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Core Values 15 Jul 2018

Today I heard a friend asking another person about his core-values. The question was asked to a relatively young person. I heard myself commenting: that is a very tricky question.

Maintaining a core value

The problem with core values is that they only remain true values when we are willing to pay the price when it hurts. When it is easy to maintain a core-value, it is perhaps not even a core value.

Many big and smaller companies say they have values. But many of their employees and customers realize that they are fake.

Does the (Catholic) church have core values? I do not believe so. If so, there exist many exceptions.

Did Jesus Christ have core values? Yes, he had and he was willing to pay the price up to dead.

Core Values need an environment

When I have a value where my wife disagrees, it can not be a core value because I can't maintain my promise. I need to compromise. And with core values, you can hardly compromise.

Let a team say they have a core-value. And the members do not agree about it. Soon enough it will call forward a conflict.

Core-values can only evolve where people are willing to discuss the value and accept it commonly. If the value is important and where we speak about a core-value, then that can only become true when we live out the value. And I know for sure: soon enough it will be put to the test.

The law of testing

Every good thing needs to be tested. That is a process of maturing. Nothing we start afresh is immediately mature. Nothing new we start does not need tuning and adjustment.

Sure enough any person, organisation, country, church will by times fail to maintain some core-value. We live in a complex world.


When we fail in upholding a value and realize such then we need to respond:
a) Investigate if it is a serious breach. Sometimes we need to break a law in favour of a more important principle.
b) See if the breach in the value can be repaired
c) See how much damage we did to another party. If there is no wrong: we are not speaking about a value.
d) Discuss what we can do better in a next case.
e) Perhaps stopping activities that breach our values even if it is our source of income of our relationship.

Be patient but strong

To me it seems not easy to uphold values and even harder to uphold core-values. I am in a process of learning. I am not perfect. By times I fall short.

For me an important question is: "Am I really willing to live up to any core-value?" I really would like to discuss with people around: "What are our values?" and "What are we willing to do to uphold our values?".

A value without costs is no value at all.

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