What is/are values

A value is a belief, a mission, or a philosophy that is meaningful. They are an integral part of every society which influences the behavior and culture of a people or community. Values are important as they are related to the norms of a society, and so they guide the conducts of individuals, groups, or the entire community.
  Values lay the foundation of law, customs and traditions and enable members of a community to solve common human problems for survival.
The values of a society permit social expectations and collective understanding of what is good, beautiful and constructive. We can also say that values dictate the belief system of people and reflect in their ways of life (culture) thereby, shoeing their identity.
Values also reflect a person’s sense of judgement whether right it wrong and help him or her to choose how to behave in every situation. Whether we are consciously aware of then or not, every individual has a core set of personal values and these values motivate us to move our lives in certain directions. Those who value their individuality take responsibility, are self-reliant and act with self respect. Those who value truthfulness cannot tell a lie. Those who value family or friendship sacrifice their personal interests for the good of others, etc. We express our values in our relations with other people when we are loyal, reliable, honest, generous, trusting, trustworthy, feel a sense if responsibility for family, friends, co-workers, our organization, community or country, etc.
   Also, our values can be the belief in hard work and punctuality, self-reliance, concern for others, cooperation, integration, team work, selflessness, tolerance, respect for others, justice, etc. These personal valued influence a person’s attitude and behavior; and determines what one wants and in what order he or she wants them.
      Personal values, that groups of people find important in their day-to-day lives, lay the foundation of societal values. Personal values in this way exist in relation to cultural or societal values.
Valued are also manifested at the level of society. Different cultures makes up the different societies and each culture has values that are largely shared by their members. The values of a society are related to the norms of that society. They identify what should be judged as good or evil.
Cultural values determine and regulate how people interact and what they do with the resources around them. These values give the people an identity as a group and stand as their moral conducts and responsibilities. Group members who express serious conflict with the group’s norms are encouraged to conform or stigmatised for non-conformity.
   Values are obtained in many different ways. The most important place for building values is the family. The family is responsible for teaching children what is right and wrong before they come across other influences. As a child starts schooling, the school helps to shape the values of children. The religion a child is introduced to also plays an important role of teaching the right and wrong behaviors.
There are different types of values. They include honesty, selflessness, cooperation, self-reliance, integrity, contentment, discipline, courage, right attitude to work, etc. All of these except justice and selflessness have been discussed in the Junior Secondary Books 1-3.

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