The more I travel and the more people I meet.

The more people I meet, the more I realize how rare it is to find someone who shares my core values.

Is this good or bad?

When I was younger I was in my own bubble. (I’m surely still in a bubble, but hopefully a bigger and better one.)

I followed the values my dad gave me and didn’t question them.

Lucky for me, I’ve found that I still agree with most of them. And the general feedback I’ve received from others seems to be that I have a strong value system.

What we are given.

Of course MY values are right, those are the only values I know.

Little did I know, everyone’s inheriting a different value system. Mostly from their parents, but also from their friends and other influences in their life.

Like an old habit, these value systems take root when you are young and for most people, don’t change much as they get older.

Some examples of core values:

Respect – who to respect, why to respect them, and when it’s okay to “break” the respect rules.

Honesty – how to appreciate speaking the truth and what to think about others who do not. What it’s okay to lie about and when it’s okay to lie.

Forgiveness – what things do you forgive, under what circumstances, in what amount of time.

Right and Wrong – probably the biggest value and one we all are always still learning. As we find ourselves in new situations, the old rules don’t always apply.

What others are given.

I want to remain conscious that I hold my values as the standard; the benchmark by which everyone else’s values are judged.

If someone has different values I often think of them as “lesser” or “weaker” values. Or, if they match my values then I respect them and they have “very good” values.

Mistakenly I have correlated that with a person’s worth.

It’s easy to hold yourself above other people with that mindset. Especially if you don’t take the time to consider why other people live with the value system they have.

Where did they inherit their values?

Why do they keep their values?

How has their value system changed over time?

Many people are given a set of values that don’t align with my values. Therefore they make different decisions than I would.

Without knowing their past, how can we judge the values that they have? Therefore, how can we judge their actions or assign them a score of worth in this world?

I believe people are genuinely good and they will make good decisions when given the right information.

But we have to also consider their upbringing and the value systems they use to make those decisions.

When we can be conscious of the value systems of others and how they are formed, I think we will find that we are all equal.

I can’t find the attribution…

But there is a great quote I once heard that goes something like this:

You can’t hate a man you truly understand.

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