Values don’t seem to count for much these days. We don’t talk about them very often.
But they matter to me, and so I am going to let you know what mine are:
Honour, to me, contains the ideas of respect, fairness, and integrity. It means listening to, seeing and accepting another person for who they are. Beyond that, it also has to be about taking action — in the same way that we talk about “honouring the dead.”
‘Honour’ does not exist if it is not put into practice, so honour means behaving towards someone in a way that shows respect for, and perhaps even enhances, the person that they are. And at the same time acting in a way that honours myself.
Harmony happens when different notes come together to make a sound that is greater than any of them could have achieved alone. Harmony can be soft and gentle. And it can be loud and magnificent.
Harmony also happens when different people with different skills, work together to create something that is greater than any one of them could have achieved alone.
If that greater goal is also aligned with who they are as individuals then it also ‘honours’ them by enabling them to express and become more of who they are.
Again, harmony in the sense I mean it is also a very active, synergistic word: making a sum that is greater than the parts.
Empowerment is about helping individuals to understand better who they are, and express that more fully in the world.
When groups and organisations of empowered individuals come together they create new ‘harmonies’. When these harmonies shift over time they become symphonies and songs. When people work together like this they are honouring each other and themselves.
In every interaction I seek to create honour, harmony and empowerment.
I won’t say that I manage to achieve this fully extent every minute of every day — I am after all only human.
But I do know that I feel happiest when I am working in support of these ideals. And I know that when I come up against a tricky decision they provide a simple framework for making choices: “Which way forward would align best with my values?”
(Identifying your values is a simple process that can generate a working set of values in around 30 minutes.)