“Values are like fingerprints. Nobody’s are the same, but you leave them all over everything you do.” – Elvis Presley
Values are deep rooted. There is significant influence of culture, religion, upbringing and awareness on values one develops as an individual. Hence they are prone to differ from person to person. But values are contingent. They are subject to change as we get older. Values are the core beliefs we trust in and believe to be ethical. As children we believe the set of values our parents and families practice. But as we grow older with increasing awareness of the world, we tend to modify our beliefs. This is because, the definition of ethical undergoes metamorphosis based on our experiences and understanding of the world.
There are instances where children from the same household or family grow up to have their own set of beliefs. While the roots are the same, their values are molded based on their different life experiences. Values are often misinterpreted and interconnected with opinions. This is a vast area that has been subject to various theories and conclusions. Opinions are the way we look at facts. But values are not based on facts. They are developed and evolve as we grow older. As long as we grow not just with respect to age, but as an individual, changed ethical values are acceptable.
But once we are clear on the set of beliefs we value, there will come a number of occurrences, that will try to make us lose them. Our values are validated. Now this is not a scenario, where we are trying to grow as an individual, but an opportunity to prove how strong we can hold on to our values. Every firm irrespective of the industry it belongs to, swears by it’s core values. There are several examples of failed companies that could not stand up to the values they believe in. The same applies to individuals. Giving preference to personal cravings over values may lead to unfavorable outcomes. No matter if the entity is a group, a firm, a family or an individual, values/ beliefs are always put to test. This is when we need to prove how strong we stand by the values we believe in, irrespective of the circumstances.
Because, “Integrity is choosing your thoughts and actions based on values rather than personal gain.”