When we say the word value, depending on your learning style, many of us are going to look at this in differing lights. We all place value on things, we have values, we aim for value in our work and we wish to be valued.
No matter how you look at it, its roots go deep and broad, and it's something that as communities we should all stop to ponder what it means for us.
Feeling valued would have to be in my opinion one of the most powerful things that we as members of society can take notice of. Not only does it contribute to wellbeing, it creates a sense of empowerment and appreciation that can have flow on effects.
If we are valued for the hard work we continuously give, the long hours we selflessly endure, the genuine care we offer our communities and the strength we bring to our families then this leads to positive change. We are more likely to give a bit more and continue feeling noticed and appreciated.
Not only does this apply to employers and employees, but it holds tight to coaches, parents, teachers and friends. But by stopping to acknowledge and value others around you also creates a powerful and long lasting sense of genuine gratitude, like a seam running through a cloth. A simple thanks to the hard working secretary, a thanks out loud from you and your kids to the team coach for their time. Simple gestures can go a long way to connecting one another.
The term 'values' is thrown around a lot through policies and idle discussion, but we should stop to really understand what it means. In a nutshell each individual will set off into their adult world with a set of values true to them. They are what makes them tick, what makes them thrive in society and that which makes their lives richer. Have you ever asked anyone around you what their greatest value is? Of if they have a traditional family value that should you know about and stop to consider?
We live in hugely diverse multicultural communities now, of which values will play a leading role. Religions and cultures aside, many will have a common thread with simple things such as enjoying meal times as a family, playing a team sport or doing regular volunteer work. We don't know until we ask. We should ask more often and make this a common part of the way we connect together as teams, communities and organisations. After all many companies run via a mantra or a motto, so why can't an individual too?
We all have the capacity to do something worthwhile for ourselves and the greater good around us. But too often we are placing our own worth in the hands of others.
Take time to consider what you value and how you value others. The reverberation that follows will lead to an immense change in connectedness, self-worth and potentiality across our rural communities.Mischa Clouston is a sheep, beef and deer farmer's wife and rural practice nurse in north Otago.