Looking for Value

People almost everywhere are looking (and willing to pay money) for perceived “value”. What they are looking for and what that may be (worth) to them, as EVERY decision, choice, and judgment they make, is a function of (often subconscious) criteria – regarding interrelated personal, relational, family, community, national, societal, global, universal, physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual, educational, ecological, political, business, financial, and countless other “values”. I’ve been thinking a lot about values lately, my own and others’ – and will probably write about the topic (quite a few times) again. People often have very different values from each other. Even when the values themselves are the same, the priority they give them can be very different. When people talk about “values”, the first thing to do is establish what they actually are – and in what order. Establishing a hierarchy is important in reducing questions and conflicts about what (really) matters most.

While comparing and contrasting the stated values of different businesses and organizations, I couldn’t help but notice the difference between the core values of various branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.

The United States Air Force has three core values: Integrity First, Service Before Self, Excellence In All We Do. I really like these!

The United States Navy also has three core values: Honor, Courage, Commitment.  Each value supposedly represents several others.

The United Sates Marine Corps is a department of the Navy – the Men’s Department! – and shares the same three stated core values as the Navy, but takes them much more seriously. I will write more about this (and other distinguishing aspects of the Marine Corps) later.

The United States Army has seven values: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, Personal Courage. The first letter of each value in order spells “LDRSHIP“. You’d think they could’ve at least come up with two more values to actually spell “leadership“! Spelling (or even REAL leadership) is obviously NOT among their higher/core values. Creating Army acronyms is!

Just for fun – and to possibly provoke more ideas, here are a few “universal” values:

The bronze rule: Do unto others before they do unto you. [Bronze weaponry can be an advantage when everyone else only has rocks, paper or scissors….]

The silver rule: Don’t do unto others what you wouldn’t want them to do to you. [If you’re “second best”, don’t upset those with the gold.]

The golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them to unto you. [Those who take and keep the gold usually make the rules.]

The platinum rule: Do unto others as they want/would prefer you do unto them (rather than what you want – for yourself). [Blonds may have more fun, but going platinum also means a lot of people are buying your records and singing your songs…about them.]

Three Laws of Robotics
1. A robot may not harm a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2. A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3. A robot must protect its own existence, as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Values are not just qualities, traits, characteristics, or principles; they form the basis or rules, laws, and codes of conduct.

What are some of YOUR highest/core values? What is important to you?

© 2008 – 2012, Oren Pardes. All rights reserved.

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