In counseling, I often see “values” as a very powerful tool to guide people’s actions and behaviors.
Values around justice and equality.
Values around competence and excellence.
Values around duty and responsibility.
Values around compassion and kindness to name a few.
Like any tool, we can use it consciously and with precision, or we can use it unconsciously and reactively.
If we use a knife consciously and with precision to prepare food, then it’s wonderful. If we use the knife unconsciously and reactively, then it’s extremely dangerous.
So what’s my point?
I often see people in the home, groups, and society, fighting/debating over the “utility of a value”, but often fail to debate over the “mindsets and skills” of the users.
It’s like arguing over the usefulness of a knife or a drill. No one can deny that those are very useful. But give it to a baby, then it’s a terrible idea.
In history, we have seen “equality and justice” done badly at times.
But if “equality and justice” can be done consciously, with the right mindset, with precision, and not reactively, then we may have a wonderful world.
The same goes with our other values and beliefs.