I live, teach, and breathe values in my work, but it was missionaries’ suggestion that prompted my husband, Mike, and I to discuss our family values. How are your values influencing your choices? Do you have mutually agreed upon values on how to raise your children? Execute your marriage? And have you reevaluated them?
Part of the Explore your Why – 9 part series
A missionary couple’s advice on family values
During my several trips to Kenya, there was one staple, a missionary couple, Lois, and Dr. Mark Shaw. Lois has a Masters degree in communications and the founder of Africa by Design Safaris. Mark has a Doctorate and Masters in Theology and is a professor at the African International University. For well over two decades, Lois and Mark have raised their family in Kenya and became part of the African International University community. Lois first went to Kenya because of her husband’s career aspirations but soon became enthralled with the Kenyan women. Her role moved from supporter to African ambassador.
There were many hours spent with Lois and Mark discussing topics that I had little knowledge, such as divinity, university life, and the Kenyan culture. Of all the conversations we had, the one that was life-altering was also the topic I had the most knowledge of – values.
Sitting over dinner, Lois and Mark advised me of the importance of a husband and wife creating family values and a collective life mission. This commitment to their values and mission helped them stay connected over twenty-five years while they continuously relocated between Kenya and Virginia. When making a decision, they would revisit the family values and mission to guide them.
Family values make it easier to alter your course
I live, teach, and breathe values in my work, but it was Lois and Mark’s suggestion that prompted my husband, Mike, and me to discuss our family values. Some of those core values included love, loyalty, adventure, connecting, caring, inclusivity, personal growth, contribution, and having enough money to sustain them. We then created a collective mission. Although our mission has changed over the years, at the time we had that conversation, I had no idea the extent of the exercise’s potential impact. When we were deciding if we were going to sell our home and most of its contents, then go interview women pioneers in Africa, those family values and the mission guided that decision.The most influential element of realizing your purpose and deciding how you will contribute to society and to whom will be dictated by your values. #YouMeWeMovement #YourContrbutionCounts Click To Tweet
Likely, the most influential element of realizing your purpose and deciding how you will contribute to society and to whom will be dictated by your values. Values are your moral compass, guiding you to make decisions from the smallest to the most life-altering.The most influential element of realizing your purpose and deciding how you will contribute to society and to whom will be dictated by your values. #MyContributionCounts #YouMeWeMovement Click To Tweet
Personal values choose you
Values are composed of your ethical standards, religious beliefs, and personal values. Two people can hold the same ethical standards and religious beliefs and yet have very different personal values. You choose your ethical standards and religious beliefs; your personal values choose you. Making a discussion on family values possibly a contentious topic, but still, one worth having.
Your authentic self is a combination of those values lived and at what intensity. For example, you may value transparency and privacy. When presented with a situation where being forthcoming may be received as interfering in someone’s personal life, you will need to decide which value has more influence over your actions.
Experiences also formulate your values
Your experiences also formulate values; in turn, one value may direct your life course.
Bience Gawanas is a former African Union commissioner. Her value directed her life course for participation. She involved herself in politics because she grew up in South West Africa, which in 1990 became Namibia. During apartheid, she couldn’t stand on the sidelines. She felt it was her responsibility to be visible and, as a result, she was one of the few young women who got up on a public platform to protest. Although unaware of where this sense of obligation stemmed from, she believes, “When you are stuck in a corner, you will get yourself out of that corner.” Because of Bience’s values of participation, she took the responsibility upon herself to contribute to society in line with her purpose. Her legacy will live on.
Which values are you conscious of exercising?
Becoming fully aware of the values that you now exercise consciously or subconsciously will guide your actions and help define your purpose. The list of values is vast. Some values that may guide you include:
|fulfillment||using talents||financial security||Vitality|
|uniqueness||entrepreneurship||doing the right thing||Feel good|
…or the YouMeWe guiding values of consistent, conscious, contributions, care, collaboration, courage, empowerment, and inclusivity.
Your values will guide you in designing your purpose, and therefore your conscious contributions™ that will lead tomorrow’s legacy today.
Next, in the Explore your Why series, we will share how to empower our purpose with passion.
Until next time, make your contributions count.
#YouMeWeMovement #YourContributionCounts #YourContributionCounts
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