Friday, March 3, 2017

Family Values

maple sugaring with friends
Lately we have been reminding ourselves of our family's core values. I feel like over the past several months we have strayed from them a bit and have gotten caught up in other distractions and pursuits that are not aligned with these values. It's not that I think a family's values can't change or evolve. I do. But I also know that our values haven't changed, just our actions in succumbing to the ongoing temptations and opportunities of urban living that can lead us so quickly toward consume and spend and more and better and away from the ways of living that matter most to us.

I was reminded of this the other day when a friend shared how her family uses their core values as a constant decision-making tool. They endeavor to live very simply and slowly, with family, homeschooling, community, and nature at the nexus of their lives. This friend mentioned the wonderful opportunities that often appear, dangling promises of more and better that can be very tempting. But they stay true to their values, saying no to these opportunities more often than yes. If her family can do this, then so can mine. We just need to remember our values, evaluate opportunities and decisions against these values, and change our actions when necessary so that they are fully aligned with our values. 

So in this spirit of assessment and alignment, I am sharing our family's core values again. Perhaps yours look similar too. 

  • To spend more time together as a family than apart.
  • To prioritize natural, self-directed learning that allows each child to pursue his or her own interests, build individual skills and knowledge, and reveal innate gifts and talents.
  • To connect deeply with nature and marvel at the gifts of each season.
  • To reconnect with the heirloom skills and practices that sustained generations of families and strive to produce more than consume.
  • To nourish our bodies with farm-fresh, sustainably-grown food.
  • To nourish our spirits by connecting more intimately with each other and with the natural cycles of the earth.
  • To nurture both our individual and collective passions and dreams.
  • To find ways to build community and connection with those around us.
  • To identify small actions that can make a big impact on our world and commit to living more authentically and sustainably.
  • To cultivate whole-family living and learning.

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