A question of value

by Jeb on 03/17/2009

in Reflection

valueShould our values be universal? I’m not talking complete homogenization here, I’m just curious if it’s important that we, as a people or a country or a community, value the same sorts of things.

I feel my values changing lately, and I’m not inclined to think it’s temporary. It’s a big country we live in, an even bigger planet. Is there room for individuality on this score? And is that kind of individualism sustainable? Can I long endure if my motivation comes from a different place than the vast majority of people? Can any of us?

How does inertia play into this? Or does it? Is it possible we’re at a moment in time where motion has ceased and the individuals of the world might affect a new course?

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

jebdickerson 03/17/2009 at 3:38 pm

what do you value? http://budurl.com/sttx

This comment was originally posted on Twitter


Kendall 03/17/2009 at 5:18 pm


You definitely ponder some heavy stuff.

I dread a world without individualism. I would say much innovation is the result of people marching to their own drummer. Can you imagine if Tony the tiger never thought to put frosting on the plain old corn flake?

As for values, I think it is important for a successful community to share many. I was involved with a type of organization in college often associated with binge drinking or human degradation. But, we had a list of principles/values I will never forget, and I am a better man for having studied them.

Value - To enhance the worth of belonging
Learning - To afford the environment for learning
Leadership - To develop good leaders for America (I know a little jingoistic - the men who wrote these had just returned from WWI)
Excellence - To strive for superior performance
Benefit - to serve fraternity, college and country
Integrity - to perfect a structure of honor

We had an excellent organization, but not everybody was on the same spot on the page on each of these. You could see, in individuals, different priorities. I think it is what made our organization complete. I tend to look at values, desires and beliefs on a spectrum. I would never expect people to land on the same spot on the spectrum on each of my values. I would expect, however, for my community to respect that I have the right to hold those values with whatever fervor I deem fit. So long as I contribute and don’t actively harm somebody in pursuit of them.

Inertia, or no, I think individuals can always affect a new course. Good and Bad.

Keep farming that good food for thought…



Jeb 03/17/2009 at 7:36 pm

I like that Kendall, the idea of people being at different points on the spectrum at any given time. The key, of course, being respect for our individuality. And I think that’s where I was headed with this post. Does that respect still exist? Or have we come too far? Must we tow the line in order to persist?

I hope not. Organized politics and religion tend to discourage me as it relates to this idea, and those are powerful forces. But there are so many other forces that I think are beginning to counteract. I suppose we’ll see as this story unfolds.

Thanks Kendall.


Richard Reeve 03/17/2009 at 7:09 pm

My sense on this issue is that the collective will always tend to stay huddled around what most comfortable, regardless of the implicit values.
What becomes clear in my own journey is that nowhere are values operative that are not useful. Those that employ deceit find it useful. Experience of the path catching up with them might lead to a change of heart, but only if it is useful.
It takes the creatives working alone with their “peculiar” visions to uncover new potential, craft it, and then leave it for the implementors who will reframe it and pass it into the system. Breaking free from the inertia that is the collective is one of the tasks of individuation. Many never take up the invitation.

Get Richard Reeve’s content here..Memorable Teachers


Jeb 03/17/2009 at 8:19 pm

Hey Richard, so then, our (if I am to count myself among the creatives) ‘peculiar’ vision is useful to us in a way that it isn’t to the masses? This idea brings with it a certain sense of responsibility. I think I like it…but I hope I’m up to the task.

Thank you Richard.


Jay 03/17/2009 at 8:29 pm

I realize the importance of individualism, but only to the point that it helps the whole. True values come from the heart and no value from the heart can be selfish in nature.

Get Jay’s content here..Inner Noodle’s Guide to Dream Analysis- Step 5


Jeb 03/17/2009 at 8:38 pm

Oh most definitely Jay. My fear is that the ‘collective’ values actually hurt the whole. In other words, they have a certain momentum behind them from years/generations of moving in a certain direction. And that motion is hard to stop, even when it becomes clear that the values are counter productive.


philbaumann 03/21/2009 at 9:42 am

A question of value from @jebdickerson - http://tinyurl.com/c8eccc

This comment was originally posted on Twitter


Evelyn Lim 03/25/2009 at 8:06 pm

Deep questions you are asking! I’d like to think that values which are aligned to our Highest Good stay the same. Values keep us anchored. If we have made values out of unawareness in the past, we are liable to change them as wisdom catches up.

It may well be that you are part of a growing consciousness that is taking place. As the collective builds up in the new way of thinking, you’d find that you are no more different from the rest. It’s not a bad thing, since the emphasis is more about unity, oneness and love and the consciousness coming from an increased level of awareness, through your own unique insight.

Get Evelyn Lim’s content here..Akashic Records Reveal DreamMaster


Jeb 03/25/2009 at 9:06 pm

Yes I think that’s part of my conflict with it Evelyn. Values are very grounding..helping to anchor us in important ways. So when they begin to change, where does that leave us? It leads to questions and uncertainty.

But truthfully, after seeing where the prevailing values have gotten us, I feel quite confident in the transition. And connecting with others who seem to be going through a similar change is always helpful. Thanks again Evelyn.


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