Values – why do we need them?

By Cassandra Walker

This past summer was eye-opening for my family and me. We had two nephews and three nieces up for five weeks, making it a total of 10 children in our home.

Every night, we would have devotions and take time to talk about what was going on in everyone’s lives. The first night, my children raised their hands in anticipation to answer one of the questions that was presented. By the fourth night, everyone was getting into the rhythm, and all hands were waving in the air to answer a question or two.

One of the topics we discussed was values. How important is it to have values? Are there some values that should be examined closer? Should everyone have values? I received various answers, such as “Yes. Everyone should have values.” And, “I think values are important but it is up to the individual to set their own values.”

“Why do you have values, Aunt Cassandra, that don’t allow your children (ages 3 to 12) to see R-rated movies?”

That last one caused me to take a double-take. I asked my nephew, why did he think I should allow my children to see R-rated movies. He responded, by telling me that the language used in R-rated movies is the same that kids use on the playground, at school and even during sporting events. “Why not just let your kids go to the shows?”

I lifted my eyebrows and took a deep breath. I wanted to make sure I answered this one really carefully. I asked all the children to listen closely and hear with their hearts and their minds. I went on to tell them, I don’t allow my children to see R-rated movies, because the language and some scenes are vulgar and not what I call appropriate for children, or adults for that matter. I let them know that just because society wants to throw garbage at you, in the form of movies or videos, you do not have to accept it. I added that when you go for a job interview or write a college letter for entry, you couldn’t use those types of “R-rated” words, if you wanted to be considered for the position for which you were applying.

The dictionary is full of words that can be used to express yourself without insulting someone else, or stooping to a low level of vulgarity. Yes, some children use those words in places that my children attend, but I am equipping my children to view those individuals as someone they do not want to be like.

I went on to tell the listening ears what I had observed. Some of the greatest speech makers in history, Martin Luther King, Jr., Maya Angelou, Billy Graham – even Lou Gehrig, at his last baseball game – had given speeches that will be remembered until the end of time, without one “bad” word or rude gesture.

Values are what the world uses to judge your character. If you have loose values, you will be judged as having loose character.

My nephew smiled and told me he understands now, and even though he still thinks some R-rated movies are funny, he will think twice before he (who is only 14) goes to another one.

The issue of being too young to even be at those movies was not discussed, but next time we will talk about the value of honesty.

Thanks for sharing.

Cassandraism: Teach a child to have integrity and when that child matures, so will his character.