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Yez iz two.
And he dizapprovez of yer life.
Valuez… er… Values are so important in acceptance of ourselves as individuals. Yet we judge other people constantly. And what are we doing when we judge people? Usually judging their values because they’re not the same as ours. It’s a part of being human I guess.
I visit regularly with a lady that works across from me who values her family and her children apparently more than I do mine. She’s in debt and spends $25k a year for one of her daughters to go to university at a pricey school. She spends an hour a day at work making appointments for her adult kids (who live 3000 miles away) for stuff like facials – which she pays for. In my own private thoughts, I’m judging her according to MY values and thinking she’s wasting her money and time.
Saving for me is a stronger value than family – and I value the freedom and security that comes with no debt and a stash of cash. You may be judging me for putting saving or work above my family at times too. But I’m a slacker mom, have always been a slacker mom (despite feeling lots of guilt about that in the past), and my kids say they like me just the way I am. And at the end of the day, their opinion is the only one that matters to me. Lord knows, they’re very independent and wouldn’t hesitate to tell me if I wasn’t doing a good job.
Yet I also admire this lady’s selfless devotion to her family, so I don’t mention that I think her spending and helicopter parenting is silly. We talk about our love for our kids and everyone’s happy.
Where it seems we’ll have internal conflicts with respect to our own values is when:
(1) We listen to society or others too much about what we “should” be doing
(2) We have conflicting values.
I both envy and feel sorry for people that have extremely strong values that drive them and aren’t more middle of the road. I envy them because they’re very, very clear on their priorities. Decisions become very simple when you only see one path. And you get to feel so gosh-darn dogmatic and RIGHT about every opinion you have! How awesome would that be?!? I don’t think I’ve felt I was 100% right about anything for years.
What’s the answer for someone who values financial independence totally over family? Never have kids and retire in your 20′s! Better yet, decide that other people who do happen to love kids have sucky lives, they just don’t know it. Wheee!
What’s the answer for someone who values order totally over status / social approval? Living with only 100 things and wearing the same clothes 365 days a year is a no-brainer for them.
What about if you value travel, being your own boss and new experiences more than financial security? Get yourself into debt or not make a lot by traveling around the world selling e-books to other people who haven’t figured out that you just have to move. And call whoever doesn’t want to do that a cubicle-slave.
Yet I feel sorry for them too because I’ve personally found that my relationships with others – and myself – is so much better where I’ve had some understanding and compassion for a different way of thinking. It’s part of growing up and part of being multi-faceted it seems. Life also seems to be a lot better and more enjoyable too when I consciously try to over-ride some of my own stronger values that turn into compulsions (workaholism, savings addiction…) if I don’t watch them carefully.
For further reading, Ramit Sethi had a great post a while back on the tendency to pass judgment on others’ spending called Attention annoying hypocrites: Stop being judgmental about your friends’ money habits.
Nicole and Maggie also had a great post on the importance of balance over at Grumpy Rumblings today:
I also got a kick out of Craig Harper’s post today about having no issues with his issues: