My grandparents taught me most of my basic ‘Personal Values’. I learned from an early age how to be polite, have good manners and respect my elders as failure to do so would result in getting sent to bed early. In those days I did not have a television in my room so in my eyes this was the ultimate punishment! They were not deeply religious people; my grandmother attended church every Sunday and took me to Sunday school. At the age of twelve she gave me the choice as whether to attend or not. I did not attend but she still taught me the moral values of respecting myself, my body and how a female should/ should not behave in public and at home. As today’s culture climate is changing towards how some young women behave e.g. children to several partners, going out barely clothed and getting themselves into all sorts of situations, I feel she was perhaps right in her teachings but when I say this to some of my nieces they tend to tell me I’m a bit too old fashioned and they’re glad I’m not their mother. I do not have any specific religious values and I would not disagree or agree with anybody else’s views, I hold the value of everybody being entitled to their own opinions and beliefs. I have passed all of these values onto my own child over the years and feel proud when people say what a polite and thoughtful man he is.
A value that changed as I got older was one of ‘First Impressions’. Again, my grandfather (who was a policeman) taught me that first impressions count but an experience in a local cafe showed me that this was untrue. An elderly gentleman who was often drunk and smelly used to come into the cafe and nobody, including myself would go near or speak to him. This day the only seat available to him was the one next to me. He started talking to me and I was astounded to realize that he was a very intelligent man, he was