WORLD VALUES DAY - THURSDAY 18th OCTOBER
What are values?
Values are an individual thing. They shape the way we are, they guide us in our attitudes, they influence our emotions and the choices we make. They control our behaviour and our relationships. When the things that we do, the way that we do them and the way that we behave match our values then we feel good, we feel content and we feel satisfied. However, when the things we do or the things that other so, don’t align with our values we feel unhappy and discontented.
On the 18th October 2018 it will be World Values Day. This year the focus will be on putting our values into action in our communities. It will be an opportunity to think about our most deeply held values and to act on them. Values are things that are not only important to us as individuals but also as organisations and as communities.
Why are they important?
It is just as important that organisations, as a whole have values, not just individuals. If values are not lived up to the full this will impact on peoples lives at home, at work and in these community. If our communities don’t reflect our values, then those communities will not live those values either. This in turn has an impact on the wider world from the way we farm, to our manufacturing standards to how our customers perceive us.
Any organisation needs to have a strong purpose and clear values and behaviours. This will create a healthier happier work environment and in turn will increase brand value and help keep employees motivated. Organisations that do this are more likely to have the long-term loyalty, engagement and energy of their employees and customers. Ethical consumerism is a type of consumer activism that is on the rise. It is practiced through ‘positive buying’ of ethical products and by ‘moral boycott’ this is just one example of how individual values are making a difference. The world is being dramatically reshaped, and digitisation is changing the way in which we operate and interact. Direct, transparent and interdependent engagement by individuals is now orchestrated via the power of social media. It is estimated that the number of social media users worldwide in 2018 is just over 3 Billion. An article by Maryanne Gaitho, What Is the Real Impact of Social Media? Shows how people use social media to voice their values.
When my sister and I were growing up our parents didn’t impose their values on us, but rather they lived their lives according to their own values which we came to respect and admire. They trusted us to find our own way in life but were always there for support and advice.
When we started our business Qwerk Emporium, it was with these certain values in mind. We wanted to create a brand that reflected our views on the world we live in and our concerns for the damage being caused to the environment and the effects on wildlife by such things as deforestation, chemical pollution and waste pollution. We also care about poverty, inequality and empowerment.
We are not a large organisation, in fact it is just the two of us, but when we were looking for wholesalers to provide us with the products we wanted we carefully researched the companies to find the ones that were compatible with our ideals and ones in which we understood their values.
One such company is Shared Earth. They are one of our main suppliers and a company which encompasses all that we believe in. They find environmentally friendly, ethically sourced alternatives to everyday items. They help support farmers, artisans and small businesses primarily in developing countries by offering fairly traded goods, guaranteeing fair prices, preventing exploitation and helping to alleviate poverty. They also help small businesses here in the UK by giving them the platform to sell products made using local resources and cutting carbon emissions.
Another of our main suppliers are TilnarArt, who’s name means TILNAR – This Is Life Not A Rehearsal. Their aim is to supply high quality, ethically sourced and environmentally friendly products from disadvantaged producers from across the developing world in order to help them trade out of poverty, all their products are hand-made and fair traded
What you can do
World Values Day will be an opportunity to consider what we hold true about ourselves, how we perceive the world around us, how we think people perceive us. It will be a day to think about our values and to act on them. What motivates us? What drives us? Why do we do the things we do?
On World Values Day we can all try to make a difference in some way, no matter how small by putting a key value into action in our community.
It’s easy! You can do this as an individual, or as a family, or within a group at school or within another organisation. We can all help to implant some values within any community. You can make a difference – whatever you do, however big or small, will make a difference in your own community and so help change the world! Just take these simple steps on the World Values Day website.
Choose a Community
It might be where you live, study or work. Or a community based on faith, sport or other common interest. Or it could be a virtual community.
Choose a Value
Identify a value that you feel is important for that community.
Take an Action
Put that value into action in a way that makes a positive impact on the community. Keep it as simple and practical as you can. Involve others as much as possible.
Tell the world! Take a selfie using the “We Value…” template and share on social media using #WorldValuesDay
See what other people are doing here.