Practices for Core Values
Starter Practice: Exploring Values
In this starter practice, we’re going to use a volunteer organization to trigger our self-reflection on our own Core Values.
Think of one volunteer organization that you’ve heard about and appeals to you. Consider the values of that organization. Orange Sky for example is based on respect and dignity. Other organizations may value service, care, or compassion. If the organization that you select doesn’t have any stated values, then reflect on what you feel to be the values that underpin their mission, and what they do.
Write down three to five values of this organization. For example, in the case of Orange Sky the list might expand to include: respect, dignity, compassion, care, and service.
Research the meanings of each of the listed values of your selected organization, so you broaden and deepen your understanding of those values. There is always more to learn. This exercise helps us to transcend any assumptions. You might look up each word on quotation websites to find out how, for example, Shakespeare, Oprah Winfrey, or Martin Luther King used the word. Make some notes in your journal of your research.
Now take some time to consider your notes and think about these values.
Ask yourself the following questions:
What is it about these values that draws me to them? What is about these values that makes them significant to me?
What other examples can I recall of these values in action? You might remember something you did, or some action of a family member, co-worker, neighbor or someone in your community.
The most important part of this exercise is to expand your understanding. This is achieved by delving deeper into the meaning of the values and asking questions. Answers may or may not come. The questions are what count.