Here are next few values as identified by L. Robert Kohls in “The Values Americans Live By.” (Lehigh University –Career and Profession Development) The invitation is “to think about these things.”
Future Orientation: Valuing the future and the improvements Americans are sure the future will bring means that they devalue the past and are, to a large extent, unconscious of the present. Americans have traditionally been hopeful that the future would bring even greater happiness. Almost all energy is directed toward realizing that better future. At best, the present condition is seen as preparatory to a later and greater event, which will eventually culminate in something even more worthwhile.
Action/Work Orientation: “Don’t just stand there,” goes atypical bit of American advice, “do something!” This expression is normally used in a crisis situation, yet, in a sense, it describes most Americans’ entire waking life, where action– any action — is seen to be superior to inaction. Americans routinely plan and schedule an extremely active day. Any relaxation must be limited in time, pre-planned, and aimed at “recreating” their ability to work harder and more productively once the recreation is over. Americans believe leisure activities should assume are relatively small portion of one’s total life. People think that it is “sinful” to “waste one’s time,” Such a “no nonsense” attitude toward life has created many people who have come to be known as “workaholics,” or people who are addicted to their work, who think constantly about their jobs and who are frustrated if they are kept away from them, even during their evening hours and weekends. The workaholic syndrome, in turn, causes Americans to identify themselves wholly with their professions. The first question one American will ask another American when meeting for the first time is related to his or her work: “What do you do?”
Informality: If you come from a more formal society, you will likely find Americans to be extremely informal, and you will probably feel, even disrespectful of those in authority. Americans are one of the most informal and casual people in the world, even when compared to their near relative — the Western European. Dress is another area where American informality will be most noticeable, perhaps even shocking. One can go to a symphony performance, for example, in any large American city nowadays and find some people in the audience dressed in blue jeans and tieless, short-sleeved shirts. Informality is also apparent in Americans’ greetings. The more formal how are you?” has largely been replaced with an informal“Hi. ”This is as likely to be used to one’s superior as to one’s best friend… Americans, consider such informality as a compliment.
Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 29:10-11
“For thus says the Lord: Only when Babylon’s seventy years are completed will I visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.
Do you agree that Time and its Control and Equality/Egalitarianism are American Values? If so why? If not why not?
What is God completing in you?
How do you define hope?
Prayer: Holy God, gratitude fills me for you put your Spirit in me. Let me take your hand as you lead me along this path. Be my strength as I shine the light of your presence. Amen.
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