The Real Value of Values
‘Try not to be a man of success
But rather try to be a man of Value’
We frequently hear the hue and cry that the growing generation has no respect for values. They have no faith in God, no reverence to elders, no esteem for their ‘Gurus’ and no respect for truth. They want to win by hook or crook; they want to be always at the top by kicking down their brothers. Now-a-days all are running after material success and achievements, luxuries and pleasures. A kind of ‘success mania’ has crept in their minds. The value system has vanished from them.
Values and Education
The present day education develops the intellect and skills but does very little to develop good qualities and good character. The prime aim of education is to cultivate human values like truth, right conduct,, peace, love and non violence. As Winston Churchill rightly said; ‘The first task of a teacher is the cultivation of virtue in the hearts of pupils. This is much more vital than the promotion of learning’. But what is happening today? The education system today, makes an educated person more selfish and self centered. It makes him a slave to his senses. It inculcates pride and envy, greed and hostility in him, instead of love and compassion, humility and self discipline. As the famous educationist and former president of John Hopkins University Stevens Muller once remarked; ‘Universities are training out highly skilled barbarians because we don’t provide a frame work of values to young people’. The chase for wealth and fame at the expense of moral and personal values is dangerous. This may lead to corruption and other serious evils.
Importance of values
The human values are regarded as the basic requirement for every human being. Values are intrinsic in our lives. They add strength of our character and righteousness of our beliefs. As the world famous cardiac surgeon, scientist and author Michael De Bakey rightly pointed out; ‘Real success requires respect for and faithfulness to the highest human values; honesty, integrity, self discipline, dignity, compassion, humility, courage, personal responsibility, courtesy and human service.
Human Values play a vital role in the society. Lack of moral values of our leaders will endanger the nation. Absence of human values in youth will darken the future of our society. Values are the definition of our actions in life. Values reflect what is important in the way you think and live. The famous spiritual leader, Dalai Lama reminds us; ‘In order to lead a meaningful life you need cherish others, pay attention to human values and try to cultivate inner peace’.
The former president of India, A P J Abdul Kalam said; ‘Education and values imparted in childhood are more important than education received in college and university. This highlights the role of parents and teachers. It is said that values cannot be taught, but should be caught from the environment. The children automatically learn the values from family and schools, from parents and teachers. If good examples are not forthcoming from their familial and educational environs, how can the children have respect to these values?
A real story
Varun, a seven years old boy, was in the habit of telling lies. His educated parents were too much worried about his habit and warned him several times against this. One fine morning, when the boy dared to tell lies again his father got angry and decided to punish him. He was asked to stand on his knees for half an hour continuously in front of the picture of Jesus Christ. Varun hesitantly obeyed.
While he was on his knees, a sound was heard from outside. His father, who is a college professor, noticed from the room that a group of people was coming to the house with notices and receipt books. He guessed that they were coming for collection of funds for a political party. He really wanted to avoid them and escape from giving donation. He frantically ran to the kitchen and whispered something to his wife. Soon she came and opened the front door with a smile on her face and told the group that her husband had gone out. They gave a notice and returned with disappointment.
Varun, who was still on his knees, was observing all these. He shouted loudly; “Mother lied…. She too should stand on her knees “. The parents were really shocked. They were not expecting this much. Their heads were down with shame and guilt. They were in fact worried about their senseless behavior in front of the child.
Psychology of value Education
As per the social learning theory of the famous psychologist Albert Bandura ; children learn their behavior by observing other’s actions, especially of their parents and teachers. So parents must be careful to be role models for their children. As the famous American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson said; ‘what you are, shouts so loud in my ears that I cannot hear what you say’. Whatever good and noble advice you give to your child, he will be influenced only by your behavior and real personality, you are responsible for your child’s bad behavior or good behavior. Any amount of your advice and punishments will not help. Your words and deeds should not contradict. You personality and deeds are far more powerful than your words to influence your child.
Great men on values
Abraham Lincoln was well aware of the real value of values. He once wrote to the principal of his son’s school; ‘Teach him learn to lose and also to enjoy winning. Steer him away from envy; if you can, teach him the secret of quiet laughter.…. Teach him; if you can, the wonders of books but also give him quiet some time to ponder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun and flowers on a green hill side… In school, teach him that it is far more honorable to fail than to cheat… Teach him to have faith in his own ideas even if, everyone tells him he is wrong… Teach him to listen to all men… but teach him also to filter all he hears on a screen of truth’.
Steve Muraboli, the famous American behavioral scientist, author and speaker, advises, ‘Never compromise with values’. Mahatma Gandhi was a man of values. He seriously reminds us;
‘Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny’.
Great men like Gandhiji, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill and Albert Einstein were well aware of the importance of human values. They all lived with great courage, without compromising their values and this was the secret of their memorable success. So, we have to understand the importance of these values in our lives. Moreover we have to try to teach the growing generation the value of these values with that conviction that example is better than precepts. As the famous American novelist Ayn Rand said; ‘Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one’s values’.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. JOHN MUZHUTHETTU is a Human Resource Consultant, National Trainer and Counselor. Formerly he was the Deputy Chief Engineer, Kerala State Electricity Board and is still working as an external faculty of HRD Programmes of KSEB. He is also a faculty of Department of Management Studies, Mar Augusthinose College, Ramapuram, under M.G.University, Kerala. He is the PG course co-ordinator of MHRM.
He is columnist in several Magazines, like ‘Business Deepika’, ‘Creative Business’, ‘Donbosco’ etc. His articles have been published in many magazines and journals. His several speeches have been aired by All India Radio. His interviews on various subjects have been telecasted by Power Vision TV . He is the author of five best-selling books:
- ‘Stress-Manassasthra- Aathmeeya Pariharangel’. (Current Books, Thrissur) 4th Edition
- Vijayiyude Vyakthithwam (Current Books, Thrissur)
- Jeevitham Santhushtamakan, Nithya Yauvanam Nedan.(css,Thiruvalla)2ndEdition
- Emotional Intelligence-Jeevithavijayathinu (CSS, Thiruvalla)
- Vijayarahsyangal (Current Books, Thrissur)
As a trainer, he has conducted more than thousand seminars and workshops for teachers, parents, students, executives and others, on several subjects like Stress Management, Time Management, Personality Development, Emotional Intelligence and Spiritual intelligence for Excellence, Communicative Skills, Assertiveness, Motivation, Study Skills, Effective Parenting, Counselling Skills etc. He is an external training faculty of Power Engineers Training and Research Centre of KSEB. He is an external faculty of IMG Cochin. He is also the Secretary of Upasana Cultural Centre, Thodupuzha. Email: (John_muzhuthettu@rediffmail.com)
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