My core values:
I consider myself a valued-oriented, emotion-driven person in human-to-human situations. What I mean by emotion-driven is that when there exist intra- and interpersonal matters to deal with, I generally base my decisions on what I feel is best for the people involved. This does not come at the expense of logical decision-making; however, I firmly believe that logic and human interest are intertwined. I believe there exist solutions that can benefit everyone, or at least close to everyone involved. Love, community, and inclusivity are most strongly visible in this decision-making framework. Love manifests itself in the care I strive to demonstrate to each individual. Community speaks to the importance I place on collective decision-making, which feeds directly into inclusivity: every individual should be involved in solution-making, as every individual will be affected by the decision.
Integrity and dedication are two other values that I hold close to my heart. The dictionary definition of integrity, as defined by Oxford Languages, is “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.” The reason I choose the term integrity, over morality, is because I believe integrity involves one’s broader societal context and community. Integrity pertains to how one acts regarding those around them. It also involves honesty, even when it negatively affects you.
To me, dedication is also a collective value. Not only does it means dedication to your work, it refers to dedication to those around you: your family/chosen family, your teams, your project partners, your co-workers, and more. I believe that in order for our society to work, we have to demonstrate dedication and loyalty (within reason) to those we hold close.
I believe myself to me a more collectivist person than many Americans. This is not to say that I think Americans cannot have collectivist value systems; however, I do believe American culture is inherently individualist. American culture is strongly based in self-actualization, which often lends itself to individual pursuits – sometimes at the expense of others. I base myself strongly in the success of the whole, and what I can do for other people. I think that this worldview is based in my time spent abroad – largely in México from ages 8 to 11. In these formative years, I was immersed in a culture rooted in interpersonal warmth, outgoingness, and sharing. In many other cultural contexts, I focus on demonstrating my values of community, integrity, and dedication. I prioritize showing my care and consideration for others, and I strive to continue adapting this to the cultural environment I find myself in. This means adaptability. If I am in a culture that is less interpersonally oriented, I want to adapt my actions to their comfort level. I want my value systems to be constantly evolving, dependent on my culture contexts, without giving up on the values I believe to be imperative. I also want to expand my values, because I believe every culture has strong values that run deep. In my time abroad, I seek to incorporate new schools of thought into my worldview.