Thursday, August 21, 2008

What's Valuable?

The candidates say they stand for American values--family values. I'm wondering what those are. Do we still have values we all share, no matter what our religion, origins or politics?
Is there a list of those values anywhere? I used to think our ideals were based on the Ten Commandments but society shatters those like they were made of crystal.

James Owen wrote, "We gain self-respect by setting our own standards and holding ourselves accountable to them. We gain clarity and confidence by knowing which lines we will not cross. And we gain nobility by paying heed to principles larger than ourselves. Those who live with honor are the backbone of our society and the ones who ultimately reap life's richest rewards."

Are there any absolutes in our society? I want some! I believe family values should include being faithful to your spouse. I believe parents should take responsibility for raising their own children. I believe work should be a way of life. I believe our emphasis should be on living a good life, rather than living the good life. I believe we should help each other to achieve a good education, good health care, and a good standard of living. I believe we should realize that we are not all equal in opportunities, and therefore we have a moral obligation to contribute for the general good. I believe that we owe a debt of gratitude to our forefathers, and we owe a tradition of decency to our children.

These things are most valuable to me:

Praying Hands by Albrecht Durer

The power of prayer.

A strong family.

The Gleaners by Millet

The opportunity to work and achieve goals.

Joy in simple activities.


The right to good health care.

Babies raised by a mother and a father.

White Church, Salt Lake City

Freedom to worship.


Photo by Walter Bellamy, 1937

Service to others.

Our values boil down to what is valuable to each of us.
If we don't value goodness our society will cease to be good.

What do you value?


Christie said...

Bravo, Oma! This was beautifully written and very well said. I second it all.

kenju said...

Yes, BRAVO, and I second it all, as well. While I was reading, it came to me that truth and integrity are very important to me. Our candidates have not shown a lot of either this year (esp. some of the former candidates).

Anonymous said...

this is very well put. thank you for putting my same thoughts into words and pictures.

mama jo said...

love the pictures...that was very well said...

Joy Des Jardins said...

This was beautiful Marty.

Keri said...

After reading this post, I'm voting for you.

If only the candidates could present themselves as you just have, bubbling over with integrity and clear cut standards, what a Country we would have!

I would hope the front runners could share all of these values you have so eloquently penned.

At this point I must settle for the one who, in the end, is able to maintain the most internal consistency. (though as a Canadian, I suppose my thoughts matter not)

What a writer. I simply must get your autograph before USA Today picks up your column and you become all "Celebritized".

marta said...

can i just say 'ditto'!

this was a great post ma; with such great images. i think taking time out and focusing on what we value is so important. what we value really makes up who we are! i try to stop and just relax and think every once in awhile, it helps me collect my thoughts.

Jake said...

Oma for President!

Anonymous said...

Oma for President indeed! Write-in campaign?

Another thing I value is recognizing great blogging. :) I gave you an award on my blog tonight that celebrates just that. Thank you for being so inspiring, Oma!

Check it out at

Susan said...

amen and amen. very well said.