Value versus Values

Do you consume something based on its value or according to your values? This idea has taken root with me today and I have been tossing it around in my mind.

If you look at the definitions, the distinction between the 2 words might become clearer.

VALUE:   An amount, as of goods, services, or money, considered to be a fair and suitable equivalent for something else; a fair price or return.

VALUES:   Important and enduring beliefs or ideals shared by the members of a culture about what is good or desirable and what is not. Values exert major influence on the behavior of an individual and serve as broad guidelines in all situations.

In my life, no matter how much money I have earned, all my consumption has been about values. Whenever I have strayed away from that and bought into whatever was considered to be of more “value”, I have been disappointed.

The value of something is akin to beauty – in the eye of the beholder. My definition of value will be slightly different from everyone else. And that is where values come into play. Ultimately, for me, my values have always been a better guide for all my decisions.

But slick marketers are always trying to convince us to buy whatever they are selling. And they have some pretty good tricks up their sleeves. They communicate in very appealing ways. But the ones that are the most successful in getting my money are the companies that can align to my values. When that happens, it is almost a pleasure to fork over the hard-earned dough.

The trick is to remember that we have this power. We as consumers and citizens can implement our values more frequently than we can probably imagine. Every single purchase decision we make, no matter the size is a realization of our values. Everything we say and do communicates more than the words or actions.

One of the many values my husband and I have shared is the feeling of satisfaction from completing a job. It just doesn’t feel the same to hire someone to do everything for us, even if we could afford it.

This weekend we put our dedication to the test. 4 trailer loads of cedar bark mulch had to be spread and the whole area had to be weeded first. As I have mentioned before, this is back-breaking work, but more hands make lighter work.  So together we got out there. Working hard we got the hardest part done yesterday in the sunshine.

Then it started to rain this morning about 11am. By the time my husband got back with the 3rd load of mulch it was pouring. So there we were, spreading the wonderful smelling bark bits in our rain jackets. The upside was I didn’t have to water down the whole thing when I was done.

When I came in the house to make dinner, I opened a bottle of Glen Garioch. It is one of my values to treat myself every once in a while with something special. This is a fairly expensive bottle of 12-year-old single malt scotch. But I’m worth it.

PS – I know that is not the correct glass, but I don’t have any of the fancy glasses made just for drinking scotch. Maybe someday.

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