Monday, 17 June 2024

Schmidt-Hopper: Discussing ‘family values’

I’m glad the phrase “family values” is a campaign slogan for a school board candidate because it presents an opportunity to discuss the phrase.

In our modern world, “family” can be described in many ways: multi-generational, single parent, two working parents, two same gender parents, foster, adoptive, come to mind. Family is personal, and not always genetic.

“Values” is an even more complicated word to define. One definition states:” A person’s principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgment of what is important in life.” (Oxford Languages)

I’m sure you, dear reader, can make your own list of influences on a person’s “values”:1) cultural, including nation or region of origin, 2) religious or spiritual practices, 3) ethnic or racial identity, 4) gender identity, 5) political affiliation, 6) financial and 7) occupation.

Each of these influences molds our perception of the society in which we live, and affects how we interact with our community. One family’s values may not be identical to another’s.

I invite you to consider, however, where values are likely to overlap. For instance: responsibility, respect, helpfulness, generosity, fairness, integrity and kindness.

Perhaps we can expand the phrase “family values” to “community values” and discover where our personal values intersect community wide, and work towards using those principles and behaviors to build a vibrant, tolerant and unified community family.

Kate Schmidt-Hopper lives in Hidden Valley Lake, California.

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