“I have learned that as long as I hold fast to my beliefs and values, and follow my own moral compass, then the only expectations I need to live up to are my own.” Michelle Obama [1] 

In this quote, the attorney, author and former first lady of the United States sums up what values are; they are what drive our behaviour and the decisions we make.  

Without knowing what we value we can easily give in to the values of others. When we’re young it is really hard, much of what you think and do has been influenced by others; parents, brothers and sisters for example.

Why are values important? 

Choosing your own values and sticking to them helps to remind you of how you should be treating others and behaving. The Values Project say: ‘…knowing what they are can help you more easily make decisions that are right for you’ [2].  By making decisions that are right for you, you are showing others how to do the same.  

Not just for one, but for all 

The definition of values [3] includes not just individuals but groups and organisations as well. Schools for example should have set out what the values for their students, teachers and staff are. This will usually be in the form of a behaviour policy. They should also be reviewing and talking about the policy regularly with everyone in the school. This makes sure everyone, whether student or staff, are sticking to them.  

At Say It With Your Chest some of our core values which underpin our work are:

* equality

* empathy

* belonging

* perseverance

* collaboration

* kindness

Choosing your values 

So, on World Values Day (21st  October)[4] take some time to sit down and think about your values. Get a paper and pen and write down the five things you value the most. Then ask yourself everyday whether you have kept to them. Mind Tools provides advice on how to identify your values. [5]  


[1] https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2015/05/09/remarks-first-lady-tuskegee-university-commencement-address 

[2] https://www.thevaluesproject.com/blog/why-are-values-important/ 

[3] https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/values 

[4] https://www.worldvaluesday.com/ 

[5] https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTED_85.htm