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Values and Appreciation

When we are born into this world we are a clean slate. Our needs are the most significant aspect of our survival. As we grow our capacities are enhanced and we are taught the values of life according to the people surrounding us and our environment along with our own unique experiences.

When we are born into this world we are a clean slate. Our needs are the most significant aspect of our survival. As we grow our capacities are enhanced and we are taught the values of life according to the people surrounding us and our environment along with our own unique experiences. Needs are then supplemented with the outlying responsibilities of living. Values, determination, initiative, respect, creativity and appreciation are all representative of but a portion of the important lessons we learn in this life here on Turtle Island. Intrinsic to our own struggles is the ability to listen and adapt which then can be associated with the development of our values. Without values we don’t have the ability to appreciate the sacrifices and generosity made by those who love us. We forget that life has value and must also in and of itself to be appreciated. 

All cultures have their own visions of what is crucial to the existence of their youth and their perpetuity. We have been left guidelines from our ancestors as to what is accepted socially in various cultures around the globe. From those guidelines, we differ as to what we will choose depending on our geographic locations and the importance placed upon us concerning social responsibility and self-determination. At the core of all these guidelines, whether it be religion or morality is value. Everything in this world has some form of value and as such there is a need to understand and appreciate it.

There are no universal agreements as to what is the ‘right’ way to live. Values are individually developed and related to the community within which one matures. Once we have ascertained the manner in which we will govern ourselves we are then obligated to conduct ourselves accordingly. How we see ourselves and those around us is coloured by our perception of values. Suffering is a prime example of how our emotions can be shaped and influenced to particular biases. Our decisions are made from personal wells of feeling and circumstance, we need then to be mindful of respecting the distinctive experiences of our brothers and sisters. We need to place value on what they have undergone in this existence and appreciate their individuality.

Every person has worth and the Onhkwehonh:we have long recognized the cycles of life and the never ending circle of relationships and their meaning within our culture. We are to never act out of anger, spitefulness or with a ‘bad’ mind. This does not mean we are not allowed to be angry, we must simply not permit our actions to be directed by the negative emotions we are personally feeling. Our values must direct how we conduct ourselves and relate to those around us. Appreciation for the actions of our brothers and sisters and how they have protected and cared for us needs to be displayed and at the forefront of all our responses as we continue on in life’s journey. Life is a gift and we are here for but a second in time. Valuing and appreciating the people in our lives can only enrich us and make us better people.

 

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