Values live on top of a person’s head. They are sometimes confused with goodness, but no set of values can make a person good. In fact, an excessive focus on values can separate a person from the actual seat of goodness- their heart.
The heart is good, but not Good. It is the fuzzy mammalian instinct we have to empathize with and help others. The heart is caring, but not Righteous. It doesn’t care because it should, but just because it is naturally furry and soft. It might not even be aware that it cares; it just reaches out a warm hand to others automatically. The heart expresses her warmth through actions.
Values, on the other hand, are cold and harsh. You could compare them to stars guiding a person through the desert. They offer no warmth nor coziness, but can provide austere guidance and possibly exhilaration. We turn to stars when we are lost and travelling through barren, inhospital places- such as the ocean. It is the same with values. If our whole life were a walk through a rose garden, they might never cross our mind at all. We think of them most when we have nothing else.
Values are useful so long as you choose the right ones. Like stars, values encircle the globe, existing at all locations. They are infinite, and all have polarities- opposites- which are equally valuable. Honing into the right value can help a person to stay focused on their spiritual purpose- like a soldier tuning into Bravery or a salesman into Enthusiasm. There are Soul Values which guide us throughout our life and relate to our deepest purposes, and other values which we may plug into temporarily to navigate an obstacle. Adopting the wrong values, however- such as a soldier plugging into Empathy- could make it impossible to fulfill our mission.
There are two ways to adopt a value. One is to mentally accept it as an idea that you *should* live by it. In this case, it is generally a value derived from our peer group. This can create strong feelings of anger as the foreign value and our nature continually clash. Eventually, this anger may be projected onto others whom the person sees as lacking the value, relieving the guilt they feel in being unable to live up to the value themselves. Ultimately, of course, the angry person needs to question the value of their value and likely trade it in for another, more suitable, choice.
In other cases, a person tries to actually live by a chosen value. I am not sure how common this is, but all our heroes, for example, are people who at least seemed to embody one value or another.
The beauty of a value is that it can unlock supernatural powers. By choosing to follow a value, you are connecting to a living set of higher powers who will set things in motion around you. If you choose the right value, they will be like winds that carry you to your destiny. Choose the wrong value, and it will be an exhilarating ride that leaves you dashed against the rocks.