When I finished ordering my core values, I was relieved to come to a conclusion. Whether that conclusion is right or wrong didn’t really matter because only by testing out what these values meant in practice and using them, would show how accurate I had been. Also I am a firm believer in learning new stuff which the expectation that that education would lead to a change in behaviour in myself (on some level) in which case the work of defining those core values would need to be updated periodically otherwise the values themselves might become out of date.

While I was pleased to come a list of three values, it occurred to me later whilst walking the dog that dropping stewardship so completely might have been a mistake; I was concerned that I had let my logical brain overcome any bit of emotion I could muster in the shape of caring for things or people. I know that caring is a major driver for me and even if it disappears out of my conscious brain on occasion, it needs to be incorporated in any value system I have.

So the three values I chose were Peace, Connecting and Recognition; does caring fit into any/all of them?

Peace can refer to my inner state of mind, to other’s state of mind, and also to the environment I am in. I think there is a sense of balance within peace, it isn’t just about keeping everything calm but more about finding an overall state of peace over a period of time. If I was peaceful I wouldn’t be challenging myself and I think that has to happen if I am to learn new things. Perhaps is about have a peaceful place to go in times of need, to be able to centre myself and recover in a sanctuary. There is definitely a sense of caring for myself here then. I also think to help people find a kind of peace in their mind means you probably care for them. As for an environment, if I think of my garden, then it is peaceful when the flora and fauna are able to thrive without any one thing being dominant at the expense of others. As a human it is obviously tricky to say the earth is peaceful when this one species does so much harm to the planet, but as an individual I hope I can make a difference at a local level.

Connecting to me is primarily about education, learning about other people’s lives, different cultures both now and in the past. Can one have education without caring? I don’t think you can really. If I study at school then I may be doing it because everybody else is, or my parents tell me I have to, but at some level I have to care about what marks I achieve, or how I appear to my peers. Is listening to somebody else’s story purely about self-interest? Well if it is self-interest then at least I am caring about my own development, and if it isn’t about me then on some level I must care about the other person, or some result of the story (solving a mystery perhaps or learning a lesson). Under these interpretations, care definitely comes into connecting.

Finally recognition, does that involve caring about something? Why would you recognise something or someone, if it didn’t have an impact on something.  Isn’t recognition supportive for people or things? If I am recognising a bad thing, then I am highlighting something that could be improved though equally I guess that thing could be made worse. Hmm. Equally recognising something good could help maintain or improve the practice but may make it a target for discrimination. In the UK people seem to like supporting the underdog whilst also criticising people who are successful. I guess it is a matter of what you do with the recognition that is important, change could be beneficial or detrimental; so whilst recognition can certainly incorporate caring, it doesn’t have to.

In conclusion then, I feel that caring has been or can be incorporated in all three of the values of peace, connecting and recognition; that’s alright then.