Me, Part Three- My Values


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Everybody has things that are important to them, that they value. Let’s face it, we all put a value on everything in our life, even if we care not to admit that. Some things, we’re willing to die for. Some things, while we say they mean everything, they don’t. Our values as people inform who we are, they give us direction, and they tend to shape how we view the world. For some, it’s their political beliefs, for some it’s their religious views, and for some it’s something totally different. We all have a set of values, even if some are very loose and weak.

For me, it starts with the things I don’t really value. I don’t value money. I don’t value impressing others. I don’t value stability. I don’t value “hard work” in the way many do, as it often is a substitute for “more work.” Those are just things that don’t impress me much.

So what do I value?

I value loyalty. My friends from my childhood are my friends now. I value past employees who have remained loyal, and I try to return that favor to people that took care of me. In a world where you can’t trust much, if you are a loyal and trustworthy person, you are gold.

I value patience. To me, everything is long game. Yes, we’ll die someday, and yes our time is limited, but to take the short-term payout of fast and fading success at the expense of sustained success is just stupid. There’s no need to rush a good thing, if you know you can attain it.

I value empathy. To the level anyone possibly can, feeling another’s pain and struggle is the greatest honor you can give a person. It means you took the time to give a damn.

I value authenticity. There are lots of yes men, fakes, and posers in this world. Lots of people want you to see an image of them they think you’ll like. That is worthless. Being comfortable as who you are is worth more than impressing any other person.

I value tradition. Yes, the world constantly changes. I come from an old blue-collar area though, where a lot of traditions get passed down. From Thanksgiving Day football games to Christmas Eve Dinners, tradition gets passed down in my family and friend circles over multiple generations. Yes, the world should always evolve, but traditions often carry a certain wisdom that all the progress in the world just can’t replicate.

I value results. Anyone can tell me what the textbook says should happen. Anyone can tell me the best process imaginable for any act. I want to know how it turns out. In this one life we live, most things we do are either a success or a failure. That is still how we should judge things.

I value efficiency. If you work two days to do what someone else can do in four hours, you may be working hard, but you’re working stupid. Always work smart. Cut right to the point. The result is what matters.

I value intellect. Frankly, I want to be around smart people. I want to be around people who want to get things right. Sometimes that might be unpopular, but being right is still better than being wrong, even if wrong feels good.

I value guts. If you’re unwilling to do something because it won’t be popular, or might not work, I’m not interested. Take some chances, risk something, and hope for a higher reward. You’ve gotta put some skin in the game to win.

I value my hometown. I grew up in the best place you could ever live. It’s diverse, it’s got different people from all different backgrounds racially, religiously, economically, and just in their outlook on life. They’re tough people, and they’re good people. I loved growing up in the Easton-Phillipsburg area.

I value principle. If you’re willing to live by a code, and stick to it, you are a far better person than most of us are. There is a certain strength in living by a principle of some kind.

I value realism. If you are not living in reality, you have no place with me. None of us are as great as we think. No situation is as bad as it seems. You have to keep perspective, and be willing to realize the world isn’t exactly as you see it.

I value creativity. In a world where many people hold rigid views of how to get things done, the ability to imagine and try something new is always better than the black-and-white of a textbook view of the world.

I value consistency. I hate hypocrites. Live as you want others to live.

I value the response. A lot of people say let things go. I don’t believe that should be the default setting. I think sometimes, for your own self-respect, you must respond. Lacking that ability is a weakness I can’t respect.

I value history. Nothing is new. Everything that has happened, can happen again. To know history is to know the next move.

I value being alone. In thought. In consequence. Even when it’s tough. Until you are comfortable with yourself, no other person in the room can make you better. If you need someone else, you are doomed. If you are so strong that someone else can build you up further, you are made.

I value progress. The world must always move forward. We must always be striving for better. It’s tough sometimes, but we should not stop just because some think it’s too hard.

I value caring about people. If you don’t care about doing the best you can for others, what do you care about?

I value durability. Again, I care about the long term. How do you stand up to time?

I value nature. The natural world, animals, the seasons. All of that is what life is.

I value main events. Life is about a few crucial moments and your ability to shine in them. The bright lights, the big city, the big game, the big stage. That’s what it’s about.

I value opportunity. Preserve it as much as possible, take advantage of it at any opportune time. Not everyone has it.

I value faith. Whatever you want to believe in, please do. I will too.

Finally, I value you. And me. And people in general. Isn’t that what life is all about?

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