GVV Pillar 1: Values

GVV Pillar 1: Values


[Michael] I think a lot of the times people do share the same values, it’s just the way they approach those values is
much different. [Professor Mary Gentile] When the subject of values is raised we will often hear two
conflicting responses. On the one hand some folks will say, “Well, values are entirely relative, it really
depends on your family, your religion, your culture, your politics,” et cetera. There’s no clear right or wrong because everyone sees the issues differently. On the other hand, some other
folks will say, “Of course there are clear values and I
know what they are, and it really doesn’t matter what you say
or think.” Both of these positions, the entirely relativistic and the entirely absolutist
perspective, make it difficult to have a real, meaningful and constructive conversation about how
to enact values in our careers and our wider lives. [Andrew] When I was in graduate school the first time, I became friends with a student who was on
a Fulbright scholarship from Pakistan. We became friends to the extent that
since he wasn’t going to go back to Pakistan during our brief Thanksgiving
break, I invited him to come to my parents’ house in Virginia. Though he did have very
different kind of cultural values and practices than myself and my family, including not being allowed to shake females’ hands… We had a lot in common actually, and… I think the specific value that we shared—that I think is
actually also an absolute value— is that, education—which is what we were both studying —is very important. The first pillar of GVV acknowledges that while cultural,
political, and religious differences do exist, research
suggests that there still are a set of widely shared, universal hyper norms: values that seem to be espoused by most people across time and culture. This is good
news! A conversation about values is possible because we all share common ground. [Taylor] Across culture and across time, I think that there are values that we share just mainly because there are values in being human. [Evita] Things such as truthfulness,
and the willingness to help. [Michael] Honesty… loyalty is certainly another one. Honesty, compassion, justice. People value freedom. This list of universal values is really, really short. Things like honesty, respect, fairness, compassion, and therefore we should not assume too much commonality. It’s really important to strike some kind of balance between what you were raised to do and what other
people were raised to do. But the fact that at the end of the day
whether you were raised to be Christian, and I was raised to be atheist—we are both human and we understand the value in being human, and the value of protecting that
humanity. If we look at Robin Hood, it’s not right to steal, but what are they stealing for? What are they valuing? They value helping those in need rather than allowing people who do not need things to keep them. Our society and the society that we have been raised in places value on property, over, sometimes, people, over ethics and
things like that, so I think it’s important for us to have a conversation about ethics, to bring ethics back into the picture and
to make people realize that money is not the only thing that matters. It is really important how we treat each
other and things like that. When we encounter a values conflict, first, ask if it rises to the level of one of
these core values. To make sure that the conflict is not
just a matter of personal style, or preference, or comfort. But rather, that
a true ethical principle is at stake. Being from a Hispanic family, my parents, our families stay very close, and after graduation they expect me to go
back home. And, talking to white people, it’s very different with them, and I kind of… identify more with that side now that I’ve had the college experience. I learned to value my independence and learned to value having the ability to set my own rules, not having to follow my parents’ rules. But with me as woman, they expect me to actually not rebel and not say
anything back to them, and to follow their rules, so it’s very
difficult. If the challenge does raise a core value, we can frame our approach to appeal to the core values that most folks are likely to share. So, for example, rather than framing a
business ethics issue in terms that are likely to only be meaningful to
ourselves or to those who share our particular cultural or industry
norms, we can talk, for example, about the
potential impacts of the decision on others: customers, or employees, the community, and in this way implicitly appeal to shared
values. We have different world views and if we want to all get along and deal
with each other in a polite way, then I think it’s important we understand that people have different views on things. We learn from one another, and the
perspectives that each people bring can help broaden
our own opinion. I’ve just become, as I’ve grown older, more open to just be engaging with people when I have the opportunity. Dialogue. It’s just simply… sitting at table and opening
yourself up to another person’s views and… perspectives on the issue at hand. I think it’s important to hold fast to the
things that we value, but it is also important to realize that we may not be hold the
absolute truth.

4 thoughts on “GVV Pillar 1: Values

  1. "talking to white people". Did you just generalize an entire racial group? "white people" come from a varied number of countries with drastically different cultures. If you think that an Italian family and a French Family and a Irish family all have the exact same views you are sadly mistaken. Maybe try and not include racists in your videos next time. That like/dislike ratio should be proof enough that you did something wrong here.

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