The term “values” means something different to each one of us. Our textbook defines values as, “a collective conception of what is conception of what is considered good, desirable, and proper-or bad, undesirable and improper- in a culture,” but I feel that they are more than that (Witt).  I see values as another stepping stone in what defines us as individuals. Everyone has different values yet some people are raised in the same culture.  As Americans we see thin and curvy as beautiful and desired while people that have a little more weight on them are undesirable. Americans are elitists and have the tendency to look down on others, but as they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Changing one’s set of values can be done, but it rarely is. I went through this when I joined the military; I went from being an irresponsible, irrational teenager to an adult that had a new set of values.  I was instilled with the core values that the Army has, including leadership, duty, respect, selfless service, honesty, integrity, and personal courage. According to Wikipedia, “values which are not physiologically determined and normally considered objective, such as a desire to avoid physical pain, seek pleasure, etc., are considered subjective, vary across individuals and cultures and are in many ways aligned with belief and belief systems.”  So whatever you believe in, you will have related values.

Beliefs can be a strong factor in how people act on a daily basis or for the rest of their lives. For example if one person believes that the world is going to end, that person will do what they believe to be the necessary steps to prepare for this event. Belief can be defined as the psychological state in which an individual holds a proposition or premise to be true. Dispositional and occurrent belief concerns the contextual activation of the belief into thoughts (reactive of propositions) or ideas (based on the belief’s premise).

So think about the things that you think define who you are, like are you someone who thinks that it’s not ok to steal? Or maybe you go out of your way to help others, whatever makes you, you is what I consider to be your values because they are what make you an individual. Values are important and they can also tie into so many other things like beliefs and culture because they are a part of the building blocks of society.

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