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Rewriting a Value: Example #1

Finding a Better Formulation of a value around "being kind"

Standing outside of a club, one of my friends said she didn't know if it was a good idea for her to go dancing tonight. Another friend took her by the hand and said, "breathe with me, and feel into what's right for you." She decided it was best for her to go home and have some quiet rest, and he called a cab for her. I really admired how he handled the situation, and realized that it taught me a new 🌳 Personal Value. But how should I formulate it? Initially, it might look like...

  • "Take people seriously". This points in the direction of something important, but also isn't actionable. It doesn't show me a way to proceed.
  • "Don't push people to do things they don't want to do". This might be capturing what inspires me when I reflect on the experience. But how would I improvise around that?
  • "Recognize that other people know what's best for them". This is closer, and also in the direction of something important. But it doesn't remind me how to be in a situation.

I need to ask myself about what I need to notice and foreground to in order to live by this personal value. What aspects of the situation could guide my awareness in a way that is inherently worthwhile for me?

How would you tell an actor to approach a scene in which she lives by your personal value?

Listen closely to the people around you. Are they uncomfortable? If so, help them feel through that discomfort. What would be the best thing for them to do right now? How can you help?

With this information, I can rewrite the Personal Value phrase to be awareness-guiding:

Support the people around me in discovering and enacting their best understanding of what self-care would be in this situation

That value phrase can serve as a north star when navigating a lot of different circumstances. Rather than telling me exactly what to do, it gives me a disposition and allows me to improvise. That also makes this phrase useful for values-based design.

The next step here is the context. When do I want to be like this? If I add the context it will come up something like:

When someone is hesitant support them in discovering and enacting their best understanding of what self-care would be in this situation.

Now we need to add what is the source of meaning in this. Here's one way this might be.

When someone is hesitant support them in discovering and enacting their best understanding of what self-care would be in this situation. This allows me to harmonize treating others with supportive love and trusting respect.

Let's give our value a name: Love Trust

You can check out another example:

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Rewriting a Value: Example #2