I have my mother to thank for the spark that ignited the idea to write this article. She suggested that I write about what makes a good person, and she even listed some characteristics to get me started on this endeavor. But after some thought, I decided to turn it into something else that reflects the reality for most people by using myself as an example. I soon realized the benefits of this psychological exercise as I am in the process of making some major decisions and this has reminded me of what is REALLY important to me.

Let’s begin with a few definitions…

Judgments are fundamentally, about making decisions. You may use external factors to make a decision, such as looking for evidence/proof, or, you may use your intellect along with your intuition and previous experiences to make a choice (i.e. wisdom and discernment). (Parts of this have been taken from Wikipedia.) You may also use both ways of making judgments in order to get a balanced outlook before making a decision. For example, your partner may be cheating on you. If you want to know for sure, you can do some investigating or hire an investigator to gather evidence. You may also, go on previous experience of the signs that other cheating partners exhibited or, from information gathered from some other source (via an article, a documentary or a friend’s personal experience).

Values: Wikipedia has a great definition:

“Values can be defined as broad preferences concerning appropriate courses of action or outcomes. As such, values reflect a person’s sense of right and wrong or what “ought” to be. Values tend to influence attitudes and behavior.”

Value Judgments: to illustrate this, I will use the example mentioned above – when the person who believes s/he is being cheated on finds out that this is in fact, the case. If fidelity/trust is important to him/her, in all likelihood all hell will break loose when the partner is confronted. However, if this person has cheated before, or can find excuses that explain away this type of betrayal, then fidelity is not a value that will matter in this relationship. In other words, it will not result in a decision that leads to separation, not unless the cheating partner wants it.

My Value Judgments Lists

What has positive value:

  • Trustworthiness
  • Patience
  • Compassion
  • Integrity
  • Strength
  • Self-worth
  • Humility
  • Sensitivity
  • Understanding
  • Intelligence
  • Loving nature
  • Down-to-earth attitude
  • Co-operation
  • Open-mindedness
  • Respect
  • Loyalty
  • Reliability
  • Emotional support

What has negative, neutral or negligible value (I will not base my decisions on the following criteria for they repulse me, are of no value to me – that is, they don’t matter to me – or, have some value based on certain conditions which I elaborate on in parentheses):

  • Arrogance/excessive pride (negative)
  • Wealth (neutral)
  • Physical attractiveness (neutral)
  • Fame or social status (neutral)
  • Avoidance of reality (negative)
  • Competitiveness (negative)
  • Immaturity (unless it’s a child or someone with a developmental disability)
  • Race/ethnicity (neutral)
  • Sexual orientation (neutral)
  • Religious or spiritual beliefs (as long as they do no harm to others and are not being forced on me)
  • Choice of clothing, hairstyle, accessories, car driven…”brand” names hold zero interest for me…

The real value of value judgments is that they show you who you are. That’s what writing this article has made very clear to me which will now assist me in making some major life choices. If you are having difficulty making decisions right now, why not give this a try – you may surprise yourself.

Helen