Exploring values and beliefs - underlying operating principles (article)

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Derek Stockley explores the concepts of values and beliefs.

In my lifetime, I have been a member of various groups and organisations.

One organisation was the Jaycees, a worldwide organisation of young people. Internationally it is known as Junior Chamber International (JCI).

In Australia, it is known as Australian Junior Chamber, although when I was a member, it was better known as Australian Jaycees.

Jaycees is a non-sectarian and non-political organisation providing community service (like Rotary and Lions Clubs), but with an underlying theme of personal development for its members.

One of the tenets of membership was/is the JCI Creed:

We believe:

That faith in God gives meaning and purpose to human life.

That the brotherhood of man transcends the sovereignty of nations.

That economic justice can best be won by free men through free enterprise.

That governments should be of laws rather than of men.

That earth’s great treasure lies in human personality, and

That service to humanity is the best work of life.

The Creed was written in the 1950’s by an American.

At the time, membership was limited to males, but that changed in the 1970’s.

Looking at the Creed today, it has stood the test of time well.

The Creed is of course very idealistic, but I see that as an important part of the human condition. It fits in with the concept of life as a journey, always striving to achieve a higher level.

Although non-sectarian, the Creed recognises the existence of a supreme being, which caters for the wide variety of religious beliefs.

My own religious journey has taken a number of different directions, but the Creed still holds true.

Since the Creed was written, many nations have disappeared, but the hope that we can all work together continues.

Although I had some difficulty in my youth with the concept of free enterprise, Russia’s recent history has highlighted the strength of the free enterprise system. There are still many problems, but a balance can be achieved, as demonstrated by Australia’s mixed economy.

The legal system has many issues, but law is superior to dictatorship.

There is no doubt that the difference in people makes life interesting and that service to others makes living worthwhile.

Although implied, the Creed does not make a direct statement about the importance of family and family values.

In summary, the JCI Creed is a statement that provides a good summary of relevant beliefs and values.

In my case, it provides a good summary of some of the underlying beliefs that I aspire to in my daily behaviour.

The JCI Creed is not perfect, but when I decided to write this article about the importance of underlying values and beliefs, it was the first thing that came to my mind.

It is many years since I recited the Creed in public. The fact that I could write it down from memory is a sign of a good Creed.

It is useful and worthwhile to have access to a statement that summarises your beliefs in a succinct way.

I welcome your comments.

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The organisations quoted above are:

Junior Chamber International - the current international website.

Note: Derek Stockley is a JCI Senator (Life Member). You can read more about Derek’s Jaycee involvement at: Personal Background.

Related articles

Derek’s Ethics Statement provides further information about his business approach as well as a link to general ethics articles.

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