On Sunday at our weekly dinner at K's, we decided to look at what our values are as a unit. If corporations and organisations have mission statements and core values, shouldn't we all? Its so easy to get swept away in the various calls for our attention, money and lifestyle choices. There are so many voices clambering to get something from us, it seems only natural to articulate what our own values are as individuals. Aaron Tippin said it best, "You've got to stand for something, or you'll fall for anything" (I honestly hope most readers DON'T know that song, because once its in your heard, it does not leave!)
We really focussed on being connected and awake, as opposed to wandering through in a haze...which we are all guilty of. K and K work WAY too much and I find it so easy just not to do anything...to flit from thing to thing, giving up the minute it gets difficult. We all agreed that we value the sparks creativity we send to each other and on how honest we can be with each other...truly and deeply ourselves, with all of the flaws. We are all passionate people who care deeply about our "causes", which is an important factor in what makes us tick...
Our mission statement goes something like: We are rooted in truth, trust, engagement, community, debate, passion and creativity. As a family, we think about our impact on ourselves, each other, on individuals and communities and our earth in everything we do. We value ourselves as individuals and as a unit. We seek to enable independence through engagement. We seek to share what we have and use what we have as creatively and usefully as we can.
It was very interesting to think about what makes us work, what we value and what drives us, at least on some levels. I was reading somewhere recently about how paradoxical modern values have become...we say we value family the most, but our actions often speak differently. We tried to draw some concrete examples of how we live our values:
Then, at the end, we each thought of a hope for the future, for ourselves and for our family. We wrote on a piece of paper and lit it on fire for St Bridgid (which, I must say was nigh on impossible on a blustery scottish night). I hoped for the strength to go unplugged...I need to disconnect myself from the computer and Ellis from his constant desire to see choo choos on TV.
Ok ok, I admit, its a bit cheesy, but it was a really good thing to do and I am glad we did it!
(Note: we followed the guidance in Living Simply with Children...an excellent book that I find really inspiring)