Values of Individuals

Individual values are those concepts, ideas, and beliefs that we have chosen, or accepted, to guide us in our personal behavior. They represent what is most important to each of us.

Most would generally agree that we learn, or acquire, these personal or individual guideposts early on from parents or our home environment, school and teachers, religion and its leaders, friends, associates, colleagues, professors; and from those people and ideas positioned to influence us.

In his excellent book, A Question of Values, Hunter Lewis suggests there are essentially six basic, fundamental ways we come to "know" something; and, therefore, how we "sort out" what we choose to believe in, and consequently, how we come to develop and choose our values.

These methods are "sense experience", "deductive logic", "emotions", "intuition", "authority", and "science".

And from our sorting and choosing and being influenced, we develop our own unique set of individual beliefs and guideposts which determine our lives and directions and tell us how to make decisions.

So, from lists of hundreds of possible ones, we have chosen only fifty, which we will then narrow down to a top ten. We'll call it Grampa's List. The purpose of this exercise is to demonstrate what we do to determine what are most important; but, also, to show that this process can be quite difficult.

We asked the one around here we call Grandpa to do this for us; and he said just coming up with the first fifty left out a lot of important ones.

To come up with his top ten he made three runs at it, first twenty, then ten, then a refined ten; there were changes each time. This not only demonstrates the difficulty choosing sometimes, but the fluidity and how our priorities do change.

But it is still important to do this from time to time to learn for yourself what are most important to you and what may have changed. This is not to imply that anyone could narrow these to only ten; but listing and prioritizing the most important of them gives one a greater sense of direction and purpose as well as clarified guidelines for daily living.

Individual values are the ideas and beliefs that aare most important to us and guide us in our lives.

Back to Values from Individual Values
Grandpa's Prioritized List
Seven Virtues