Thursday, 10 July 2014



VALUES

We shall be looking into our societies to deeply extract some important lessons inherent that are often taken as outdated or better still not relevant.
Firstly, values as for this purpose shall be defined as collective conceptions of what is considered good, desirable, and proper—or bad, undesirable, and improper—in a culture. They indicate what people in a given culture prefer as well as what they find important and morally right (or wrong). Whatever the society you may be the following value components are paramount are among the fundamentals to peaceful coordination and organization. 


VALUES: ACCEPTANCE

Acceptance is one of those words which looks deceptively simple on the surface but actually has many degree layers which wreak all kinds of havoc when we attempt to put the “acceptance” into practice.

The first and most basic description of acceptance is “the act of taking or receiving something offered.”  Taking or receiving is pretty harmless for most of us since it doesn’t mention how we’re supposed to “feel” about whatever it is that we’re taking or receiving.  I may not care for some of my brother’s friends but I can “receive” them into my home from time to time.  I may hate chocolates with a passion but I can “accept” the gift of one from a well-meaning neighbour in order to avoid being rude.

Part of the problem is that when many of us say that we are showing “acceptance” in actuality what we are really demonstrating could perhaps be better described as “endurance.”  We remain “chin up” in situations which we may find to be barely tolerable.  But if we can somehow manage to “put up with” whatever is going on without deliberately unkind words, mocking sneers or exaggerated rolling of the eyes we somehow feel compelled to congratulate ourselves on how wonderfully accepting we are being.

who among us has never said, “I just want other people to accept me for who I am”?  When we utter this plaintive cry I’m pretty sure that most of us desire more than simply being “endured” by those around us.  We’re looking for “a favorable reception” and perhaps even outright appreciation, friendship and perhaps even love under the broad umbrella of acceptance.

But, why then, if it is human nature to long for acceptance from others, do most of us find it so difficult to offer acceptance to those around us?  Despite our penchant for quoting the “Principle” when it serves our purposes, it would seem as though we are not taking the admonition to “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Matthew 7:12) completely to heart, when it comes to demonstrating acceptance.

While some might be tempted to place the blame on selfishness, character flaws or the inherent “evil” of human kind I think there are simpler and far less sinister factors at work here.  First, human beings are creatures of habit and therefore are more comfortable and “accepting” of people, places and things that offer us familiarity.  Secondly, human beings like efficiency.  We are always in a hurry; we like to take shortcuts and invent devices that will help us accomplish more in the least possible amount of time.  Finally, there are many of us who are not secure and accepting of our own strengths and weaknesses.  

Giving or withholding acceptance from others around us provides us with the illusion of being “in control.”  We seize the imaginary sense of power that accepting or rejecting others gives us as tightly as a toddler grasping a teddy bear.

Demonstrating true acceptance, especially of people who differ from us significantly takes effort, time and patience.  We can’t accept that which we don’t understand and we can’t understand that which we don’t know.  But a lot of people tend to “follow their instincts” and “stick with their own kind” to such an extent that there is never an opportunity to know, understand, accept and hopefully appreciate the person who is different.

So, if we are really serious about becoming more accepting as individuals or as a nation, there are some concrete steps that we all have to take.  First, we need to break the power of “habit” of remaining always in familiar territory.  None of us are going to become more accepting of people of different races, religions, sexual orientation, political views, social classes, etc. if we don’t make the effort to know these individuals personally.  Plus, we can’t expect to meet these people by frequenting to the same places and engaging in the same types of activities, day after day and year after year.