Value of Values

Being part of a core team (from Karnataka) developing recommendations for New Education Policy of India, I am involved in articulating why it’s important to bring more focus on Value Education. Below is an excerpt from it.

In a journey, direction is more important than speed. If the direction is wrong, speed will take the traveler farther away from the goal faster. In the life journey, Values determine the direction. One might have great power and/or money; but without Values it can turn into ruinous degeneration for oneself and others.

Values and Destiny:

Greater the power, greater is the need for dealing with it in a responsible way. For example, atomic energy is a great power; but one can light up a city or burn down a city with that power – Values determine the destiny. Economy & Technology are empowering human beings in an unprecedented way in the human history. Without the guided control by Values, this can be a disastrous force for individuals, for societies, for nations and for the planet at large. Albert Einstein said “Technology without higher consciousness will be disastrous”. Values inculcate a living of higher consciousness.

Values and Wellbeing:

There is enough scientific evidence now that every thought, feeling, emotion creates a corresponding chemistry in the body and visa versa. Negative values like hatred, jealousy etc. towards somebody is more damaging to oneself than to the other person, as it generates toxic chemicals in one’s body – it is like drinking poison, thinking that it will kill the other person. On the other hand, the positive Values like Love, Compassion etc. produce healthy chemistry in one’s own system. So, one living by Values is not just for being good to others – it is much more important for one’s own wellbeing. But people need to be educated and become aware about it. Only through individuals’ inner wellbeing the external wellbeing can be achieved. Values create the wellbeing for individual and in turn to the family, society, nation and the planet.

Values and Leadership:

Leaders in any field, be it politics, business, religion, etc. have a huge responsibility as they impact millions of people’s life. Leaders with negative Values can cause havoc for masses of people. At the same time, great leaders are differentiated by their positive Values. Values build Character – hallmark of great Leaders.

Values – current scenario:

If one observes social, political, religious situations currently in India and in many other parts of the world, it is very apparent that Values are hugely de-valued in the society. The level of corruption in every field, nature of self-centered thinking & living, total apathy towards environment/nature etc. are all indicators of degeneration of Values in people.

Values – survival necessity for human race:

With exploding human population on the Earth, mindful use of resources and conscious co-existence of people and other life forms on the planet is a grave necessity for the very survival of human race.

Looking at all of the above considerations, Values are not just some good-to-have attributes for some noble cause; They are an absolute necessity for individual wellbeing and the wellbeing of societies, nations and the nature.

Value education – up the ante:

It’s high time, before it becomes too late & before humanity drifts into total jungle raj, to inculcate Value based living in all walks of life. One can excel ‘managing outside’ by mastering ‘managing inside’. It is of paramount importance in this 21st century to raise the focus & attention on Value Education – not just for students, but also for teachers & parents; not just in schools, but in politics, religions, businesses, … everywhere; not just by teaching, but by practicing & living it.

As I reflected on it, I noticed that it’s equally relevant in Business, especially Software/IT Business as it is very people-intensive – illustrated in Knowledge Era Paradigms. This trend is manifesting prominently in Agile/Lean practices which are driven by Values & Principles. Focus on Emotional Intelligence with Self-awareness, Self-regulation, Motivation, Empathy, Social Skills is driving values-based organizational practices. Agile, Scrum, XP values like Courage, Respect, Openness, Commitment are driving a culture based on values.

In Knowledge Economy, values-based individuals will be at a premium and values-based organizations will be differentiated.

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