Granted, I have not lived in every era, however, from this uppity woman’s perspective this is indeed a difficult time. Our values have been usurped by our greed. Our virtues have been overcome by our need and we are at a loss about who we can trust.

According to the Huffington Post and Psychology Today (2/16) more than 60% of people today lie, and those on social media lie 85% of the time. Time Magazine says 56% of people lie on their resumes. The Washington post says 76% of men cheat on their wives and women are cheating at nearly the same rate today. Clearly values are getting worse in America, but…who is America…it’s you and me. And why do we care? We should care, because values are at the core of every action, thought, motivation and attitude we have about everything. Clearly, we can’t have a society with values unless we are committed to having and living our own.

Living in integrity means knowing what your values are and making decisions that are in line with them. When we stray from our values and are out of alignment with our actions, we grieve our spirits and we begin to feel shame and self-loathing. That self-deprecation very often drives us to making even worse decisions. So, the first step in living a value driven life is to decide what matters to you. Is truth-telling important? Is being fully present and consistent important? Is forgiveness important? Is compassion important?  Are these things more important than the accumulation of stuff? What are your time, money and family connection values?  Is diligence and commitment a value? How about creativity or having a voice of sanity when the voices of chaos are louder? As you can tell just from this short list, this could be a very revealing and exciting, personal exploration.

Once you have defined your values, rewrite them into simplified statements that relate directly to your life. For instance, I will no longer join any conversations at work that contain prejudice, gender bias, or demeaning remarks about anyone.  Or, the next time I hear sexual comments made about my friend, I will speak up and ask that they stop.  Or, the next time I want to leave the conversation with my partner because I am afraid of what he/she might say, I will make myself stay present until we work it out.

Here is the point. We are currently living in a society with questionable ethics because our own ethics are questionable! We are society. When was the last time you sat down and asked yourself, Am I living what I say I believe? It’s time to be extraordinary. And you can expect to feel out of the ordinary if you do it. The norm for most people today is NOT living our values, however, the only way back is for you and I to start living them, unabashed and out loud. I often hear people say, “I don’t know what my purpose is.” Well this is it! At this moment, what is most needed is for each of us to be extraordinary!

Once your list is complete, and it will change as you do, then estimate what percentage of the time you are living those values and what you need to do to get to 100% of the time.  Ask yourself what support you need. Make a contract with a friend to do this soul experiment with you. Start a group and support each other. Write about it. Talk about. Step into it. You are powerful beyond belief. Accumulated energy produces accumulative results.

We have to stop blaming other people and life circumstances for what we are creating. It’s time to stop playing small and take responsibility for what we have created, and fix it. You didn’t come here to be the same or ordinary. You came here to find your own power. You came here because you are unique and no one else can take your place. You came to stand, as an example, in your own values and beliefs. You came here to be extraordinary.

We need to wake up and understand that regardless of your political leaning, Trump is a master teacher, reflecting back to us what commercialism over compassion, ego over humility and a lack of values looks like. It looks like us. We can change it. We must change it. We can be extraordinary. Let’s start now.

© Dr. Dina Bachelor Evan 2017. All rights reserved.  No part of the intellectual property of Dr. Dina Evan may be reproduced, placed on mechanical retrieval system, transmitted in any form by electronic, video, laser, mechanical photocopy, recording means or otherwise in part or in whole, without written permission of the author.  Contents are fully copyrighted and may not be owned by any other individual or organization.