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values and choices

January 26, 2016

If you want to know what people value and what is important to them, pay attention to their choices.  Even among a relatively homogeneous group of people in terms of income and background, there is huge variation in people’s values.  I see this truth in within my group of friends and co-workers.  Oh I’m sure, that if you asked people what they value and what is important to them in life, their answers would be similar (e.g., family, friends, faith, health…).   It’s not that I think they are lying, but within those large answers, there is lots of variety.   And it’s in this variety that we need to show each other grace and respect people’s various choices.

Some people choose to enjoy meals at restaurants with family and friends as their way of staying connected.  Others choose to host family and friends for meals in their homes.  The first choice can be perceived by others as being frivolous with money.  The second choice can be interpreted by some to mean a lot of stress and work.  Neither choice is better than the other, but each choice does reflect what is important to the person making it and how they live out their values.  People making both choices just want to spend time with the people who are important to them (their family and friends).

I share this idea (and perhaps I haven’t done a great job of articulating it), because too often I feel like we judge others for their choices, assigning our values and preferences to their choices and misinterpreting their choices and actions a result.  All I’m challenging you to do is give others a bit of a break (show some grace and acceptance) when their choices and decisions about how they spend their time and money aren’t the same as yours.  Often at the heart of two different decisions is the same desired outcome.


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One Comment
  1. This is good for me Meghan, definitely a trap I can fall into too easily.

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