This is a definition of Values I found on the internet and it sounds reasonable:
A personal value is a foundation upon which measures of integrity are based. They are normally considered objective but I don’t think very much can be totally objective. 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 behavior.
So keeping that in mind these are some of my thoughts on the word and how I believe values influence my live and how I came by them:
This is one the most if not the most, important considerations a person has to come to terms with in their life. I have evaluated and modified what I thought were my values many times in my life and I imagine I will continue to do so for the rest of my life as I know it.
I think that a lot of our values have predetermined tendencies because of our upbringing. Our parents bring us up in relation to their values and of course a lot of these get absorbed into our thinking through the years.
Values are hard to describe, there seems to be more than one kind and definition of what values really are to each of us and all of us. They are the important principles by which we run our lives and they are also the things which have worth ,or make things have worth, to us.
Sometimes I wonder how much choice we really have in determining what values we should live by. I have had times when I thought that I had completely lost some of my values but upon examination I find that I have not really lost the values but they had gotten buried in an avalanche of things that obscured them. I don’t really remember making a conscious choice of what values to have and what ones not to have, a lot of times I have to analyze my values and decide what is the value and what is the behavior that came from the basic values I have.
The only way I can find of determining which values I should live by is by trying to figure out which ones bring about the most enrichment in my life with the least amount of harm to others. Ethical considerations have to be made when examining what we think are our values. A value can be good or bad and a lot of that depends on how we are using what we feel is the value in our day to day behavior and lives.
A person can value something very much but if the value starts destroying everything else that is important to them then the person had better examine the value of their belief in what they value and change what they value that is destroying the value of the value if it is indeed a real value. A value in some way should enrich your life, possibly values should also give some direction to your life or be the direction, possibly that is part of the puzzle of what really makes up a value or makes something valuable. I know that because of some of the values I hold that some of the decisions in my life are already made for me because of their agreement or disagreement with my underlying values.
The values we live by should be realistic, or at least as much as possible, they should give us a rational outlook on life, they should help us with the running of our life. The values have to be examined with regard to our morals and with regard to how it fits in with the overall presumed social values of the masses.. Values need to be healthy or the individual will not be, a person needs to understand their values, the good ones and the bad ones, once they are understood they can be dealt with but I am not sure they can be changed, I think that some of the behavior can be changed that stems from some of the things we value but I doubt that the real deep underlying value we hold can be totally controlled by us.
I try to live by the values which bring about the most and best enrichment and enhancement of life’s experience. This is how I feel a person should determine what values to live by.