Core Value of Kindness
Show me how you work, God;
School me in your ways
Take me by the hand;
Lead me down the path of truth.
Psalm 25:4 & 5 (MSG)
I was first introduced to the concept of core values while working for the Washington State Department of Personnel Employee Assistance Program. Eva Santos was the director of DOP at that time. A remarkable woman, Eva died a few years ago after a valiant battle with breast cancer. Her influence taught me the importance of establishing core values and showed me I desired to be a value-driven person.
In addition to our government department’s purpose statement, Eva insisted on establishing five core values, meant to drive DOP’s purpose. I printed the five values on a card, and taped it on my computer as a constant reminder. Often, I examined my workload management in light of those values. If what I was actually doing seemed incongruent with department values, I tried to make necessary adjustments.
A couple years into retirement, I knew I wanted to make a significant transition, which I believed was consistent with a fuzzy calling I’d felt since childhood. While some aspects remained at first unclear, I knew part of my ‘calling’ included inspirational writing. One of the first steps I took was to establish a Purpose Statement (My purpose is to point people to a never-changing God in our always-changing world.)
Next, I asked: What core values do I want to drive the purpose? I’ve read that five is the optimum number of values, but I came up with seven and couldn’t figure out what two I was willing to relinquish. Later, I added yet another ‘must-have’—“Kindness.” These are my eight core values:
Authenticity . Generosity . Graciousness . Integrity . Kindness .
Quality . Significance . Wisdom
Is my behavior; are my activities always congruent with my values? Nope! They aren’t, but the clearly articulated—and published—values by which I want my life purpose defined are great reminders when there is incongruence. Often, the still, small voice gives a gentle reminder I need to do some work to bring my behavior and activity in alignment with the core values to which I aspire.
May your days be filled with random acts and intentional thoughts of kindness…
Listening on YOUR Journey….
- What are the core values you would like to define your life purpose? (Remember: We’re not looking for perfection here. Aspirational values are important to determining and establishing actual values.)
Core values are the fundamental beliefs of a person or organization. The core values are the guiding principles that dictate behavior and action. Core values can help people to know what is right from wrong; they can help companies to determine if they are on the right path and fulfilling their business goals; and they create an unwavering and unchanging guide. (yourdictionary.com)