Values are important and lasting beliefs or ideals shared by members of a culture about what is good or bad and desirable or undesirable. Values have major influence on a person’s behavior and attitude and serve as broad guidelines in all situations.
Couple of weeks ago, I took part in values clarification exercise which helped me in realizing some of my values that I wasn’t aware of, but have guided me in behavior and decision making, these personal values were made up of religious and cultural values. I was also able to recognize some values that are hindrances to my goals. It also helped me to realize that people’s values differ and individual’s values should be respected.
Cultural values mandated that no matter what, women should respect men, and that men are superior, smarter and therefore deserve more opportunities than women, while the respect should be mutual and both gender are smart and should be given equal opportunities and access.
Growing up, I admired people with tattoos so much that I looked forward to having some later in life, but getting to that stage, I couldn’t, because family, religious and cultural values made me believe that such is for wild irresponsible children, and some point, the society believed that any human with tattoo is a cultist, thus, led me to discard my desire to have a tattoo, because I didn’t want to be seen as such, and this value also affected how I viewed and associated with people with tattoos. Tattoos are nothing but a work of art and a means of expression and shouldn’t be used to evaluate people`s personality before getting to know them.
Way back, I believe that homosexuality is a disease and that people that engage in such needs medical attention and are walking the evil part, I shared the same beliefs on issues of abortion, my family and religious values taught me that abortion is murder, and it`s an unforgiveable sin in God`s sight, but now I know there are unforeseen or unavoidable circumstances, like rape, that can lead to pregnancy and the individual in question might not be psychologically, physical, mentally or financially ready to be a parent, people shouldn’t be judged for their sexual orientation or for decision they make regarding their sexual reproductive health.
Undergoing this values clarification has helped me to self-evaluate how consistent my actions are with my values and distinguish between my own motivations and desires and those of the people and society around me.
EXPERIENCE SHARED BY ONE OF OUR INTERNS.