“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much.”
– Helen Keller
There is an assessment where someone gives you a list of values and when it is given to you, you are told to pick your top ten. After you pick your top ten values, pick your top five and cross out the other top five. From that top five, now narrow it down to a top three. Feel free to try this activity and pick out your top three values from a list of 50 core values. Here is a list of values if you want to try the activity.
By no means is this task supposed to be easy. This task is an immense challenge and it requires a lot of thought and time because all the values that you may have picked out are highly important, even if they aren't even in your top three. By no means does it say that all your other values are "less than," it is just saying that those three are the highest-ranked if you had to rank them. I know the struggle that comes with this activity because I have done it multiple times at different phases of my life. Each time I have found some similarities in my top three and there is one that always is in my top three and that is community.
Community is always in my top three because I believe many other values can be found within community. In reality, when you boil community down to its core, it is just a group of people that live in the same place or have something in common. Because of that, I believe community encompasses many of my core values and various communities. It encompasses family, friends, Judaism, the LGBTQ+ Community, the Buckeye Community, the theatre community, and so many more. Community is found nearly everywhere. I mean this past year I found a new community and that was through my project Recieve the Moment. When I was working on that project I realized that the people who painted on the canvas became a community but, community also happens if you relate to something. If someone saw themselves in that piece of work, they became a part of that community. Community is such a broad concept but highly important.
The other thing about community is that communities can help change the world. When people come together and fight for a cause, it can impact others, influence the law, and help create a better world. I have seen this in action because it happens when people take to the streets to protest, when people donate their time to a nonprofit that helps communities in need, and sometimes it helps people find a home. In reality, if one person is impacted positively that makes the world a better place. I have said this a lot, if you impact one person's life that can have a massive ripple effect and that can then change hundreds, thousands, or even millions of lives.
Community has been the cornerstone of my life. It has changed my life in ways I can not even describe and it has allowed me to find my voice. I know that when I root myself in community, I can help make a difference and make tomorrow better than today. Community has also provided me with a safe space, a home, family, friends who are family, and so many other things. I will always have community as one of my top values because of what it is and what it can do.
Now what are your top values? Feel free to take a moment to figure out what your top values are. Like I said earlier, it isn't easy but it provides for a great moment of reflection. It might point out to you a theme in your life or highlight your passion or show you what you are truly grateful for. Personally, I think all of that is a great thing. If you want to share your top values, feel free to comment them below and help create a little community right here on this page!
*The Buckeye Community (Sept. 22, 2018)