The morning after Christmas, I was lying down on the couch, watching cartoons with my kids and enjoying my coffee when suddenly my mobile rang. It was my mother who wanted to know about the kids since we didn't celebrate together. I hung up the phone and one of my boys asked me what's the meaning of the word 'value,' (I've just mentioned that word while talking to my mother).
I described value by asking him a simple question, "we have two equal boxes, ones is full of toys and the other is full of dirt, which one is more valuable to you? His answer was obviously the box full of toys and my job was done! He now knows what 'value' means. However, I thought this was a great opportunity to get a bit deeper in the topic and talk to them about personal values.
I turned off the TV and asked them, "Come on guys, let's do something fun and interesting! We're going to learn a bit more about 'value.' Let's now learn the meaning of Personal Values." They were not so thrilled about my idea (I've just interrupted their favorite show). But I continued anyway, after all I didn't feel I was being disruptive because one of them initiated the whole thing.
I asked them to look for their dictionary and gave everyone a list of five thoroughly selected values (all social and human-interaction related values.) Here is the list: Obedience, organization, respect, responsibility, tidiness, honesty, loyalty, trustworthiness, integrity, poise, composure, resilience, generosity, altruism and empathy. They already knew some of these words and a few of the ones they didn't know, were not listed on their dictionary, so they wound up using mine.
When we finished discussing every word, I asked them to visualize two exactly equal treasure chests, one full with gold and diamonds, and the other full of wood. If both chests are closed, we'll need to open them up in order to know what's inside. Then I changed the treasure chests with people and asked, "imagine two individuals, one is responsible, loyal, honest, generous and trustworthy; the other is irresponsible, dishonest, petty-minded, and deceiver. In your opinion which one possess the values you'd like your friends and the people around you to have? They all agreed the first one has the values they would like their friends to have. Then my six years old daughter asked me, "like gold and diamonds in the box, what would be the most precious of all values for a person to have?
My brain paused for a few seconds, thinking about the best answer for my daughter's question and suddenly I was able to clearly see the answer. "Love it is my dear Jazz. If you fill your heart with love you'll fulfill all the other values," I replied to my daughter. I just couldn't believe how did I mention fifteen personal values and forgot the most precious of all. It all started with me trying to teach something to my kids and I was the one learning the lesson!!