The Weight of Values

As I get older I understand more and more that what I find to be important is not necessarily important to others. I don’t think that makes me, or them bad people. It just makes us both people with different priorities. That’s not evilness, or (unless it’s directed as such) even disrespect it is just a different weight on our values. We still have the same values but perhaps they do not weigh as much to each person.

Take punctuality. I used to be a hour early to work, events, classes not only because of public transportation. I would strive to be early because of my mother.

She was always late. I never met one of my Aunts because every time we would get to visit, we would take so long getting ready we would cancel the entire trip. That Aunt died when I was in middle school. I never met her. Not once.

It was so important to my mother that we all looked perfect, were clean, were ready to go and the car was packed and all that. Then she would look down, and realize she was still in her bathrobe. It didn’t matter if we the kids got our stuff together the night before. It did not matter if we got it all ready the night before. She would have something come up that would keep us from leaving, make us so late that there was no point in going out.

Yes. Yes she is mentally ill. I believe that that played a huge factor in her ability to present herself in stressful situations. I also believe that even now, fully medicated and when given the ability to arrive sometime on a certain date that she will arrive as late on that date as possible, or cancel the entire trip. She has never valued being on time in my lifetime.

I don’t think it was ever her intention for us to always be late to everything. I also feel, if you were to ask her if punctuality was important in general, that she would agree it was and even give you a good example of why it is important. It’s just that it is not as important to her.

Admittedly, with CDubs I am not as good at timing and being on time as I once was.

Which has to beg the question, at least to me, how often do we get angry at others for not prioritizing the same values as highly as we do? How fair is it to expect others in different circumstances to have the exact weight on their values as we do?

I am not questioning that we do not at the core honor the same values of honesty, integrity, justice, family, purity, faithfulness, forbearance, punctuality… to name a few. After all, there was a code of conduct for pirates for goodness sake!

So, with that in mind, how bad are they? I mean really, how off is their weight system? Have you been self imposing your weights upon others?

Now I also agree that individual values aside, some folks just don’t value a human (as a whole being) as much as they might value another human. I want to type here “that’s wrong, you shouldn’t do that,” but if you had me choose between jumping in front of a bullet for my son or someone else…. say a student even…. I’d dive for my boy. I’m sorry. Thinking that makes me feel guilty! But I’m sure my body would automatically lunge towards him. So I can’t say it’s wrong to value other people more than others.

What is important is that every single person has value. They must absolutely have value, or else… horrifying things happen.

I have taught a child who is a sociopath. The things he or she has done in his or her youth to animals is truly…. I do not even imagine. This person does not feel remorse. They cannot. If you met this child you could not tell that he or she was devoid of all empathy.

This child, does not value anything other than themselves. They simply could not understand empathy. I understand, and I hope you do to, that this is not a choice. This is a fundamental wrongness within their brain. Knowing this even trying to get this child to empathize with their victims was… pointless.

I imagine what would happen on the day my reassurances, and the reassurance of others are no longer good enough reasons for my pupil to comply with the notion that all human life has value. I dearly hope that he or she finds an empirical, quantifiable reason why humans have value. Truly.

But I digress.

Honesty is extremely important to me. I have had to lie for most of my life. I hated it. I tell the truth as much as possible now. I am getting better at being more gentle about it, but it’s something I value. In turn, just because Sally Sue is a fan of white lies and sparing people’s feelings doesn’t make her the anti Christ.

So I ask you. How often have you gotten angry at someone’s values because they do not perfectly match up with yours? Is it fair? What is unimportant and how far does unimportant go before it’s one step too far for you?

Think about it. Let people know the weight of your values. Things might just change in your life.

Personally, at the very least, I will try to stop expecting people to be as “serious,” about things as I am. I have a long way to go in order to change my thinking.

What do you think? Feel free to comment below!

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2 Comments

  1. OurFour Suitcases

    I think it is very difficult to change how you feel and if you are someone that speaks with candor it is difficult to be quiet. It is nearly impossible to keep my opinion to myself when it concerns my own family. I have alienated my sister and brother, again. Trust me, it is not hard to annoy either one of them and honestly, I would rather say exactly what I think than worry that I will be ostracized by either.

    My daughter, however, is another matter. I was invited to see her new place. I will give you an idea of how wrong the visit went simply by saying that I am a total clean freak. We were invited in but never once offered so much as a glass of water in the 3 hours we were visiting, The cat litter box was in dire need of a clean up and no cleaning has as far as I can tell ever been done. The bed was unmade and there were dishes and clothes strewn about.

    I kept my tongue until I got home and then when she called to ask for my opinion, I heartily railed against the poor hospitality and the disaster. How could this be where my daughter lived? She did not speak to me for 4 months and she removed me from all of her social media. I sent her a long note saying that I was fine with being cut off and wished her a good life.

    She called yesterday to apologize. I am not some wishy-washy mother that folds when I am right, but in retrospect I could have kept my mouth shut. No, no I couldn’t have LOL…You must always be yourself. Take me or leave me…I am who I am 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. afternoonofsundries

      Hey, I’ve had times where I could not ignore my standards. I’m not judging! However I’ve also realized I’ve had some very unkind thoughts towards others about things that simply aren’t in their perview. That just seemed unfair to assume everyone felt the same. However I also understand that if you raised someone to be a certain way it would shock you and override your visiting person gloss (that we all apply before we visit friends!). You see, the same thing you find appalling, I wouldn’t care about because my mother is a hoarder. I am not remotely close to perfectly clean home. It’s not that I don’t value cleaning it’s that I have been trained from birth to ignore it because at her house I could try to change it but it was futile. I thought my home would be different but that conditioning has made me less crazy about clean.

      Once someone you love asks your honey opinion though… they asked for it 😉 I am glad she is speaking with you again! Thanks for visiting I appreciate it!

      Like

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