On a recent trip to Alaska, I visited the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage, where we explored the several cultures of Alaskan first nations. We spoke to Eskimos from the far north, watched interpretive dance and heard stories which have lasted hundreds of years. One thing intrigued me – ten universal values of all native peoples.
Alaska native people include the Athabascans, Yup’il and Cup’ik, Inupiaq, Sugpiaq, Eyak, Tlingit, Haida and Tshimshian. All groups demonstrated ten universal values:
- Show respect to others. Each person has a special gift.
- Share what you have. Giving makes you richer.
- Know who you are. You are a reflection of your family.
- Accept what life brings. You cannot control many things.
- Have patience. Some things cannot be rushed.
- Life carefully. What you do will come back to you.
- Take care of others. You cannot live without them.
- Honor your elder. They show you the way of life.
- Pray for guidance. Many things are not known.
- See connections. All things are related.
Not bad values – similar to yours and mine in many ways. Business as Mission companies like IBEC and many others also have values.
- Businesses will be profitable and sustainable and create jobs;
- We are intentional about Kingdom of God purpose and impact on people and nations;
- Individuals and businesses focus on holistic transformation and the multiple bottom lines of economic, social, environmental and spiritual outcomes;
- We serve the world’s poorest and least reached peoples.
Another expression of core values can be seen in IBEC’s driving beliefs:
- Viability – We make followers of Jesus through business.
- Urgency – We help build Kingdom businesses and communities right where we are.
- Responsibility – Everyone is personally accountable to reach those in need.
Have you taken time to reflect on the values that drive you? How about your business or work? Are there areas where you’re out of synch with those values? Are there areas where you’re really in tune? Reflection and taking focused actions to move into alignment with your core values is always time well spent.
Larry W. Sharp, Director of Training, IBEC Ventures