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Values: A Guide to an Anchor

A man who has no values is almost like a compass without a needle, a watch without the time. Basically a man is lost without a set of values to live by.

Socrates once said, “Man, know thyself.” Beyond these three words and five syllables lies an adventure. An adventure most men rarely complete, most don’t even get to begin the quest. This adventure, this quest, often entails examining and cross examining one’s true self.

A person’s true self goes deeper than the knowledge that comes with a person’s likes or dislikes. One’s favorite food or the musician the person cant go a day without listening to. One’s true self is like an onion, marked with different layers on top the other. Simply put, knowing oneself is understanding your values, and comprehending your flaws and perfections.

Values and beliefs are irreplaceable factors that determine who one is.

Compromising Values

Values do change, although often times than not- change is a young man’s game. Still it is undeniable that values change, it has to. An individual has to change his values so he or she can be able to keep up with the demanding nature of life.

“A man who stands for nothing will fall for everything,” said Alex Hamilton.

This is true but life is not just white or black there are grey areas between. Grey areas inserted there by us; our sentimentality and our lack of it thereof. This is where compromise sets in; compromising can be a good thing sometimes while at times it isn’t.

  • What is a pacifist to do when accosted with relentless violence and unfounded discriminations?
  • What is a Christian to do when confronted by someone who is gay? Does he abandon his penchant for acceptance and love for his disagreement to homosexuality?
  •  Does an Islam woman give up her love for a non believing man to obey the dictates of the religion?

These are few of the challenges faced by people everyday. They are no right or wrong answers to these challenges, I do not know them if they exist. The decision depends on the individual’s values and his disposition at the time. Some have gone one way while others have gone another way.

Values can be anchors sometimes

Still on compromising, yes values can be anchors sometimes.
Religion, Culture and Money (Yes Money) influence our values. They help form them right from infant till we get old. Sometimes our values aren’t formed by us, they are transferred to us via culture or some other means. This is where the problems set in, when values becomes a troublesome thing. The process of aging makes us forget that these things (culture and money) were made for man and not man for them.

Often time people are so resistant to change. That they hold tight to outdated values and beliefs passed by means other than self discovery. Sometimes this ‘rote’ value is not always bad because sometimes they are right. But when they are wrong, clinging to them stops a person or people from moving with changing trends.

Imagine if people loved each other; despite race, religion or sexuality. Imagine if everyone adopted the trend of putting others first instead of themselves. Now that’s a compromise I can live with.

(but nah, who am I kidding? We humans are one selfish bunch).

What does a person do when faced with a choice: to do what you believe in, against doing the right thing.

PS: what you believe in is wrong.

Malcolm X said it best

“I have more respect for a man who lets me know where he stands. Even if he is wrong than the one who comes up like an angel and is nothing but a devil.

You should always do what you believe in, if you are not sure of what is right. At the end of the day you might not be making the world better but you are not getting swallowed by indecision and doubt.

Man, know thyself.

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