Warped values (7 July 2016)

The incidence of hate crime is, it seems, increasing. This is seen as one of the indicators of the post-Brexit world we now live in here in the UK; though it is worldwide, in Europe, in the USA, in Asia, Latin America. With various degrees of unpleasantness, foul language, prejudice and violence, people are attacked for being different – whether it be their sex, religion, ethnicity, age, ability, sexual orientation, taste in clothes, football team supported.

For me personally, this date, 7 July – or, more particularly, 7/7/5, the date of the bombings on London’s transport system at morning rush hour – will always be a cause for sorrow and reflection. At the office early that morning, I soon began to realise something was wrong; no other staff were arriving. Eventually, a few made it, talking of transport chaos. Then, over Kings Cross station, which we could see from our office, were several helicopters – not a common site. Mobile networks were also down.

Eventually, some staff got to the office on foot; others found ways to contact us to say: I’m OK. It was only later, on TV, we realised what was happening. Thankfully, all staff were OK; but we later learned that a woman who worked in the nearby bank we used – she was called Sharia Islam – died in one of the bombs. Exactly one week later, along with many, many other Londoners, we lined the adjacent streets in silence to remember the victims.

Values, for better or worse, drive some to commit such acts. Your values dictate the choices you make in life, the prejudices and the commitments, the beliefs that drive your actions. You need to know and understand your values, so take a sheet of paper and answer the questions below as honestly as you can:

1. What is really important to you? (e.g., health, honesty, learning, art, family, world peace, etc.)

2. What do you care about?

3. What do you want more of in your work? In your life?

4. What do you want less of in your work? In your life?

5. What would make you stay in a situation where everything goes wrong?

6. What would make you leave when everything is going well?

7. Think about your extreme moments. When has life been amazing? When have you felt on top of the world? What was important to you about these times?

8. What makes you angry, fed up or frustrated? What value is being violated that stops you being true to yourself?

What do your answers tell you about your values and what is important to you; and how do your values shape your actions and words?

All the best


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