Search

Plotting human values on Peak Paradox

Humans have many values but the values to plot are Altruism, Appreciation, Attentiveness Compassion (rather than empathy), Courage, Determination, Equanimity, Generosity, Honesty, Humility, Integrity, Kindness, Loyalty, Selflessness, Self-Reliance, Spirituality, Tolerance, Trustworthiness and Toughness. Every reader can add more, but what we start adding is often what people value and not the human values that create humanity. These values are also not human rights.

As a context, I wrote a long post on values and principles here. It presented a new framework to understand that Humans want principles, society demands rules and businesses want to manage risk, and explored how can we reconcile the differences!

The values listed above are values that someone cannot take away from you, they cannot be extracted. Equally, you cannot be given these values. Yes, they can be learnt, yes you can give them up or not improve on them. Yes, you can break them and yes you can build them. Individual values might appear stable but the relationship you have with values is always in a constant state of flux (change.) Values are solid ground but are not foundations nor are the millstones. I am not sure if we pick values, they are picked for us or we all have them. We have values because they enable us to be a member of society. Some will argue that these values improve humanity and society, but at the extreme when one value becomes the only value - they are destructive. It is a balance that matters.

Plotting values on the Peak Paradox model.


Of note is that values appear to group together towards different peaks. Those that group towards Peak Individual Purpose are associated with me and I. Things I need and can do that make a difference to others. Those that group towards to Peak Society Purpose are associated with us and we. Things we can do that make a difference to all. A third group, those orientated towards Peak Work Purpose are associated with how we do work. Things we all need if it is to make a difference to everyone.

Like the DRESS colour that no-one could agree on that did the rounds a year ago, we can all move any of the values between any of the groups, the point here is that values are not just self (I) and are not just everyone. There is a complex relationship and it depends on your perspective at this moment when asked about values and what matters.

In the middle is Peak Paradox, that place where everything is grey and decisions are impossible, everything has consequences and compromise to do everything is impossible. This is where the value of faith, beliefs and ideals bigger than us come into play - as a way to resolve the unresolvable.





140 views2 comments