The Importance of Value and Valuing

Unfortunately, most of our value situations are more complex and involved than the request “Please get my good shoes.” Our most important decisions hinge on those intangible elements we call values. Consider the process of choosing a marriage partner. Our decisions about those qualities which identify the person we wish to marry do not always have a logical reference point. “What does he see in her?” or “What does she see in him?” are remarks which are often heard about couples. Why certain individuals are attracted to each other and will enter into relationships at great risk has always been a mystery. The usual response to the development of such relationships is “Love is blind.”

The possibility of bad decisions is rooted in our strength and vulnerability as decision makers. The strength lies in our ability to focus on a situation or problem, to interpret what is happening, to come to a conclusion and to translate the decision into action. This decision process reflects a host of abilities: the ability to see a pattern; to see how the parts fit together to make a whole; the ability to have insight into fruitful ways of getting things done; to see the potential of the situation, which may or may not be apparent on the surface; to understand “why” even when the understanding is only a hunch; and, the ability to marshall our ideas, talents, will, and sense of purpose into action.

Our vulnerability arises from one of our greatest assets – our uniqueness as individuals. We see the world from our own perspective, based on what we believe is important. We pay attention to some things and leave others out. We see in different ways, using different tools. We often see the same things differently. Our decisions are uniquely our own and are based on our interpretations of what we perceive. These interpretations can differ. They can collide with those of others and they can be inaccurate.