Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Some values I hope to instill on my kid

These are some of the values my spouse and I have worked on instilling on our child. Remember, if you have a kid, the work on this starts right away. If you put it off til they are "old enough," it will probably be too late. Don't be one of those parents who wants to be their kids' buddy. You are not their buddy, you are their parent. Do your job. And I am sure there may be a thing or two I missed, but this is a good start.

good manners and common decent behavior
Good manners seems to be something that is going the way of the dodo. And yet, it is always important to know how to behave in the company of other people. Treating others with respect and dignity is important, and it will likely get you further in life than behaving rudely. Also some basic manners in terms of what to do when visiting someone else's home, when you go out to a restaurant, whether it be the local fast food joint or the five star place, how to carry out a conversation politely, and all the other little details of having good manners.

It is important to exercise self-discipline. This includes knowing that you can't always get what you want right away. So you work up to it. You may need to delay that instant gratification for a while in order to get a larger goal. And to get to the goal, you need to know how to focus and how to be disciplined in attaining that goal.

A good core set of values
Notice that I say values, as opposed to simply morals you may get from a religion. You can be a decent and moral person just fine without religion, or you can be very amoral with it. Below I also mention questioning everything, which goes with this.

Some values I would include on that list: honesty and fair dealing with others. If you give your word or you make a promise, you keep it. Your word is your bond. To expand further, you should be the type of person where a handshake and a promise is good enough. It may sound old fashioned, but it is important to be able to keep your word as well as having the reputation of keeping your word. This goes with being reliable and trustworthy.

I would also add not looking down on others because you think they may be beneath you. I think the best way to put it is how my father taught it to me. Just because someone is a plumber or a bricklayer, it does not mean that they have less value in society or that they are not smart or wise. Being educated (formally) does not automatically mean you are smarter or superior.

Treat others as you would be treated. The golden rule.

Embrace diversity. Racism and bigotry are the excuses of the ignorant and the coward.

Stand up for what is right. Do not rush to speak up, but when you do, make sure you are doing so for what is right.

Continue educating yourself and learning. Learning should be something you do throughout your life not only to keep up to date or well informed, but simply to expand your horizons. And along with this, keep an open mind and be willing to explore new ideas, even if those ideas and concepts may oppose your values. Do not be afraid of asking questions nor of having questions asked of you. And if needed, embrace change.

Be willing to explore new experiences. I suppose this goes along with being open minded.


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