how mindful are we of our values?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-25-2010
how mindful are we of our values?
7
Tue, 05-25-2010 - 1:36pm
i'm curious as to how much we are mindful of and how often we choose to act in accord with our values. i wasn't even articulate about what my values were until my boyfriend asked me about them on an early date years ago. but i have since committed years researching and writing and learning about the difference practicing positive values can make in living my best life. when i am conscious about them, my values keep me on track with my fitness and health goals, my relationships, and my profession. they have truly made a positive impact in my life--moving me towards living my dreams. but most people i chat with about values... it's not a conversation they are used to having. so i am curious to get feedback about whether values are a lost conversation? or whether values, and the practice of positive values, is something we discuss and live by? would love to hear what you think.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-25-2010
Mon, 05-31-2010 - 6:43pm

hi there and thank you for sharing your story. wow, what a shocking situation you have described! i am sorry to hear the parents of most of your son's classmates are condoning and enabling their underage children to drink alcohol... and it sounds like not just drink but drink to excess. it certainly doesn't sound like they value teaching any sort of limits, responsibility, consequences to their children as far as drinking is concerned. and why doesn't that surprise me since it seems they themselves don't seem to be concerned with any of the above. maybe i'm reading into it. but a parent condoning 6 to 10 drinks for someone who is underage??? 6 to 10 drinks could conceivably put a child in the hospital with alcohol poisoning depending on how strong the drinks are, how much the child weighs, how little they've eaten recently, etc.

whew. thank g-d indeed your son has the fortitude to walk away from a scene where most of his peers are doing something that he doesn't want to do. kudos to you for being a good parent and instilling self-respect (and the host of other values that enable him to do what he feels is right even when it's the difficult choice) in your son.

it certainly is a great opportunity to dialogue with your son about his choice v. the choices the other kids and parents are making. consequences of their actions could be deadly in so many ways. not to be melodramatic, but alcohol poisoning, drinking and driving, instilling bad habits, and other potential acts of violation that could happen when kids are under the influence are just a few possibilities that come to mind. even when parents are supposedly monitoring, kids find ways to test boundaries, and some of those could end up in a tragic end.

you two could talk about the values toolbox that would be helpful in assisting him in these situations. they could be self-respect, health and wellness, accountability, integrity... you guys could decide together what values he respects and lives by that will help him make the right choices.

certainly, your example, your discussing the situation with him and discussing his values with him, and discussing the potential consequences of drinking irresponsibly will fortify him with the reasoning that will enable him to consistently make smart choices. now and throughout his life.

now, as to the actions of the parents... wow. is there a community leader who might be engaged to initiate and lead a dialogue about facilitating underage drinking? about what that does to the community? to the kids? to the relationships of parents on opposite sides of the situation? if there isn't a community leader, perhaps there is a forum where that discussion would be appropriate? if this mentality is pervasive, it might be a persistent issue that affects younger children as well.

not sure if any of this was helpful to you but i am grateful to you for sharing your concerns. i've just co-authored a book on values and the role they play in living our best possible life. they are powerful tools, our values. without fail, i have seen the significant difference mindful practice of positive values makes in our lives. and, fortunately or unfortunately, one of the most powerful ways to affirm our values is to have them tested. when the rubber meets the road, that's when we know we are living in accord with our values or we've steered away from them. the good news is, we can always navigate back to our values. but the even better news is that it sounds like you and your son are clear about your values both in theory and in practice.

wishing you all the best. would love to hear how it's going.
cheers, liz

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Mon, 05-31-2010 - 11:22am

What are these parents *thinking*? Or have their brain cells been fried by all the alcohol that they themselves have imbibed? This isn't only a question of morals, but there are health and safety concerns, too.

The whole purpose of being a parent is to nurture one's children, guide them through the rocky patches and make sure that they grow up in a safe and loving environment. This does include guidance on drinking, but usually the parents should guide through example and by teaching them the health and safety consequences of drinking not pushing kids to binge drink and become alcoholics.

Those poor, poor kids. Can't child welfare intervene?

But what's with the alcohol culture in your town, Sarah? Has it always been this way? What do the school and health authorities do or say?

Congratulations to your son! It takes a lot of backbone to do what he did. It sounds like the dad was drunk himself?













iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2005
Sun, 05-30-2010 - 11:03pm

It's funny that this is coming up right now, because I'm currently in a situation where my values are being tested.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-25-2010
Thu, 05-27-2010 - 9:47am
thank you for your reply! i appreciate hearing your perspective. i totally agree with you, values do make it easier to navigate through the tougher decisions and they can also carry us with more ease through the times when we feel we are in the flow. but i have found that being conscious to our values systems, mindful of what our values are, is necessary in order to put them into practice. and for years, i hadn't sat down and listed them out. i knew when i felt badly in my bones about a choice i made that i was running counter to some internal guide, but it sure makes it easier when i've thought about my values and am clear about them. then, i can measure my decisions more easily against my values barometer.
i am happy to hear values are part of your conversations and your friends' conversations. i'm paying more attention to my values environment so to speak. it's interesting to discover where they are and where they aren't. thanks for your input!
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-25-2010
Thu, 05-27-2010 - 9:39am
i agree. values are the foundation for all the choices we make whether we're conscious of them or not. and i'm happy to hear that they are a mindful part of your life. absolutely, values are very personal and when i see behaviors that seem to run counter to positive values, the behaviors might still be in line with that person's values. i have had lots of conversations recently where values seemed to be a foreign word and so i wanted to reach out and explore what other people thought about values. thanks for your reply.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2003
Thu, 05-27-2010 - 8:50am
I live by my values every day. They are my rock, and foundation in all areas of my life. My parents didn't teach me these values, I learned from my religion that I found back in 1999 in Thailand. Values are different for everyone, and learned in many different ways-all are important to our well being and how we treat each other.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Wed, 05-26-2010 - 12:39pm

Welcome to the board, Klstubbs!

I am using the frazzled icon because I didn't realize that the post I had written to you hadn't been uploaded... and I quit my browser so that I could reboot my system (heh - downside of multi-tasking on the computer. I was installing an app.)

I love your question, though! Personally, like most people, I've been in situations where I've had to think about my values pertaining to the situation in question in order to make a decision. These decisions have ranged from whether or not to accept someone as a flatmate (no - our values differed too much as some of her values made me feel uncomfortable and unsafe), to drastically changing my life and career plans to be with my family in my family members' time of need because they are important to me. There have been times I've been surprised by how strongly I reacted to certain people or events, too, when these went contrary to the principles that I hold dear.

Living in sync with my values also make difficult decisions easier to live with, which means that I can do things with some grace and with a smile and a lighter heart instead of struggling because I'm resenting things.

Are values a lost conversation? I don't know. Values creep into the conversations that my friends and I have pretty often, but that might just be us ;-)