Values are good, desirable, and worthwhile – they are the motive behind our purposeful actions and are the ends to which we act. Personal values are beliefs about right and wrong that may or may not be considered moral. Religions or societies accept cultural values and reflect what is essential in each context.
Values are essential to ethics – they are concerned with our actions and the choice of those actions. Ethics evaluate these actions and the values that are underlying them. It determines which values should be pursued and which should not. Courage is one of those values where those who believe in courage are willing to stand up for their beliefs, even in the face of strong condemnation. Courage is a moral value when it deals with right and wrong behavior.
Value specifies a relationship between a person and a goal – it relates in the sense that what one person values may not be what another person values even in the same situation.
For example, a person who values honesty might blow the whistle on financial wrongdoing by a superior. In contrast, another person who values loyalty may remain silent (an example of value conflict). The honest person may believe loyalty has limits, and keeping quiet about a wrongful act out of loyalty might harm others. The loyal person may believe in the importance of keeping one's confidence even if it might hurt others because of the trusting relationship.
Values stand up well over time – they are consistently excellent or rightful behavior. Honesty and kindness are two such examples. It is not easy to imagine a fulfilling relationship without them because they build trust in relationships. There are always exceptions, but they are rare.
How have you shown your value as a human person today?
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