CrystalFaerie

Values your parents taught you

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Hey guys :D

After vanishing for a couple of months, I'm back and I see people have been talking about the site being dead. Since I've had values on my mind for a while now, I thought I'd use it as a topic to hopefully hear a bit from you guys (and get to know the new people better - hi!).

WTM people talk a lot about their strong values and how they guide us in life. We also talk a lot about marriage and future families. My question is: which values did your parents teach you that still guide you today? (Not necessarily WTM, but that can be one of them!) And which values would you like to pass on to your children? Are there values you learnt on your own, but that you wish your parents had taught you?

I'll start: I didn't have a religious or particularly ethics-oriented upbringing, so values like faith, community or even generosity weren't often talked about. I ended up exploring those parts of life on my own. Still, my parents taught me these values which I am glad I hold today:

  • respect for living beings, nature and the world we live in
  • respect for books and education in general
  • gratitude for what I have
  • awareness of my roots and appreciation of my culture
  • critical thinking and not relying on others to make my own choices
  • treating people according to who they are rather than what they are (African or European, straight or LGBT, rich or poor, old or young...)
  • by extension, pride in who I am despite peer pressure to conform

These are all values I'd like to pass on to my children. Others I wasn't taught but would like to pass on are:

  • reverence towards all deities and acknowledgement of what is greater than us
  • spiritual roots and tradition
  • the importance of family and community
  • respect for ancestors and those who paved the way for us, and for the wisdom of elders
  • communication and reconciliation over anger and resentment
  • compassion and generosity
  • speaking well of others

As you can tell, many of these are religion-based; the others are things my family implicitly valued, but never really taught. I believe the above points would've made my upbringing stronger and provided more solid foundations from which to grow. Though I'm glad I built them eventually, and overall I am happy with the way my parents raised me, I would like to provide these foundations from the beginning to my children.

Your turn now! ;)

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Welcome back, @CrystalFaerie:) Now for my answers...

Values or beliefs my parents have passed on to me which I intend to keep and pass on:

  • Highest regard for telling the truth, honesty
  • Loyalty
  • Belief in equality of all people
  • Prioritizing education, reading and engagement in life-long learning
  • Love of nature and the outdoors, and gentle treatment of animals
  • Financially living within one's means and supporting family members
  • No alcohol consumption, smoking or recreational drug use
  • Respect for the law
  • Vulgar language is unbecoming and a bad attitude is ugly
  • Philanthropy (more from grandparents)
  • Punctuality and discipline

Values and approaches I discovered independently and would also like to pass on:

  • Christian values and not taking any of it for granted
  • Critical and independent thinking
  • Humility and tolerance
  • Waiting until marriage
  • Nonviolent world view
  • Simple living, non-consumerism, minimalist mindset
  • Loving without expectation and demonstrating love through external actions, words, and behavior
  • Gracious manners, not to impress but to put others at ease
  • Modest dress and only viewing materials that uphold this standard
  • Appreciation of the classics and great people; exposure to good role models I never had
  • Prioritizing health above other forms of success

It seems I want to pass on these values because I want my children, if I have any, to be better than I am and have a significantly higher quality of life than I did. I think my parents wanted the same for myself and my sibling but more in outward, academic accomplishments and intellectual development whereas my emphasis would first be on uncompromising good character combined with critical thinking.

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