In different region of the world people have different beliefs that guide and shape the way they live their life. A value is an important and life lasting beliefs or ideals shared by people of the same culture about what is good or bad, and what is desirable or undesirable. What may seem valuable to one person may not be the same as to the next person, cultures differ in many ways and those values that shapes our culture is also the root of our lifestyle.
Throughout our lives we will encounter people with different backgrounds: race, origin, culture, and values that are different from ours. As we interact with each other, we’ll come to find out that one might value something that doesn’t seem to interest you. In the U.S it’s a big deal for a teenager to get their drivers license once turning 16 years of age and owning a car, this is something that Americans value greatly because it shows independent and freedom, Independent from taking the bus, asking for a lift, or taking a taxi. It is also a sign of freedom because now they can go wherever they want to go, when they want to go, what time they want to go without worrying about being stranded. Unlike most third world countries in Africa where people worry about surviving each day because they don’t have all the luxury that is at disposal to people living in U.S. owning a car is probably the last thing in a teenagers mind in Nigeria.
Growing up in Nigeria I can recall elders praising someone that had achieved success or did something for the community, but at the same time those individuals that help build up their community are given greater praise. Example could be that of a son that traveled abroad and came back to build his parents a house, the community would look at him as an example of success or “a good son”. In Nigeria people have a sense of community effort could achieve greater success; people try to help one another. I value individual achievement and personal success to a point because I believe that one person cannot achieve everything own their own, it takes collective work to achieve the best results. In the United States it seems like the society pushes competition upon individuals and the winner takes all, to me that’s not the value I was brought up upon so that’s something I hold high to myself, granted I understand the value of hard work in order to be successful one must be hard working.
Recently in Nigeria, the old fashion way of life or culture which is accepting one’s fate is slowly fading away due to the western culture trickling down to Nigeria. Today people are becoming doers over passively accepting their fate, from the soccer stars, movie actors, singers, and even Nigerian idol contestants. With the rise of the internet, things travel much faster and people around the world could see what happening in U.S and some may try to imitate that if it could in any way advance their lifestyle, such as making money or getting a status. Personally I don’t believe in passively accepting one’s fate, I believe in “go out and get it done” because we are masters of our own destiny. I think if we result to accepting our fate passively, then there won’t be any advancement in our society or in the world. In the U.S many people would rather go hungry but have a nice shoe to wear, many would rather have an empty bank account but have the latest smart phone that just came out, many will work three jobs just to own a car they can’t afford. To me materialistic things are just instant gratification. Yes, there’s nothing wrong with looking nice, as the saying goes “dress to impress” at the same time I place no values on material objects. Why should I spend $300 on a shoe (Jordans) when I can spend $50-60 and still be as comfortable probably look better. Back in Nigeria a place where the population is 70% poor, people have to be happy with what they have. I remember as a kid, people would come over to our house and everybody would gather around in our parlor and watch the soccer game on the T.V, because not everybody had televisions. Coming from Nigeria taught me a lot of things, it taught me to be wise with money, don’t find comfort in materialistic things, get what I need and some of what I want. In the western culture it is pushed or forced upon individuals to buy the latest thing on the market regardless of the price. Indeed buying new phone would give one a sense of joy but for a short amount of time. Doing what’s practical and what’s efficient is something that creates confusion among people in today world. As mentioned in the text book the advice parents give to their children “do what you love but major in something that will get you somewhere”. I value doing what will get me somewhere ahead Freedom is something that all humans yawn for I believe that freedom is one God giving right. We as human beings value freedom, freedom to move around, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom to do what one wants to do without breaking the law. It is something that all human have in common as far as value is concerned. People living in an authoritarian government country normally don’t have freedoms like the people living in a democratic country. They could only dream of what having freedom is like. Growing up at a time Nigeria had a military government that set standard for people and controlled everything from jobs to school and so on. At the same time people still had freedom do what they want as far as it didn’t interfere with government business. I value freedom as much as everybody else and it is part of the culture I was raised in. the values I have reflect in my social interactions or experience in many ways. When dealing with people it always good to understand that we all come from a different background and have different cultures. When engaging with friends, family or work, I value collective effort in doing something. When it comes to material thing I don’t care if a friend buys an iphone, it doesn’t matter to me because I will not confirm to the ideology of buying a cool phone just to fit in. one additional value I have that is important to me is respect, respect for my elders and respect of others. Teenagers today lack a great deal of respect both for their elders and for others. Back in Nigeria outsiders will teach you respect if you seem to lack any, it is something that is valued and always been part of my culture. The actions I take that translate my values into action is for example a simple good morning to people or going out of my way to help somebody, even speaking to people in proper mannerism, a common gesture of addressing elders with “sir” or “ma’am”. I had a class where I’ve seen a student speak to a teacher in a manner that baffled my mind, the lack of supervision or parenting is something that is leading the youths in the wrong path. The two values I have that come in conflict with each other are Activity and work and Material comfort. When I see celebrities or even my friends wearing nice clothes or shoes, at time I’m tempted to do the same go out there and buy one for myself. It’s very hard today to overlook all the new technology or fashion coming out but somehow I’m able to keep myself grounded and not let myself step out of boundaries. A simple “you don’t need this or what will this do for you” is enough to stop me from doing what is not valuable to me.