridge English Dictionary’s definition of value;

The beliefs people have, especially about what is right and wrong and more important in life; that control their behaviour.

Values are often instilled in us from childhood. A parent’s way of living and thinking heavily influences a child as they are impressionable. Children absorb everything in their environment whether right or wrong.  Parents religion or non-religion, culture, lifestyle, dietary habits all impact on the child. When the child becomes an adult they of course will adopt their own values which may well be contrary to their parents.

My mother had high standards and I recall as a child she forbade us from eating food on the streets, dropping litter,  hanging out after school in our uniforms, watching films that were unsuitable for our age range. We were told to treat others kindly and to say please and thank you when being served. These are just the few I can think of from the top of my head – there are many more!

I struggle to tolerate lying and swearing and have always felt this way for as long as I can remember (long before I became a Christian).  I understand exactly why people do it but do not agree with it.  My values will naturally project to my children and I am sure they will try to resist some just as I did growing up. 

Culture plays a huge part in our lives. My parents are Jamaican and my husband is Nigerian – totally different ways of living.  My husband was taught to postrate to his mother and father every morning. He refers to senior family members/friends as sir or ma. Growing up I called anyone more senior than me by their first name – my husband was shocked that I was allowed to be so free.  My children now call seniors known to the family, aunty or uncle and I am happy with this as I understand it is a sign of respect.

As a child of Jamaicans, I too have a set of values, some of which derives right back to my grandparents. I have obviously let go of anything I deem to be nonsense (myths and superstitions).  The hardworking ethic and drive to succeed certainly comes from my past generation, my grandmother in particular.  She was a pioneer and always pushed forward even in the most challenging circumstances.  That I am thankful for.

What values have you inherited from your past generations?
What values have you adopted yourself?