Values can be defined as broad preferences concerning appropriate courses of action or outcomes.
As such, values reflect a person’s sense of right and wrong or what “ought” to be. “Equal rights for all”, “Excellence deserves admiration”, and “People should be treated with respect and dignity” are representative of values. Values tend to influence attitudes and behaviour. Types of values include ethical/moral values, doctrinal/ideological (religious, political) values, social values, and aesthetic values. It is debated whether some values that are not clearly physiologically determined, such as altruism, are intrinsic, and whether some, such as acquisitiveness, should be classified as vices or virtues. [Source- Wikipedia]
“In my opinion, after careful observation, reasoning and analysis, all values that are practised in limits, or that which do not unnecessarily harm our fellow beings and oneself, should be considered as virtues and rest be counted as vices.” – Jeevanshu Dhawan
Today we are afraid of simple words like goodness, mercy, empathy, compassion, and kindness. We don’t believe in the good old words because we do not believe in the good old values any more. And that is why the world has become so sick.
In the words of Philomena Aquado
“Values are the norms, goals or purposes that one chooses in order to give a sense of direction and meaning to one’s life. They are the integrative forces that bring about knowledge in one’s personality” – Philomena Aquado
The main difference between corrupt modern and wise traditional values is that in traditional societies, wise teachers thought that people were a valuable resource and relations between them should be carefully tended and nurtured.
In modern society, corrupt people think that things only form the valuables and people are too often are treated as disposables, or people should be used as such. This has resulted in self-centeredness, and goods and commodities are considered more valuable than human values.
The great economist Roy L. Smith has rightly remarked that
“Too many men who know all about financial values, know nothing about human values.”
Some of our young men and women may not be aware of the truth contained in this proverb –
” Riches adorn the dwelling, values adorn the person.”
In my opinion, they are not to be blamed for this precarious state of affairs.
They are taught to define VALUES thus – The value of a thing is the amount of labouring or work that it’s possession will save the possessor. It is, therefore, in the fitness of things that majority of our younger generation, understands only the language of money-values. Not only that, s/he sees all around people doing everything in the name of and for money. The news of dacoity, smuggling, rape, kidnapping and the like, do leave our young men and women unmoved. They have been programmed to hear and read one thing, but think in practice, quite otherwise. This schism (a division of a group into opposing factions) has disintegrated the personality of our young minds.
This state of affairs cannot be and should not be allowed to last for long, because the members of the younger generation have to take charge of the society, the country, and do all the building for the future.
The future custodians of the freedom of India are not expected to have disregard for human values. They must separate the chaff (material consisting of seed coverings and small pieces of stem or leaves that have been separated from the seeds) from the grains, and have their own norms and values of life.
I will cite an example of Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS
We know that organisations which have strong values and behaviours do well and that employees are engaged, happy, and motivated in their work.
We’ve worked closely with staff to develop and embed our values in all that we do at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and we will continue to ensure that they underpin the way we care for our patients and each other.
Our patients and families will trust us to have the skills, knowledge and ability to look after them properly and deliver the very highest quality of care.
We will show commitment to achieving the very best possible outcomes for our patients and families.
We will always be friendly, approachable and alert to what our patients and families need, no matter what time of day.
We will always have the courage to stand up for what is right, raise concerns, challenge the status quo and improve care at all times.
Whatever the needs or beliefs of our children, young people and their families, we will always do all we can to tailor their care and make their experience a good one.
Young men and women, who are trying to get through competitions, into the administrative services (Civil Services Examination) have a greater responsibility on their shoulders. They would be expected to have a set of values, both in their private and public lives.
In their student lives, our young men and women, learned well to be competitive, imbibing the spirit of ambition and hunger for personal achievement. But now that they are just getting ready, to enter into a life of responsibilities, they should educate themselves to learn or search for the values of humanity, as they will be expected to design and work out a durable system which could bring about a more congenial atmosphere for our societies to live in.
The older people expect our younger generation to lead a life in which all may feel obliged to the older generation. For this, our younger men and women will have to develop kindness, mercy, helpfulness, tolerance, benevolence, compassion, empathy and other such human values, and the older generation should also strive to do the same.
Both generations should remember-
‘Respect is commanded and should not be demanded’,
‘One should lead by example’
‘Loyalty is earned’
‘One always achieves what one deserves, sooner or later, come what may’.
It is good news that the United Nations (U.N) is now trying to focus world’s attention to preserve ecology and environment because it has now become a question of survival for humanity.
When we talk of values, we often think of values as something far above the realm of the material or the physical life. At the same time, no apology is made for referring to values attached to material things. The values attached to material things do give us useful indications, as to what we may consider of higher value. So, the values help us in two ways– on one hand, they give an indication of our fundamental attitude and convictions; on the other hand, they form the basis of our actions, i.e., they mould our motives and thoughts.
Values, unlike ideals, do not refer to the future. Values are present, actual and factual. In this context, all important question is, do we practice what we preach to others?
In case the answer is in the negative, it is clear that we hold no values.
There is an India tale of a king, who was listening to the teachings of a swami (saint) when suddenly a fire broke out in the palace. The king was so engrossed in swami’s discourse, that he could hardly take notice of the fire or hear about it. But the swami (saint), in great excitement, grabbed his begging bowl and his staff to save them from the fire.
My inquisitive readers should take no time to decide who had, in actual practice, and apart from fine-sounding words, the more spiritual values!—the king or the swami?
Obviously, the answer is —- the king.
Values are to be set, only to be practised in actual life. In case, otherwise, the man talking of values, is just like a donkey who carries a load of scriptures on his/her back and knows not a word thereof. It is easier for us to imbibe selfish values than to profess unselfish values in which we do not really believe, and by which, we do not really live.
Values should be considered as a prize, which is worth striving for, and not something which is imposed by the authority.
In most cases, the values are treated like dogmas and antecedent. That is why, they are only talked and preached, and very seldom practised in actual life.
For example, when we go to the examination hall, how many of us would not use unfair means, if given an opportunity or if there were no invigilators?
Values are to be sought by study, reflection, self-examination, and by devotion to ideals. They are of value when lived in practice. The values are not a way of teaching, but a way of life, which prevents us from doing anything out of order, or that which is considered illegal. If you hold certain values, believe in them, let people see what values have made you, what you are.
Thoughts for the month
(Competition Science Vision, September 1998)
- It is a duty to speak when it is a sin to obey.
- A man can do everything with a sword except to sit on it.
- A shady business never yields a sunny life.
- We promise according to our hopes but perform according to our fears.
- Truth waits but prevails.
- Appeasement never pays; it only whets the appetite of the appeased.
- A highbrow (a person of intellectual or erudite tastes; someone highbrow is highly cultured and sophisticated) is a person educated beyond his intelligence.
- Be neither saint, nor sophist-led, but a man.
- Liquor on culmination utters the truth.
- Boots may be different but lickers are the same.
- A vocal minority can create the impression of being the majority.
- All happy families seem alike but every unhappy family is sad in its own way.
- All glory comes from those who dare.
- A lone hand cannot applaud.
- Science without religion is lame and religion without science is blind.
- A difficulty is an excuse history never accepts.
(Competition Science Vision, March 1998)
- My dear friend, he who tells a lie loses the freshness of face, he who cultivates bad habits will ever remain sad; it is far easier to move huge mountains from one place to another than to reform the ignorant stupid.
- My dear friend, avoid the company of wicked people, for no good can be expected to come out of associating with them.
- My dear friends, avoid incurring debts, for a debt is a humiliation by day and a grief by night.
- Anything you become involved in must be worth your total commitment. Going into a venture with doubts is writing a script for its failure.
- We can empower other people with a minimum amount of effort, on our part in doing so, we strengthen both ourselves and the other person.
- Be tolerant of those who disagree with you, after all, they have a right to their own opinions.
- Next to knowing, when to seize an opportunity, the most important thing in life is knowing when to forgo an advantage.
- To greatest of all faults is to be conscious of none.
The Editorial of
Competition Science Vision
Edition – September 1998