Week 3

Family Program

Author: Miranda Clendening

Week 3

Start the meeting by sharing some good thing that happened in the last week, any problems and their proposed resolutions (remember to accentuate positives and don’t dwell on negatives)

 

Family Night Topic:

VALUES and

Their Expanding Meanings

& CHARACTER Building

 

Purpose: To help explain what values are, why they matter and how to help foster the values we find most important in our individual lives. This helps us build strong character and helps make the relationships we build stronger.

Teacher/parent background info: (read before lesson to familiarize yourself with topic) :
The human mind does not create values; the human mind discovers, recognizes, interprets, and chooses values. Thus, they are available to enhance the meaning of one’s life. Values are (qualitatively) felt. Ideas come from the outer life; ideals come from the inner life. Meanings and values are only perceived in the inner or super-material spheres of human experience. Values connote higher and higher relationships. Meanings are the progressive ideas behind higher understandings of values.
Wisdom is an accumulation of values. To become wise, accumulate values! To grow in grace, pursue values in partnership with Love, Truth, Beauty, and Goodness.

“This magnificent and universal injunction to strive for the attainment of the perfection of divinity is the first duty, and should be the highest ambition, of all the struggling creature creation of the God of perfection. This possibility of the attainment of divine perfection is the final and certain destiny of all man’s eternal spiritual progress.”

“This is the true meaning of that divine command, “Be you perfect, even as I am perfect,” which ever urges mortal man onward and beckons him inward in that long and fascinating struggle for the attainment of higher and higher levels of spiritual values and true universe meanings. This sublime search for the God of universes is the supreme adventure of the inhabitants of all the worlds of time and space.”
Values are not only the windows to our souls; they are also the pathway on which we tread to develop our spiritual potential. When we choose a value to develop in our lives, we choose to start the process of polishing
Values help in facilitating comprehension and preventing confusion
Man’s consciousness of moral duty and his spiritual idealism represent a value level — an experiential reality — which is difficult of symbolization.
Everything of value is never lost
Becoming a perfect being is the goal

Values define what you believe and how you want yourself resonating with and appealing to those you associate with and the external world.

Preparation: Read over lesson, listening to your intuition for guidance.

Suggested supplies, songs, resources: pots, seeds,(same amount as there are family members), soil, water, journals
Suggested Lesson Plan:

VALUES

 

Values are the windows to our souls. As we choose and adapt them into our lives, the windows become clearer, even transparent. As the world of values opens up to us through our active participation, a journey into our inner life begins. We recognize and share our inner spirituality in our outer lives thus sharing a source of true wisdom for all. If you would become wise, accumulate values. Wisdom depends on your chosen values and the courageous loyalty you can summon to own them.

Values are highest priorities, deeply held beliefs, and core, fundamental driving forces

Core values are also called guiding principles because they form a solid core of who you are, what you believe, and who you are and want to be going forward.

Your values are the things that you believe are important in the way you live and work. They (should) determine your priorities, and, deep down, they’re probably the measures you use to tell if your life is turning out the way you want it to.

When the things that you do and the way you behave match your values, life is usually good – you’re satisfied and content. But when these don’t align with your values, that’s when things feel… wrong. This can be a real source of unhappiness.

This is why making a conscious effort to identify your values is so important.

Values are usually fairly stable, yet they don’t have strict limits or boundaries. Also, as you move through life, your values may change. For example, when you start your career, success – measured by money and status – might be a top priority. But after you have a family, work-life balance may be what you value more.

As your definition of success changes, so do your values. This is why keeping in touch with your values is a lifelong exercise. You should continuously revisit this, especially if you start to feel unbalanced… and you can’t quite figure out why.

Discussion

We work to develop each participant’s inner urge to love, foster values, and serve. Young people are guided in choosing their own values, and given methods that assist them to consciously integrate those values into their lives. We create a community that upholds and supports a journey into inner awareness. We also welcome the journey of awakening to the realization of how that affects your whole life and those around you as well.

We experience four arenas of growth:

1.Within ourselves

2.Within our family and among close personal friends

3.Within the larger community in which we live

4.Within our world.

Our Mind and our Heart

Our inner life is where we choose and develop our values. Our mind is where we choose our actions based on our values. Our outer life is where we apply the words and actions we’ve chosen.

Our heart is where we have responsive feelings to the consequences of our words and actions. Do we feel good or bad? Do we think it was right or wrong to do what we did? These feelings can prompt us to reassess our behavior and change or grow if necessary.

STORY: Let’s take a look at the process through the story below.

Siri wanted a scarf that cost $20. She didn’t have the money so she made the decision to steal from her mother’s purse. She bought the scarf but felt guilt because she had stolen money from her mother. When asked by her mother if she knew where the money went, she denied it. Where Siri felt the guilt is in her heart. The consequences of our actions are felt.

She summoned up her courage and decided to confess that she had stolen the money and because of the bad feelings she had, she reassessed her behavior to better reflect her value of honesty.

Siri, by choosing to be loyal to the value of honesty, has taken a step towards personal inner growth.

If you inhale spiritual energy (LOVE), you will exhale personal progress

Values are a set of principles or qualities we choose to guide us in our daily life.

Meanings are the levels at which we understand our values.

The more loyal we are in living our values, the more the meaning behind the value grows.

Meanings are the birthplace of wisdom and ever increasing meanings awaken in us a growing understanding of wisdom.

If you want to become wise, accumulate values.

 

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Meanings are derived from a combination of recognition and deeper understanding.

· First, think of a value (theorize it). Second, live the value (actualize it). Third, grow a realization of why it is a value and what you and God/Creation? Then, gain by living it.

· Meanings and values constantly adjust as we progress through life.

· We enhance future values by understanding and growing more deeply in the meanings of today.

Meaning-MAKING

Did you know that there are different levels of meaning which can be applied to values? They can be explored by asking “Why?” Consider this example: The value is generosity. Why would I be generous?

·If I’m generous, I may get something in return

·If I’m generous, I’ll feel better

·If I’m generous, I will make someone’s life better

·If I’m generous, others may follow my example, making our world a better place

When you choose a value, it isn’t so important which level of meaning you start with. What is important is to maintain a loyalty to that value thus increasing the level of meaning behind the value.

Exercise:

Observe your family, friends and acquaintances playing out their own values. Can you determine what motivates them to behave that way?

Engage them in conversation about their motivations.

Summary: Values are the understandings and attitudes that cause us to live as we do.

Values are important to us. We have strong feelings of rightness about what we value.

Our values influence our choices and therefore who we become.

All values are intertwined in relationships with others. As our relationships deepen, so do our values and the meanings behind them.

Possible activities: plant seeds- have each family member care for theirs individually for 1-2 weeks without assistance from the rest of family, then repeat activity in 1 week but have mom/dad remind everyday to care for, give fertilizer, etc. See difference when you try to cultivate with help from each other

 

Adaptations:

 

For younger children – This is a very abstract concept & must be greatly simplified for young children. Focus on just the understanding of “value.” What does value mean? What has value? What is valuable to you?

Pass around a snack such as a bowl of jelly beans/M&M’s, or bowl of assorted crackers or pieces of individual/different fruits. Have each one choose one. Explain that we each have choices to make every day just like the one we just made. Though some choices are much more important than others.

Story: (As you read this story you can pause after each sentence of the story & have the children put thumbs up when they think Chad made the right choice or thumbs down when they feel he made a wrong choice).

Chad’s Day

Chad’s mom called him to get up. He stayed in bed even though she called him several more times, until she had to come into his room to remind him he would miss breakfast.

When he did get up, he dressed himself.

At breakfast he snuck a piece of bacon from his sister’s plate when she wasn’t looking. She never even noticed, but Chad felt bad/mean/sorry. So, he let his little sister play with his new truck, which made him feel better.

Chad was having a great time building things in the sand box, but he came right into the house when his Mom called him for lunch.

At nap time Chad & his sister giggled & whispered instead of going to sleep as their mother had told them to.

Chad played in the neighborhood after naptime. He did not cross the street when other kids did since his parents had told him not to.

He even shared half the cookie his mom gave him with his friend.

On his way home from his friend’s yard he picked one of Mrs. Smith’s beautiful tulips for his Mom. He went back and told Mrs. Smith he was sorry for picking her tulip, like his mother instructed him to. He listened as she scolded him for picking one of the tulips she loved so much without making excuses or talking back. He offered to pay for it, as his Mom had instructed. He felt bad & promised Mrs. Smith that he would never pick her flowers again unless he had permission.

When he came home he helped get ready for dinner by putting the napkins at each place as his older brother set the table. He fed the dogs & helped clean their bowl for clean water.

At dinner Chad’s father told him to eat his vegetables before he could go play. He sneaked them to one of the dogs instead of eating them himself.

At bedtime, he got undressed & put on his PJ’s. Then he hung up his clothes instead of just leaving them on the floor. He said his prayers. Then he turned over and went to sleep instead of staying up whispering & giggling with his sister.

Chad had many choices to make through his day just like we all do. Sometimes he made the right choices, sometimes he didn’t. But he kept trying.

Questions: What are some choices you make every day?

Some choices are more important than others, but all of our choices have consequences. A consequence could be how the event makes you feel, or what happens (example: you might trip if you have to get up in the night if you left your toys sll over the floor.)

Mention a good choice you’ve noticed each child make recently. Encourage them to be especially conscious/aware of their choices during the next week.

Give your children opportunities to make choices. Examples: let them help decide what to have for dinner, what they are going to wear each day, etc. Everyone learns from making simple choices. This is good practice for understanding choices & consequences and prepares one to make the tougher, more important choices of life.

It’s a good idea to talk about these choices (at the dinner table is a good time) during the day/week.

 

For teens & adults:

ACTIVITY: Defining Your Values- USE JOURNALS

When you define your values, you discover what’s truly important to you. A good way of starting to do this is to look back on your life – to identify when you felt really good, and really confident that you were making good choices.

Step 1: Identify the times when you are happiest

Find examples from both your school and home life. This will ensure some balance in your answers. (parents- choose examples from career, personal, and home life)

  • What were you doing?
  • Were you with other people? Who?
  • What other factors contributed to your happiness?

Step 2: Identify the times when you were most proud/self assured/satisfied/acceptance of self/self realization/loving yourself most

Use examples from your school and home life (parents- choose times in your career, personal, and home life).

  • Why were you proud?
  • Did other people share your pride? Who?
  • What other factors contributed to your feelings of pride?

Step 3: Identify the times when you were most fulfilled and satisfied

Again, use examples from your school and home life (parents- choose times in your career, personal, and home life).

  • What need or desire was fulfilled?
  • How and why did the experience give your life meaning?
  • What other factors contributed to your feelings of fulfillment?

Step 4: Identify the times when you felt the most LOVED

Again, use examples from your school and home life (parents- choose times in your career, personal, and home life).

  • What made you feel loved?
  • How and why did the experience give your life meaning?
  • What other factors contributed to your feelings of LOVE?

Step 5: Determine your top values, based on your experiences of happiness, pride, and fulfillment

Why is each experience truly important and memorable? Use the following list of common personal values to help you get started – and aim for about 10 top values. (As you work through, you may find that some of these naturally combine. For instance, if you value philanthropy, community, and generosity, you might say that service to others is one of your top values.)

Step 6: Prioritize your top values

This step is probably the most difficult, because you’ll have to look deep inside yourself. It’s also the most important step, because, when making a decision, you’ll have to choose between solutions that may satisfy different values. This is when you must know which value is more important to you.

  • Write down your top values, not in any particular order.
  • Look at the first two values and ask yourself, “If I could satisfy only one of these, which would I choose?” It might help to visualize a situation in which you would have to make that choice. For example, if you compare the values of service and stability, imagine that you must decide whether to sell your house and move to another country to do valuable foreign aid work, or keep your house and volunteer to do charity work closer to home.
  • Keep working through the list, by comparing each value with each other value, until your list is in the correct order.

Step 7: Reaffirm your values- CONSCIOUS INTENTION TOWARD WHAT WE WANT MAKES A HUGE DIFFERENCE

Check your top-priority values, and make sure they fit with your life and your vision for yourself.

  • Do these values make you feel good about yourself?
  • Are you proud of your top three values?
  • Would you be comfortable and proud to tell your values to people you respect and admire?
  • Do these values represent things you would support, even if your choice isn’t popular, and it puts you in the minority?

When you consider your values in decision making, you can be sure to keep your sense of integrity and what you know is right, and approach decisions with confidence and clarity. You’ll also know that what you’re doing is best for your current and future happiness and satisfaction.
Making value-based choices may not always be easy. However, making a choice that you know is right is a lot less difficult in the long run.

 

Key Points:

Identifying and understanding your values is a challenging and important exercise. Your values are a central part of who you are – and who you want to be. By becoming more aware of these important factors in your life, you can use them as a guide to make the best choice in any situation.
Some of life’s decisions are really about determining what you value most. When many options seem reasonable, it’s helpful and comforting to rely on your values – and use them as a strong guiding force to point you in the right direction.