In our reading values, value assumptions and ethics were discussed, as were real values and idea values. I believe that leaders today focus more on idea values, “a value that you believe to be right and good,” than real values, “a value that you believe to be right and good and consistently act upon in your life” (Diestler, 39). If we look at our leaders in Washington, they are convinced that national health care is a “right and good” policy for the public. However, they will be keeping their own health policies that are better than the general public’s plans.
We can see a decline in values in our leaders as they trade their votes for benefits for their own states. It seems that the only concern is re-election, and that as a value is damaging to the country as a whole. In fact, the citizens of many of these states are disgusted with this type of leadership and are voicing their values to the Congressional representative in their area.
I tend to make my decisions based upon real, Biblical values. Although I tend to think in the broader sense of values, “those ideas, standards, and principals you believe are important and consider worthy” (Diestler, 32). If I am to make a decision that will impact my family or community that decision must be one I believe in and can live by.
Do you believe you can have a different set of values for your personal life and public life or do you believe each person is influenced by one set of values?
In the past I might have said no. However, in recent history, it seems that you can. I have always found President Bill Clinton an interesting individual, the type of guy I would like to sit around with, drink a beer and just discuss life. Clinton has a great compassion for people and knew where he wanted to take the country. While I may not have agreed with some of his policies his values were not too out of step with the majority of the country.
However in his private life, at least in what is known of it, he seems to be a bit of a cad. There are shady business dealings, some abuses of power, and, to say the least, a respect for women. Yet through it all he was able to compartmentalize his private values from his public values and get much done, until the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Today Clinton is possibly even more popular now than when his was in office. Past and current presidents turn to him for advice or to help in a crisis. It could be argued that Clinton was able to successfully govern with two different sets of values.
On the other hand, the jury is still out on Tiger Woods. Many considered Woods a great role model, family man and all around good guy. That was of course before this car accident in November. Once the lid was blown off his personal life, everyone was shocked at how they had been fooled by Woods. There were calls from women’s groups to drop Tiger as a spokesman for various advertisers. Sports commentators began to ask if golf could survive without Tiger Woods. In some circles there were concerns about how Tiger’s activities would affect the stock market.
Perhaps Tiger will be able to rehabilitate himself and save the planet, but I find the outcry in regards to Tiger interesting compared to the lack of outrage geared towards President Clinton as a candidate, and then as president. What does that say about our values? Advantage Clinton as he at least seems approachable?
Do you believe your values change? How? Why?
I believe a person’s values change as they grow older and experience life. I am not the same person I was thirty years ago as a teenager. While my core values haven’t changed I am more willing to listen and try to understand were the other person is coming from in their beliefs.
Perhaps, as you grow as a person, there a willingness to listen to others and an understanding that you can be wrong in some of your thinking. If values are a combination of right and good, and considered worthy, then as you re-evaluate your life or circumstances change, it is possible that some of your values will change.
Do you see a connection between values and critical thinking? Describe.
There is a connection between values and critical thinking. As discussed in our reading, “A critical thinker is someone who uses specific criteria to evaluate reasoning, form positions, and make decisions” (Diestler, 2). Without critical thinking and values it becomes difficult to become a good decision maker.
Tiger Woods may have an excellent value system, but poor critical thinking lead to disastrous decision making. The groups that are trying to get help to Haiti for the survivors of the earthquake will need a combination of both values and critical thinking to make decisions to do the most good, in the most efficient way.