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?


18 thoughts on “What are your values?”

  1. Showing respect to my elders is something that has been instilled in my from a very young age. I do call anyone my senior aunty or uncle. I remember when I was 6 and my friend’s mum told me to call her by her first name. I was so shocked, yet felt a little rebellious when I did it. It didn’t come naturally to me and felt very weird haha


  2. You said it well, Phoenicia–our values come from our parents or entire upbringing influences. I’m very lucky to have had the parents I did. They were very ethical. They set the example of doing things as if the world was watching. And now it is.


  3. Great topic indeed, I grew up in Russia in quite a traditional family with conservative values.. Even after years of living abroad in Europe, I still feel that my values affect my every day behavior but I really like it and would not like to change it


  4. I think it is sad today, that culture and money, are now the values of many people. It is not personal values, they have accepted the value of the whole. What society does, they accept, they have no values of their own. Worse is, society attacks those who might have values different from the whole
    Thanks for sharing.


  5. Wonderful topic Phoenicia. Not many people really give much thought to identifying their values. Of course, we each have a variety of standards and values as you shared with us, but we only have a few core values and those serve as our foundation. Inspiring as always. 🙂


  6. I was raised to believe that you should to to others what you would like them to do to you. The fact that our personalities, values are part of that, are a combination of genes and the environment. Our personality is formed when we are very young. Later in life our personalities and values are just enhanced or diminished.


  7. I was fortunate that I learned from my mother and her family to be welcoming to all people. Too many people today don’t have the time of day for anyone who can’t be of use to them. I try and honour everyone and take time for those who matter to me.


  8. I am Jewish, so we have a big focus on education and hard work. I have tried to live by these, ended up getting my Master’s and making my parents proud haha. I try to live by being kind to others and giving, which is also a Jewish value.


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