Updated: Oct 22, 2020
It is through rooting our decision-making and action in ethical values that we do good in the world. An action motivated by greed or jealousy, for instance, will do harm to others and ourselves in the long-run. An action motivated by generosity, gratitude, compassion and other pro-social values will bring well-being to others and ultimately ourselves.
It is a wonder how values-based education ever departed from our public schools, universities and civic education programs.
The very word "university" comes from the Latin "uni - veritas" which means "united in truth for the common good". Above all else, civic leaders have a duty to ground their decision-making and action in "truth" and for the "common good".
But this is easier said than done. It requires self-knowledge, ethical mindfulness, emotional awareness and self-control. This is why Aristotle espouse purpose-driven, values based leadership and referred to self-knowledge as the "beginning of all wisdom." Because to operate with wisdom in one's life and in the public square, we need to first know our core values and how to live them out. This takes discernment, which comes through experience, contemplation and a capacity for systems thinking.
Thankfully, there is now a recognition, an awakening, that we must return to values-based leadership and education. Programs are springing up from elementary schools to business leadership programs that emphasize the importance of social emotional learning and ethical conduct. Here is one example:
Last week, the world celebrated #WorldValuesDay. Follow the hashtag to see the the values that people around the world committed to informing their actions. Download a values template below you can share with your family, friends and coworkers.
Are you a local government politician or official? Keep an eye out for upcoming sessions of Resilient Civic Leadership: Compassionate Integrity Training for Civic Leaders here. New sessions are expected in 2021.
Choose your values wisely. Your wellbeing and culture depends on it.
Culture Transformation Tools here.