I hold the door for people. I hold the door for old people. I hold the door for young people.
… No, I’m not a doorman… 😀
I thank people for holding the door for me. I like to reward their generosity by offering them obvious appreciation.
For the sake of discussion, let’s call these “values”.
Where did I get these values? o_O
Nature & Nurture
Perhaps spiritually-thinking, it’s possible that people are born with certain values.
I wouldn’t know because I have no access to thoughts I had before somewhere around the age of 3 or 5.
Let’s say that we’re born with a particular amount of ability to absorb concepts that we experience in life.
What we are not born with is the value “hold the door for people”.
This is because when you’re a baby, you don’t know that doors exist.
Even if you did, you can’t even walk yet, so you won’t be holding any doors open for people.
On top of that, you don’t know English yet, so you can’t say “thank you” even if that’s how you feel.
You can nod and smile at people to show appreciation.
I was taught by my mother, who was an actual schoolteacher, until the age of 5 when I started going to kindergarten.
I think the earliest concrete memories I still have access to are from when I was 5 because I remember my kindergarten teacher.
So I will assume, since I don’t remember learning “hold the door for people” in school that this was a value that was taught to me by my mother or my father.
Same for saying “please” and “thank you”.
I also would have learned these courtesies by observing how my parents carried themselves. I would have seen my mother and father holding doors for people or I would have experienced people holding the door for us. I would have experienced my parents saying “please” and “thank you” and I can assume that if I didn’t say that by the time I could speak and understand what I was saying that I was *reminded* to do so if I failed to in their presence.
I don’t think that’s a value yet.
I think that’s following the directions of your leaders.
Similar to ending a sentence with a period.
Some people were miseducated and don’t know how to do that.
I think that at some point, a developing adult decides what is and isn’t going to be a personal value for them.
There are things I used to do when my parents weren’t there that I would never have done in front of them, one of which being cursing / cussing / swearing.
I would have been eternally embarrassed to this very day if I didn’t have the self-control to select my words carefully and properly in front of my parents.
So “not cursing” was not a value of mine. I knew it was a value of theirs, so I respected that and made that a rule for myself. “No cursing in front of parents, elders, young children, *ANYBODY* that I care about who might feel put off by being subjected to ‘foul language’.”
However, I continued to hold the door for people regardless of whom I was around.
I consider *that* to be a value. Something that I personally believed in and adhered to.
IDGAF you POS
How is “not cursing” not a value while “hold the door” is a value?
Both of those are authentic expressions of mine.
If I think someone is a piece of shit (lowlife), I’m going to think that and say that.
I might amend that for other people’s benefits to “That person is a POS” or “That person is a piece of ****”, but my authentic thought is the curse.
Meanwhile, when I see someone who would benefit from my holding the door for them, my authentic thought is “hold the door”.
I’m not interested in whether they were raised by wolves and don’t thank me. 😀
I’m not holding the door for the emotional reward of someone appreciating what I did.
I’m holding the door because TO ME, it’s the right thing to do.
I consider this to be a value.. What the right thing to do is in your personal estimation.
You Look Fat In That Dress
I also think being authentic is paramount.
This is yet another fork in the road.
There’s value in being authentic, but there’s only so much authenticity some people can withstand.
This is unfortunate and why my best relationships have been with people that I can tell *ANYTHING* to that’s my business to tell.
By “my business”, I mean that if I mess with some chick and then somebody asks me about that chick, I’m not telling them anything because it isn’t only my business. It’s her business also.
I wrote about this a decade ago: BillCammack.com/2010/11/16/noblog-status-plausible-deniability/
Your involvement in a situation doesn’t qualify you to speak about that situation to people who weren’t there.
This is because if those people had been there, the situation might not have occurred at all.
If you can’t be trusted with confidential liaisons, you’re going to miss out on quite a bit in life that you otherwise would have received.
So I fully enjoy being authentic, but only to the degree that I’m not telling other people’s business.
Why would “being authentic” be a value?
Because if we aren’t authentic with each other, we aren’t efficiently learning from each other.
If I don’t tell women that men are going to react to them differently once they no longer want to screw them, I’m sparing their feelings but I’m letting them drive that car into the brick wall.
Personally, I would rather have them think they hate me and stop reading my blog than feed them the same bullshit everybody else feeds them so then they need psychotherapy when they can’t figure out why dudes are acting differently and I could have told you why 10 years ago.
Your not wanting to believe something doesn’t make it untrue.
So authenticity is a value for me because I want to be as helpful as I can to people I care about in assisting them live efficient lives.
I’d rather not watch them drive that car into the wall and attempt to help them rebuild their lives afterwards.
So some of my values came from my parents, by teaching or by observation and emulation.
Some of my values came from being taught in school.
Some of my values came from my friends.
I think this is often overlooked. Environment plays a major part in a young person’s development.
The time you don’t have to spend being concerned about your personal safety is the time you can spend on homework or sports or bagging chicks or whatever it is you enjoy doing as a kid.
Same thing with wealth.
Not having to work makes a difference while you’re being educated.
Some of my friends had jobs after school, which meant they got out of school around 3pm, worked until maybe 7pm, went home and had dinner and then started their homework.
School was easy for me, being the son of a teacher and being educated from day 00 of my life, so I didn’t actually do this evAr, but if I had wanted to, I could have started my high school homework at 4pm, giving me a 3 hours per day advantage over my friends who had jobs.
New York City kids go to school 180 days a year. (190 days minus 10 state public holidays) ed.gov/about/offices/list/oii/nonpublic/newyork.html
That means I would have had 540 hours extra time per year to study, or 22 1/2 FULL DAYS compared to my job-having friends.
This is an obvious advantage throughout my academic history.
Also, what happens when your parents can’t afford to send you to school? o_O alum.MIT.edu/www/BillCammack
Granted I had scholarships and school loans and I was responsible for generating ~$3,000/year from summer internships to meet financial aid requirements, but if your parents don’t have tens of thousands of dollars to send you to college with, it doesn’t matter how well you did in high school.
Unless of course, and hats off to all the people who did this, you’re going to get a job while going to MIT that pays for your tuition minus school loans.
I know people who graduated $90,000 USD in debt, but I’ve veered off-topic. 😀
The Virtue Of Theft
The environment you grow up in will affect your values.
When you grow up with a bunch of people who are nice to you, it’s easier for you to naturally desire to be nice to people.
When you grow up with a bunch of jerks, it’s easier for you to naturally desire to be a jerk.
If you grow up middle-class but you still like to steal things, that’s called being a klepto.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kleptomania: Kleptomania or klopemania is the inability to refrain from the urge for stealing items and is usually done for reasons other than personal use or financial gain. First described in 1816, kleptomania is classified in psychiatry as an impulse control disorder. Some of the main characteristics of the disorder suggest that kleptomania could be an obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorder.
Some people steal things because they’re broke and have no earning potential.
Other people steal things because it’s fun.
I’m not saying either is better or worse, but in the broke case, there are external environmental elements that have prompted this person to steal, and in the klepto case, there are internal mental elements that have prompted this person to steal.
Some people feel the klepto is worse because he or she steals without perceived necessity.
Some people feel the regular thief is worse because he or she steals BECAUSE OF perceived necessity.
Can stealing be a value? o_O
I’m not sure.
In video games, D&D, etc, stealing is a valuable skill. You’re able to procure items for your people that you didn’t personally go out and get, such as stealing food from someone’s stash who is an actual hunter.
In a destitute, primitive society, stealing can be a value. “I steal so that my people don’t starve.”
Most of the time people steal, it’s because they don’t have any earning potential, which is obviously a horrible situation to be in.
Kleptomania isn’t a value because you’re putting other people at a disadvantage for your own personal fun.
No Foundation = No History
One of my grandfathers died before the age I still have memory access to, but I have pictures of him holding me.
I mention that because I grew up with three of my grandparents and both of my parents.
I’m sure I learned some of my values from the respect my parents showed their parents.
I’m sure I learned some of my values by the way my grandfather that I have memories with carried himself.
I definitely learned respect love and admiration for women via my interactions with my mother and both of my grandmothers.
People who grow up without parents have no access to this form of value-creation.
My parents’ parents were all actual families. Both of my parents were born to married couples.
Both of my grandfathers were entrepreneurs and had their own businesses.
My dad had his own business. I have my own businesses.
My mother and her mother were both educators as well as homemakers.
How is someone who’s never met his father in his entire life and has no clue who he even is supposed to have this kind of historical genetic foundation?
Their father may have been someone influential. Their father may have been a bum. Their father may have been a criminal. Their father may have been a drug addict. It’s all the same to them because they’ll never know.
You can’t attain values (except genetically) from people you’ve never met.
You can’t learn how a man carries himself from observing a woman.
You can’t understand what a family is like if you never had one.
I’ve never set foot in China or Africa. I know nothing at all about living in either place.
I don’t speak the languages. I don’t know or care how they act. I don’t know or care how they make their decisions. There’s nothing about either society that I care about at all.
How can someone who doesn’t know who their father was and therefore doesn’t know who their grandparents were have a grasp on ANYTHING beyond their own existence?
I’m a city kid.
I had a conversation on Facebook the other day where an online friend of mine who lives in the sticks informed me that he considers squirrels to be food.
Squirrels are not food. Rats are not food. IDGAF. If you’re that hungry, eat some leaves or grass or something.
Eat some cardboard. IDGAF.
Different values are derived from different living conditions.
I don’t want to hear about squirrels with mustard or none of whatever. I don’t want to hear it. Not that my opinion counts for anything, but if you eat squirrels, I think you’re a primitive savage.
If squirrels are a part of your family’s food chain and that’s what’s kept y’all alive until now, I’m happy for you but that’s not one of my values! 😀
I don’t think people have to agree on values to value each other.
If I arrive at your house and you attempt to serve squirrel, I’ll drink water, or nothing.
I’ll starve and eat some leaves off of a tree outside your house if I can’t make it to Burger King.
We don’t have to agree on things to learn from each other.
We can be authentic and I can tell you I think you’re entirely ***NASTY*** for eating squirrels, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to visit your house without eating anything.
People can live something like 3 days without water and 3 weeks without food.
If you can’t figure out how to eat something other than a squirrel within 3 weeks then it sucks to be you.
Rising Tides & Gated Communities
Ultimately, I personally feel that values come from life experience.
I was blessed to be born to intelligent people who sent my sister and I to be raised around intelligent kids in school.
My current value system is slightly from genes, more from experience, and mainly from introspection about experiences.
Perhaps I started holding doors for people because I was told it was the right thing to do.
I **CONTINUED** to hold doors for people because I decided that it was the right thing FOR ME to do.
I was raised in a community that supported me so it’s natural for me to support my community.
A rising tide lifts all boats.
If you aren’t lifting your own boat, help other people lift theirs.
The better your society is, the better your personal life is.
That isn’t the reason to do it but it’s a fringe benefit.
Make it easier for the people doing the right thing to do the right thing.
Make it tougher for the people doing the wrong thing to do the wrong thing.
Be a good citizen and the community will support you in return, to **everyone’s** advantage.
I don’t believe that people are born with values they are stuck with. This would indicate that experience and environment have no effect.
If I don’t have to work during the college year and you do, that offers me an insurmountable advantage over you.
That doesn’t mean you didn’t get better grades. It means you had to roll the rock uphill just to get to where I already was.
It means I was able to spend several weeks’ worth of time screwing my girlfriend while you were struggling to graduate.
If I don’t have to fight anybody because I live in a gated community and you don’t, I get to allocate that brainpower towards my studies or entrepreneurship while you figure out how not to get your sneakers vic’ed. (stolen)
Values are dependent upon experiences and experiences are dependent upon society and society is dependent upon wealth and wealth is dependent upon family foundations.
If you have no family and therefore no wealth and therefore no history, education, or nurturing, you’re at a major disadvantage, so it makes sense that your value system is malleable and you’re liable to do anything including nothing with your life.