I seem to have left the whole value things alone for a while which unusually means I am avoiding it. In this case I suspect it is the amount of brain effort required to make further decisions. I wrote down the list of values I had left in my notebook which sits in my shorts’ pocket a few days back and left them to ruminate. Nothing much has happened as far as I can tell so time to push things a bit.

So the list remains at:

  • Connecting
  • Stewardship
  • Acceptance
  • Peace
  • Achievement
  • Recognition

When I wrote them down, I wrote peace down then put a line through it, then added it again. I was dithering about whether peace is part of stewardship or not, and am still not clear. Peace can be applied to a state of mind as well as a general environmental issue, in general it is a state to aim for which fits with being a value, a value needs to be aimed for and all these words work in that context.

So if I had to give up one of these values which would it be? When I consider connecting, I think about linking up with people, but it is also about places, culture and history, even things when I think about it. Connecting leads to education, new experience and hopefully understanding; all pretty fundamental to living life in my book.

What I find interesting in this list is that stewardship stands out as a far more complex value than the others. To steward something or someone requires deep understanding, good judgement and possible self-sacrifice. I would need to be connected to a situation, to accept that situation, to understand that situation, to make informed decisions on that situation, which could lead to a feeling of achievement and being recognised for who I am; doing all this could lead to a peaceful state of mind.

That is an awful lot wrapped up in one word. It is reeks of perfectionism, in that if one was a critical person it would probably be impossible to achieve good stewardship. It encompasses too much, and I don’t think that is helpful in trying to live a value focussed life. Finally right in the middle of stewardship is judgement and decision making, and let’s face it, that is definitely not my forte. I know I can’t avoid making judgements but they are often sticking points for me where perhaps I need help but at the same time avoid seeking that help. Whilst I think stewardship is a good framework to hang my life on, I don’t think it can be in my list of core values, I need them to be simpler than that.

So striking stewardship off the list, that leaves:

  • Connecting
  • Acceptance
  • Recognition
  • Peace
  • Achievement

I struggle with achievement and recognition. I know achieving things are important to me because one way to help me feel better is to construct a list of things to do and in ticking things off that list, no matter how trivial seeing things getting done helps me feel that my life is doing something. I am always doing something so perhaps then it is the recognition that something is achieved that is more important. That feels right to me, if I keep doing things than it is the recognition that boosts my mood in the long term. Then I think about cycling and doing some exercise and the act in itself helps me feel better. But surely the act follows from a desire to connect whether with my inner turmoil or with the feeling of sensations. Hmm.

I have often thought that appreciating the journey is more important than the end stop. Focussing on the goal can lose the importance of the lessons learnt from the journey, and not seeing how that journey impacts on the world around us. Though do we get anything done if we don’t have goals? This is tough! Right, for me, I think recognition is more important than achievement.

Okay, next round is recognition against acceptance. I guess for me acceptance is about being listened to and valued which must apply to others as well as myself but there is also something about not wanting to change something or somebody. That doesn’t seem right. I think it is about seeing something as it is but I also have a sense of working with that knowledge. If I accept that global warming is a fact, it doesn’t take away a need to mitigate how much warming happens, or look at ways coastal communities will cope for instance. It seems to me acceptance follows on from recognition.

Is acceptance more important that achievement? Looking at it on a simple level, yes I think it is.

Right, down to recognition, peace and connecting. I don’t think you can have recognition without connecting to people so that seems straightforward. I definitely think peace is more important than recognition for me; the question is whether peace is more important than connecting? I actually feel a bit bad about this, but yes, peace is more important for me than connecting with others or other things. If I think of people, then connecting with others means learning new things, but it can also mean pain and to make sense of that pain I need peace. I need a sanctuary to repair and recovery.

So <insert drum roll> my conclusions at his particular moment in time is that my top values listed in most important order is:

  1. Peace
  2. Connecting
  3. Recognition
  4. Acceptance
  5. Achievement

Now to do something completely different, that was hard work!

Advertisements