PROPOSAL TO THE COMMUNITY COUNCIL
FOR LIVING VALUES
A COMMUNITY INITIATIVE FOR PEACE, RESPECT AND TOLERANCE
· We could go out to the corner store and leave the house unlocked
· If we dropped a ten dollar note someone would run down the street after us
· Our neighbors could be counted on to help one another in times of difficulty
· Our children could walk to and from school without concern for their safety
· And so much more...
Although for some of us these are memories of what we might call the 'good old days' the truth is that people don't feel relaxed and secure these days. Yet most people are inherently good and well meaning and do care about one another. While the speed of life is overwhelming us we can, if we choose still take time to smell the roses, to lend a helping hand and offer a smile to a stranger.
So what about the future? How would we truly like our community to, behave, react and respond to life's challenges and opportunities in years to come? It's all about creating a legacy.
There are recognized LIFE QUALITIES that each of us yearns for... We all want to feel:
UNDERSTOOD, VALUED, LOVED, RESPECTED & SAFE
Can we agree that if all aspects of the community came together with a new vision that offered these qualities, bringing values awareness to the community that everyone would benefit?
There will not be a better time than NOW for us to bring this about.
Just for one moment IMAGINE the impact on local business, on the environment in schools, on family life, our relationships and our overall wellbeing if these twelve fundamental values were to be fully embraced and became the benchmark by which the community lived their lives and treated one another.
PEACE, LOVE, RESPECT, HUMILTY,
HONESTY, HAPPINESS, TOLERANCE, RESPONSIBILITY,
COOPERATION, SIMPLICITY, FREEDOM AND UNITY
In 1996 Living Values Education, a global undertaking supported by UNESCO was launched with the aim of reviving human values. It is now in 56 countries, it is active in 7,000 sites worldwide, and it is making a significant difference in the lives of those it touches. Living Values is already effectively creating change in Police Training, where there is community conflict, helping street children, helping in war and disaster zones, complimenting drug and prostitution rehabilitation and reshaping the values culture in many schools in regular communities throughout the world. This reflects the unique capability of Living Values Education to be able to be adapted to suit ages and all situations.
Living Values has the capacity to bring a community into harmony with common values that everyone can understand. It is surprisingly simple.
"The thing that makes Living Values different to every other approach to human development is that it is not a teaching.It does not rest fundamentally on ideas or in ideals...It offers the notion of what might be embodied in a Value, but it totally acknowledges that these qualities are beyond words or ideas, they are innate in the heart and soul of every man, woman and child and the journey to their fully lived expression comes through 'feeling'.
Consequently they cannot be extended, only revealed.They cannot be contained in philosophy or doctrine, espoused by gurus, or extended through religion. They are already yours.Every individual expresses and knows them in their own unique way. That is why this Program is such a refreshing experience. It is about you. It enables you to take time for yourself to discover the Truth of you. The beauty you have inside you, revealing what you already know. Bringing it to the light of your own conscious awareness to enable you to live and extend it in totality.And the lived expression of these Values changes everything... "
HOW DO WE INTRODUCE COMMUNITY VALUES AWARENESS CULTURE?
The key for the community is that change only really works if it comes from within. Therefore what ever plan is adopted it is vital that the community as a whole is actively involved in the rollout through visible and active participation - people, businesses or organizations participating independently, but under a collective banner ideally under the auspices of the Mayor's office, coordinated by a Living Values Administrator..
First of all we must identify key players who have the passionate vision for the community to live in harmony and happiness with one another. We'll call them the 'stakeholders'.
We suggest these are drawn from four distinct groups:
1. Organizations who are charged with the responsibility for the community such as; council departments - public servants in the public care sector including police, child and aged welfare and hospitals.
2. Media, national and regional corporate and business organizations that have a vested, altruistic and financial interest in the wellbeing of the community such as Radio, TV, newspapers, property developers, banks, investment companies, food chains, national retail outlets, major tourism attractions, hotels and resorts.
3. The business community of all types where owners have a direct benefit financially from a happy and relaxed community at peace with itself.
4. Service organizations, educational institutions, public service groups.
Brings the leaders together and invite them to become a cohesive force, supporting the community values awareness program with whatever contribution they are able to make - which could range from funding, publicity exposure, promotional activity, practical time, allocation of personnel or any combination of these.
Values much like good food must be 'tasted' to be recognized. What is required is to create a means of providing a 'hands on' opportunity for people to find their values and feel the difference. Values only work when they are activated at an individual level and this requires personal interaction and involvement. This is where Living Values as an organization comes in.
Step Two sees the creation of a dedicated team of locally based trained Living Values facilitators who care and are highly motivated to roll out a community wide Values Awareness program, through a regular series of ongoing workshops to participants from the various community sectors throughout the area.
The initial team would comprise some 20 - 40 individuals who want to make a difference. Ideally, 25% would be in their late teens, early 20s to relate to youth groups, school students etc.
The community Living Values team can then begin to offer public talks, evening group interactions and training workshops in the 'stakeholder' organisations and businesses whereby all participants start to experience the change within them. This will impact personal lives, families, services and business. Most of us have come to recognize the truth in the words "As we sow, so shall we reap'. We get back what we put out, and how that is expressed is our choice.
Living Values will expand into the wider community as more and more inspired and passionate individuals become facilitators implementing values awareness into their particular areas of interest, service or employment.
THE VALUES TRAINING AND FACILITATION PROCESS
The community Values teams undertaking facilitation training require no prior teaching skills or special knowledge as the program is based on highly interactive, practical and very simple activities which focus the participant's attention on the Values and the qualities within each individual. The only skill required is the willingness to facilitate the program allowing each participant the opportunity to have their own experience.
A trainee facilitator would attend three workshops as a participant and the forth as a co-facilitator presenting activities, followed by a two day Living Values 'Train the Trainer' workshop.
TRAINED FACILITATORS...MOVE INTO THE GREATER COMMUNITY
Interest aroused through the public events will bring people to the Values Awareness Study groups, families, parents, care givers, social workers will quickly see the difference Values awareness creates in their lives inspiring individuals to choose to offer themselves to be of service enabling the community Values program to expand.
In order for Values Awareness to work in a whole community the ethics and the Values themselves have to be embodied at all levels. At every stage this program must exemplify the Values that are being offered...
PEACE, LOVE, RESPECT, HUMILITY, HONESTY, HAPPINESS, TOLERANCE,
RESPONSIBILITY, COOPERATION, SIMPLICITY, FREEDOM, UNITY
Only organizations or businesses that can demonstrate a genuine regard for the community should be entertained as members/stakeholders. The criteria must be that participation is not welcome from enterprises that do not wish or are unable to align with the Values.
While there are many variables to how the rollout could be achieved this Proposal is based on the assumption of a shared venture between at least four levels of participants who benefit directly from Values Awareness in the community. Local media - newspapers, radio and TV in particular would play a major role as sponsor stakeholders. A minimum two year commitment is recommended.
This program will not be about personal gain for anyone - it will be completely dedicated to community, inviting responsible organizations to harness the benefit of a community wide undertaking to increase the standard of living, reduce crime, violence and instill a completely new peaceful and respectful dynamic and quality of life for everyone in the area.
Management and Administration: Administration of Living Values Awareness would ideally be managed by a dedicated Living Values Awareness administrator drawn from the community.
Creating the 'AWARENESS WAVE': A training program could be started initially that would benefit the staff and customer/client/consumers of the stakeholder organizations, businesses and departments.
Involvement in the Living Values Awareness program will be a high profile PR opportunity for the stakeholders and sponsors. Members can display their participation visibly throughout their business/organization - utilizing business plaques, and logos, etc. Highlighting their contribution and culture, referenced to customer and community service.
A special 'brand' design could be a community competition undertaken by schools that could used on banners, brochures, print materials, display cards, T shirts, hats, car stickers etc., and become a fund raiser in itself.
The final reach of an awareness project would be dependent on the degree of involvement and commitment that the primary group of stakeholders and sponsors and/or others want to provide to 'drive' the promotion.
The rollout of a Values based community education program such as this would be a first in Australia.
It represents an exciting and major initiative to turn the tide of the growing social and consequential financial problems in our community. It has the potential to create a model community based on shared Values and an example of how Australia communities can change themselves and their country one community at a time.
We can all visualize the impact on the community wellbeing if the twelve Values were embraced and became the benchmark by which the community lived and treated one another.
Living Values Awareness has the potential to put all people in the community back on peaceful, happy footing through these Values as the declining nature of our beliefs and attitudes to one another are first slowed, halted and then, reversed.
It doesn't have to take much real time. It certainly doesn't have to cost any one person or one organization a lot of money relative to the benefits. It will take a collaborative and dedicated effort by a few well organized people to initiate a self sustaining program that will unite many people and it provides the means for them to experience the IMMEDIATE personal benefit that comes from cooperation and living in harmony. At the end of the day we all have a common desire to live in Peace, no matter age, color or creed.
This is the core assumption on which the principals of Living Values are built - and they work.
We invite interested parties to contact us for discussion on how this concept might be
custom designed to suit your particular community environment.
Roger Miles & Suzanne Stallard,
National Coordinators, Living Values Australia
© 2017 Living Values Australia