Once when I was working with an experienced and knowledgeable community organizer, I tried to complement her by saying that I thought she really lived her values – through her work, her persona, her presence.
She replied that if she didn’t live them, they wouldn’t be ‘values’.
Her words about embodying values have stayed with me during the 10 years since that conversation. Values often seem to be talked about almost more as goals or ideals we aspire to in trying to live our lives, rather than as an active part of our daily life.
What would it be like if you fully embodied your values?
What would be possible in the world if you did?
Adrian Savage says
Your friend is absolutely correct that living her values is the only sensible and fulfilling way to live. Sadly, many people do hold values they don’t express in their lives. A value is just something we find important; we don’t have to live it. We can supress it instead in favor of something else (even another value, since they come in hierarchies). The results are frustration, disappointment and depression — feelings common in most organizations today.