The Value of a Value

One of the most rewarding things we have done in the difficult untangling process of leaving Mormonism, is make the effort to intently ask ourselves (as individuals) what are the values, ethics, and morals we personally want to have at the core.  It has been a very laborious and rewarding process so far, to glean through all of the different ways different peoples attempt to articulate what they consider to be the best ways to live. We are posting what we have come up with below, in case it may help someone else who may be going through something similar. It is a work in progress….so feel free to make recommendations. We are as open as we know how to be these days, love new ideas, and have come to really appreciate discovering when we may be wrong 🙂

SULLIVAN LIFE

Core Values: To guide our lives and have priority over any institutional loyalties

  1. Accountability– I am accountable for all action, reaction, and inaction. I give no excuses. I am a problem solver, not a problem haver
  2. Adventure– I create fun, life experiences, and lasting memories as often as possible
  3. Apologize– I will make amends when I’ve harmed anyone intentionally or otherwise
  4. Authenticity– I am genuine. I have the confidence to allow my vulnerabilities to be deeply seen by others
  5. Balance– I am moderate.  I avoid overindulgence.  I look for harmonious outcomes
  6. Change– I Welcome it, Seek it, and Embrace it. I make restitution
  7. Community– I am a productive, supportive, and contributing member
  8. Courage– I am respectfully willing to face fear and take a stand, even though the fear remains real. I bravely confront pain, danger, or attempts of intimidation. I am bigger than the crisis
  9. Empathy– I am a quality listener, and do my best to put myself in other’s shoes
  10. Forgiveness– While remembering lessons learned, I abandon my grudges…so that others won’t be taking up rent space in my head
  11. Generosity– I am generous with my time and resources. I am willing to serve alone, or linking arms with others…without expectation for acknowledgement or recompense
  12. Gratitude– I appreciate, adore, and receive all the good that life and other people have to offer
  13. Honesty– I Think, Live and Inspire what is real, unless it puts others in danger
  14. Humility– I am teachable in every moment. I am “Open” and highly value discovering I am wrong
  15. Humor– I love a good healthy laugh
  16. Integrity– I am true to my core values, because they are mine, even if I fear the consequences. In so doing, I limit harm caused to others
  17. Joy– I choose to create moments of joy and happiness each day
  18. Knowledge– I always question, seek, and do my best to incorporate what I find to be based on reality
  19. Love– I love even though there isn’t a guarantee of being loved back. I stand up for injustices and help alleviate human suffering. I deeply value personal connection. I do not need to be right or certain
  20. NO– I say no to anything that compromises my core values. I reserve the right to discontinue contact with non-loving entities
  21. Patience– I am flexible to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting bent out of shape
  22. Persistence– I am persistent, and willing to do whatever it takes to finish
  23. Praise- I offer, never withhold, sincere and specific praise. I see myself as a people builder. By lifting others, I am made stronger
  24. Presence– I live in the immediate “here”. I will never get the past back, and the future is not real
  25. Proactivity– I make things happen, instead of always being reactive. In the next moment, anything can happen
  26. Quality– If it is worthy of finishing, it is worth doing my very best
  27. Respect– I will respect myself, and my health. I am enough, and so are others, right where they are, right now, unless they are causing harm to me or others
  28. Sexuality– I respect reproductive capability, and the sexuality of others
  29. Talent– I will develop my talents, for my own benefit and to contribute positively to others
  30. Trustworthy– I keep promises to others and myself. I am a safe place for the confidences of others
  31. Work– I value hard work and do my best to keep it positive or make it fun

Morality is doing what is right regardless of what you are told. Obedience is doing what you are told regardless of what is right. -Unknown

6 Comments The Value of a Value

  1. Maria

    I love this list! My husband and I are doing the same thing as we are moving on from church and are establishing our core values. We are figuring out our family mission statement, etc. I’m trying to create a list of resources to help us teach these values to our kids. I’m not one to recreate the wheel when many people have been teaching traditional core values for many many years. We have a 4, 6, and 8 year old and have been reading to them the “ValueTale” Books by Spencer Johnson, we’ve used Richard & Linda Eyer’s valuesparenting.com (they have joys and values listed with lessons attached to each value and joy – and i’ve even purchased their Joy School curriculum not b/c i’m going to do a preschool but just to use as a resource of ideas to teach my kids), I’ve gone to the library’s children’s section and looked under character books and found some great books about how ‘character counts’. We’ve tried to find TED talks that the kids can relate to. I’m just wondering if you two have found some great resources for parents on teaching children these core values and teaching why values are important – without religious purposes for being good attached to it?

    Reply
    1. Kenn

      Thanks Maria… all the best stuff has come for us, in just having very open dialog with each of them. We like to ask lots of open ended questions now…something I wish I did more of in past years. Thanks for sharing what you guys are doing. All the best to each of you!!!

      Reply
  2. Nate

    First off, thank you for sharing your story and thoughts on life. You guys have provided a much needed dose of hope and positivity in a too often negative post-mo world.

    Regarding your list of values: I must say that being a former advertising man and a minimalist of sorts, your list is incredibly long!

    I’m not saying you’re wrong or it won’t work for your family, but I’d be curious to know which 5-7 of these values are your ‘core core values’.

    I know it’s tempting to keep adding to the list, but I like to keep in mind that just because a value isn’t on my core values list doesn’t mean I don’t value or live it.

    Reply
    1. Kenn

      Good point Nate. We actually got rid of a bunch to try to whittle it down. I like becoming increasingly minimalistic. We only focus on a few at a time. For me, at this time, the most important are Love, Authenticity, Adventure, and Integrity. All the best to you in your journey!

      Reply
  3. Dan

    Love all if this. I have a rather big suggestion. Value#20, saying “No” deserves more attention. It probably needs to be expanded to several values. Mormons aren’t taught to have good boundaries, and so they fall prey to people they shouldn’t link arms with. Learning to NOT TRUST and to protect yourself is really healthy, and are values you rarely hear about in Mormonism. Your values are so positive, so affirming. They need a little balance for the real world.

    Reply
    1. Kenn

      Great input Dan… I have gone through all of them again, and made some modifications with this in mind. I would love to hear more feedback.

      Reply

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