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Values, Beliefs, Character & Morals for Baby-Boomers
For every generation, including Baby-Boomers – most of our values and beliefs have been instilled in us from early childhood through our family of origin, the education system and society. As we become teenagers we may go through stages of rebelling against these values and norms. As adults, we may take a more thoughtful approach and examine whether these beliefs still hold true for us. In order to truly know oneself it is imperative to look at all areas of life. One needs to question authority and ask oneself self, ‘how does this fit for me today?’
One’s family background, where they grew up, family’s culture, can all play a part in one’s character. Knowing yourself and how your upbringing shaped you can add great insight into what makes you the unique individual that you are.
I remember reading several years ago that there was a study done that tracked sons of an alcoholic father, one son became an alcoholic and the other son was a teetotaler. The alcoholic son was asked, “Why are you an alcoholic,” while the teetotaler son was asked, “Why are you a teetotaler?” Both sons responded with the same answer, “With a father like mine, what do you expect?” Just because we are raised in the same environment doesn’t necessarily mean that we will experience or turn out the same as our siblings.
Many times it is how one perceives their experience that forms the basis of how they interact with the world. It is well known how much growing up during the Dirty Thirties and the Great Depression affected that generation—many became hoarders, always ‘saving for a rainy day,’ fearful that there will never be enough in spite of the evidence of prosperity, opulence and opportunity all around them.
Growing up in a large Jewish, Catholic or Italian family greatly shapes one’s views on how many children they want, birth control, celebrations of holidays, culture and traditions, and even marrying outside of one’s own faith.
Questions You Might Ask Yourself About Your Values, Beliefs, Character & Morals
- What are my morals, values and beliefs that form my character today?
- Where did this value or belief come from? Is it truly my belief, or did I just take it on as part of the family and culture I grew up in?
- Does this value or belief bring me my desired goals in life, or a sense of peace?
- What do I stand for?
- Do I come from a long line of Liberals, or Conservatives? Or am I not politically inclined? Could I live with a partner who had the opposite political views as me?
- Do I believe in and practice rigorous honesty in all situations, or am I selective in my honesty to ‘cash register’ honesty? Do I tell little white lies? Do I lie by omission?
- Am I considered a good friend? Do I develop and maintain long-term friendships?
- What is my primary motivation in life? Work? Success? Friendships? Money? Relationships?
- Do I believe in traditional male and female roles? Why? Where did that belief come from? Is it still valid in the 21st Century?
I know I’ve spent the last twenty-five-plus years really examining what it is that I truly believe and value.
Some of the things that I value are: honesty, truthfulness, faithfulness and loyalty. For me, these are musts in any intimate relationship.
Some of the things I believe are: everyone is worthy and deserving of Love, Respect and to be treated fairly and with dignity no matter what their age or stage or status in society.
One’s character and morals are the results of their values and beliefs, which they’ve developed throughout their life experiences.
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