“We are what we think,” said Buddha.
Beliefs and Values
A person’s beliefs and values support and justify a person’s goals.
Is there a clear distinction between a belief and a value? There is no simple answer. Though there are similarities, there are some differences between them too. Beliefs and values are closely related. They cannot be seen separate from each other. In essence, beliefs provide a context for values. They are more or less interrelated.
Both beliefs and values influence the way we see ourselves. They also serve as filters for our understanding of the world around us.
Probably the biggest difference is that our values usually change more over time than our beliefs. Each stage of our life requires adjustments and will also cause us to reevaluate our values. On the other hand, our beliefs are not likely to change as often. Our lifestyles may change, but the ideas we hold as true will generally remain the same. It will take some strong “evidence” to dent our beliefs.
Belief is a sense of being convinced that someone or something exists or that something is true.
Something regarded as true.
Though others may dispute their believability, it can be recognized as a personal belief if someone sincerely believes in a feeling or cause.
Your beliefs sort and filter data to prove themselves to be true. Beliefs are priceless generalizations that everybody uses to give themselves a sense of certainty and a basis for decision-making in an uncertain and unpredictable world.
Value is a firmly held opinion about what is valuable, important, or acceptable.
Something held in high regard.
Values are based on beliefs.
We hold something in high regard because we regard it as true.
Thus, what you believe determines what you consider valuable.
Beliefs are things we take for granted about ourselves, about others in the world, and about how we believe things to be. They are usually half-truths. Beliefs are about how we think things are and what we think is true. A typical belief may be “stealing is wrong.” A belief includes not only an action or activity (“stealing”) but also a judgment about that action or activity (“is wrong”).
Our values are based on our beliefs. A value is something that we consider to be important and meaningful. It can include specific ideas, behaviors, attitudes, relationships, and concepts like “equality, liberty, honesty, knowledge, education, obedience, charity, truthfulness, effort, privacy, perseverance, integrity, loyalty, solidarity & faithfulness.” Values govern how we interact with the world.
Values heavily influence our motivation and behavior. Values are abstract and hierarchical concepts that essentially describe what we want to achieve. Holding a value means we aspire to something or feel that a value is worth something to us. So if we say that we hold “loyalty” as a value, we are saying that we aspire to be loyal, even at personal cost.
It is imaginable for our beliefs and values to change over time as we gather evidence or have experiences that defy our previously held views. On the other hand, our beliefs and values can also be reinforced by experience or evidence.
Everyone has beliefs and values that they developed during their lives.
To sum it up, beliefs are judgments that give our experiences meaning and provide a context for our values.
While personal values are undeniably woven into personal beliefs, values are personal choices that are seldom discussed because they help define our individuality.
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