In order to understand what value is, it is important to first understand what values are. Values are the things that we believe in and hold dear to us. They are the cornerstone of our character and define who we are as individuals. Our values guide our behavior and inform our decision-making. In essence, they make us who we are.
There are many different types of values that people can hold. Some values are personal, such as honesty or integrity. Others are social, such as respect or cooperation. And still others are universal, such as justice or equality. Regardless of their type, all values serve as standards by which we judge ourselves and others.
When we speak of someone having ‘value,’ we typically mean one of two things: either that person possesses certain qualities that we admire and deem worthy of respect, or that person is useful to us in some way. The first definition is more about character; the second is more about utility.
Of course, both definitions are intertwined. We usually only admire those qualities in others that we ourselves value highly; and we only find people useful when their skills or abilities somehow benefit us. In other words, our own values shape how we see the value in others.
It’s important to remember that not everyone will share our same values. What one person sees as valuable may not be seen as such by someone else. This is why it’s crucial that we always communicate our values to others clearly and respectfully.