August 5, 2020,

In difficult times, you find out what you value the most.

Suppose one day you knew that in the near future, you were going to lose your livelihood and would need to cut back on your expenses. Too, you need to determine what material possessions you would keep and what you would let go.

Recently we had a friend in our circle help close out her parent’s massive home filled with expensive material possessions. Her siblings had to make a fairly quick decision as to what to sell off or even throw away since they had a deadline looming to clean the house out so the real estate agent could sell it.

What our friend discovered was that the items they decided to keep were pictures and family heirlooms that had important memories attached to them. The monetary value of many of their parent’s belongings ultimately meant very little. They wound up giving most of them away to charity or fellow church members for free. She initially thought they would haggle over who gets what but in the end, none of that mattered.

Would that have described your experience closing out a family home filled with expensive possessions?

So much of what we care about and how we approach these difficult situations speaks to our values.

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In ethics, value denotes the degree of importance of some thing or action, with the aim of determining what actions are best to do or what way is best to live (normative ethics), or to describe the significance of different actions.

Value systems are proscriptive and prescriptive beliefs; they affect ethical behavior of a person or are the basis of their intentional activities.

Very important, often primary values are strong and secondary values are suitable for changes.

What makes an action valuable may in turn depend on the ethical values of the objects it increases, decreases or alters. An object with “ethic value” may be termed an “ethic or philosophic good”.

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

Here are some societal values.

“Equal rights for all”, “Excellence deserves admiration”, and “People should be treated with respect and dignity” are representatives of values.

This perhaps speaks to another societal value.

Individual cultures emphasize values which their members broadly share.

Values of a society can often be identified by examining the level of honor and respect received by various groups and ideas. In the United States of America, for example, top-level professional athletes receive more respect (measured in terms of monetary payment) than university professors.

This would fall into the, it’s not what you say, but do category.

Publicly people would most likely say that educators should be of more value but financially, clearly the athletes are.

What percentage of women, no matter the country, do you think would publicly say that when they are procuring a man to marry, they are interested in his job title and how much money he makes, as a top priority? His internal makeup is a far second or third in the distance.

Difficult times so often reveal what we value.

As we often do, now it is time to turn to film.

The Occupant is a brilliant Spanish 2020 thriller directed by David Pastor and Àlex Pastor, and written by both.  

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The storyline is, an unemployed advertising executive begins stalking the new tenants of his former home and his motives toward the family turn sinister.

Very sinister indeed.

In the beginning of the film, when the middle aged executive loses his job, he does everything that he can to get another high level position.

Best wishes on that.

His beautiful wife responds in a way we hope that we would.

Let go of the material possessions, downsize and rebuild. Yes, their home is glorious and regal but as she reminds her husband, it is just four walls.

He doesn’t see it that way.

It is not just four walls. It is the essence of who he is as a man and he is willing to do anything to hold onto that lifestyle including destroying one family and discarding another.

That house and lifestyle mean everything to him.

What is fascinating about the film are the thrills and chills. The near misses of getting caught in his schemes and what he is willing to do to avoid capture.

This is a gem.

His values become very clear.

Before we judge him too harshly, and he should be judged that way, if you have lived a high people contact life, you know that his behavior is not far off the mark.

The experts at psychologytoday.com surmise, “Values are a set of attitudes, unique to each individual, which govern our behavior and guide the way we look at the world. Each individual seeks to achieve certain goals in life, and ideally, his or her values are in tune with these goals.”

Nicely said.

Mostly true. Often untrue.

Values are discovered along the way.

You really don’t know what your values are in the early stages of your adult life. You think you do, but you haven’t been tested yet, so you really don’t.

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Make no mistake about it, over time you will find it out.

Part of the reason so many hold on to their old materialistic life, even when it is truly over, is due to the ramifications of their fall from grace.

Those close friends that you thought you had? Guess what? Our life experience has shown that they will leave. Some will even publicly say what they thought about you all along and how it doesn’t surprise them that you fell so far and hard.

They saw it coming.

The opposite sex that used to find you so attractive? Once you lose your finances and larger home, not so much anymore.

One thing that we have learned, values are very transitory.

What you think that you value while everything is going well, you may find out, when things are not, those were not your real values all along.

Why bring up the subject?

Maybe it is good to think about what you truly value ahead of time. While things are going well.

It may help you adhere to those values that are important to you when things are not. Like the wife in the film.

Always remember. Values are like principles. Anyone can publicly say what they are. The only time that they truly are your values is when you are severely tested and you adhere to them.

Doing so may help you continue to be the protagonist in your life and that of your family’s, when they need you the most, during very tough circumstances.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Value_(ethics)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Occupant

https://www.netflix.com/title/81004797

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/tests/personality/values-profile

https://fciwomenswrestling.com/

https://www.fcielitecompetitor.com/

https://grapplingstars.com/

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https://femcompetitor.com/