Imagine you’re on a cruise from America to Europe in the voyage, the ship sinks, all die, and happily you are the only person who is able to save in a lifeboat. Life gave you another chance to live again.
Fortunately the lifeboat is full of provisions for this type of emergency, and the lifeboat can be converted into a sailing boat to help you navigate and even has a compass, so you can guide. Without realizing it, you’re in a huge ocean sailing and wind starts blowing and you’re at their mercy. You lose your balance and you drop the compass at sea, unable to recover.
The winds just take you wherever the wind blows
How to know which way to go? How could orient yourself?
To orient yourself have to find something that will never change. The answer is: the sun, moon and stars.
Something similar happens in our lives. In a world where you have so many paths possibilities, opportunities and temptations to follow in our lives we are disoriented.
How I can orient myself to follow the right path?
What is it that never changes in life?
The answer is “The Principles“.
How do you define principles?
The principles are universal laws, natural, self-evident and self-demonstrable that are external to us that govern all things and ultimately control the consequences of our actions. The principles are independent of us. Operate outside of our awareness of them, of our acceptance of them, if we like, whether we believe in them or attack them. Humility (from the point of view virtuous, is to accept our skills and weaknesses, without boast about them.) is the mother of all virtues. Humility tells us that we do not control, and the principles are those that control, and therefore we submit to them.
The Principles are based on the character and for that we must have a character ethic according to Dr. Stephen R. Covey:
Character Ethics consists of:
Instead Values are internal and subjective, and represent what we feel with greater strength and that orients our behavior. Everyone has values; even a group of criminals have values. The values govern people’s behavior, but the principles governing the consequences of such conduct. Pride is the opposite of humility. The person who is arrogant is pretentious, interested, selfish, and it is believed, self-sufficient and generally does things for convenience.
For that reason, if your values are based on the principles, the consequences of your actions will be favorable for you, because the principles never change.
There are different types of values and to better understand these can be classified according to the following criteria according to the author Juan Carlos Jimenez:
• Personal Values:
They are those who consider essential principles upon which we build our life and guide us to relate to other people. They are usually a mixture of family values and socio-cultural value, along with those who add as individuals according to our experiences.
• Family values:
They refer to what in family values and set as right or wrong. They are derived from the fundamental beliefs of the parents, which educate their children. Basic principles and guidelines are our initial behavior in society. They are spread across all the behaviors with which we act as a family, from the simplest to the most “solemn”.
• Socio-cultural values:
They are prevalent in the society in which we live. Have changed throughout history and may not coincide with personal or family values. It is a complex mixture of different types of assessments, which in many cases appear contradictory or pose dilemmas.
For example, if socially not promoted the value of work as a means of personal fulfillment, society indirectly ends up encouraging “anti-values” such as dishonesty, irresponsibility or crime.
Another common example in our times, socio-cultural value is the one you see in most commercial on television, radio and other media, which attack your sub-conscious, reaching to wash your brain and tell you to be happy you have to have a car of the year, a big house, wear fashionable clothes, have electronic games, etc., often getting into debt more than it is within your reach and to the extent of neglecting your health. With this pretext, companies are taking advantage of your vanity, pride, “what will people say” and wanting to impress all your friends and acquaintances and strangers on social networks like facebook, twitter, etc.
Another example of the dilemmas that may present socio-cultural values happens when promoting that “End justifies the means.” With this pretext, terrorists and arbitrary rulers justify violence, intolerance and lies, claiming that their ultimate goal is peace.
• Material values:
They are those that allow us to survive. They have to do with our basic needs as human beings, as feed or clothe to protect us from the weather. They are important as they are needed. They are part of the complex fabric that forms the relationship between personal values, family and socio-cultural. When you exaggerate, material values come into conflict with the spiritual.
• Spiritual values:
They refer to the importance we give to non-material aspects of our lives. They are part of our human needs and allow us to feel fulfilled. They add meaning and substance to our lives, as with religious beliefs.
• Moral values:
These are the attitudes and behaviors that a given society considers essential for coexistence, order and the general welfare.
You decide whether to follow:
The principles and values based on principles or social values NOT based on principles!