Youth Blog Series: Living My Values

Be the Change’s Youth Blog Series highlights blogs written by university student interns at Be the Change Earth Alliance. In the blogs, the interns reflect on their experience completing “Action Packs,” which are learning resources that guide students in research, critical thinking and tangible action related to a global sustainability topic.

Action Pack Summary

This Action Pack explores what personal values are, how they’re constructed, how they influence our lives, and the importance of living in alignment with our values. The Action Pack encourages reflection on what we personally deem important and how it can be beneficial to regularly assess and affirm our intrinsic value systems. 

Included in this Action Pack is a “Local Activity” where you write down your top 10 values, then re-evaluate them and choose the top five absolute values. Then, you create an affirmation that supports each of those top five values. Similarly, in the action pledge section, there are a myriad of actions that can be undertaken that both develop and energize living in alignment with our values. 

In contrast to the positive aspects of living in alignment with our values, this Action Pack also examines the potential negatives of being stuck in one’s beliefs, without seeing other perspectives. It also guides students in research on instances when one group’s values are forcibly imposed on another group. An example of this could be the imposition of values and beliefs through colonialism, or, more specifically, the Canadian residential schools. 

By deliberating on our values, we are able to gain a deeper understanding of both ourselves and our place within the world. This Action Pack aids in understanding what we stand for, the importance of living our values, and how we can incorporate value affirmation into our daily lives. 

My Reflection

After completing this action I have encouraged one of my friends to join me in incorporating one positive activity into our schedules each week. I’ve been trying to go hiking once per week this summer to incorporate more physical activity into my life, connect with nature, and practice self-care. I reached out to my usual partner in hiking and explained this action pledge. I have also started a journal that I occasionally write in and I decided to try writing out a positive affirmation as often as I can. My affirmation from the Action Pack is: “I am connected, present, and engaged in each moment.” I’ve found that the more I write this affirmation down, the more aware I am of incorporating it into everyday situations. My mind very often wanders and I get lost in my head. So, it’s been helpful to me to remind myself to remain present in each moment.

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