The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Meaning of values

Benjamin Franklin is known for his inventions, his impact on the United States, but also for his desire to seek perfection for himself. The latter is what he tried to achieve by implementing 13 virtues.

He admitted failing to reach perfection: “On the whole, tho’ I never arrived at the Perfection I had been so ambitious of obtaining, but fell short of it,” but his project gave him something that seems much more valuable: “Yet as I was, by the Endeavor, a better and a happier Man than I otherwise should have been if I had not attempted it.”

It was a project that was as well structured as he needed it, following his inclination to have himself well organized with his ideal daily routine.

One may be like Franklin and thus able as well as wishing to step into the same project he chose for himself or adapt it to oneself.

But that isn’t possible for everyone. However, what is possible for everyone is to find one’s own approach to values.

Whatever the project is, it always starts with understanding one’s meaning of a given value. A meaning that is based on one’s relationship with that value.

There is no easy answer to this. It always leads to a process of discovery as one tries to describe what that value is, and what it means for oneself.

But what often happens is that one assumes that it has a meaning that exists and can be taken for granted. That assumption seems to make it difficult for people to develop their view on what their implementation of a value is. That is what it means for them to be. for example, authentic, respectful, or caring. It certainly makes it difficult to make decisions that involve conflicting values.


Mining Equipment in Petite Rosselle, France
Mining Equipment in the Carreau de Wendel Museum, Petite Rosselle, France

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