Buildings And Values
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Joel’s newsletter on Buildings And Values, October 21, 2009
An ezine about Creative thinking, Coaching, and Making a difference
I was reading in the news recently about the new Burj Dubai in Dubai, UAE, which is not only the tallest structure in the world at 2,684 feet, but also the tallest man-made structure (which includes radio and TV towers).
Why did they something so tall, and what does it mean? I believe that you can tell a lot about a culture by its tallest buildings. They say something about the culture's values. Centuries ago the tallest buildings in Europe were the great cathedrals, which to me indicates that the Church was the most important element of the culture back then. Even today in many small towns the local churches are the tallest buildings. Living near New York City, I find it interesting that churches in the big city are surrounded by giant office buildings which overtower them. So this must mean that business and commerce are now more significant to society. We also find that the tallest buildings usually have a TV transmitter at the very top. And the tallest structure before Burj Dubai was built, was a TV tower in North Dakota. I take this as an indication of how significant television is in our lives. And if you consider the next tallest buildings (after Dubai), which are the financial center towers in Taiwan and Shanghai, this suggests how important finances are in the world.
The new Burj Dubai building (scheduled to open in December) surpasses them all by far. What does this giant tell us? Some suggest it's a modern Tower of Babel. Perhaps. I believe it's a city trying to be noticed and be recognized by the world. It's a way of saying, we're now bigger and better than you are. I think big buildings are one way that a culture's ego gets expressed.
By the way there are proposals for even taller buildings that would be powered completely by solar energy. If built, this may mean that the green movement has become a significant value in society.
Of course there are other indications of a culture's values, but the height of buildings is one that I find particularly interesting. This leads the question of our own individual values. What's important to you personally? Health? Security? Beauty? Fun? While we may claim to hold noble or lofty values, I believe that external clues are a good measure of what is actually important to us, just as buildings tell us something about a society's values.
So what kinds of things show us what we value? Here are some possible clues: What do we spend our money on? What do we do in our free time? Who do we hang out with? What kinds of books (or magazines, etc.) do we read? What do we watch on TV? Perhaps you can come up with some other kinds of indicators.
It can be interesting and illuminating to see what shows up as your values, based on these kinds of clues. For example, if you spend money on health foods, then health is probably a major value for you. If you spend money on snacks or junk food, then immediate gratification is probably more important. This is not to say that we should be judgmental, but rather to simply notice what choices we are making and what they show us about ourselves.
Want to learn more about your values and how they can give you more fulfillment in life? A coach will work with you to discover your values and determine whether there's a discrepancy between what you believe you want and what you are actually choosing. Please contact Joel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 973-701-1007 to learn more or to receive a complimentary 30-minute consultation.
Creative thinking tip
Let your values lead to opportunities. There are opportunities for creative thinking all around us. But most of the time we don't notice them or we are too preoccupied with urgent matters. A good way to spot opportunities is to come back to your values and use them as a guide. Then you'll recognize the opportunities more easily, because they're related to something that's important to you.
For example, suppose one of your values is "going green" or being environmentally friendly. Then you can be on the lookout for opportunities to do things in a less wasteful way. You might be able to do some creative thinking to find ways that no one has thought of before.
It's best if you take some time to think about your values and the kinds of situations that you would most like to apply creative thinking to. You can even write a list. Then you'll not only recognize the opportunities when they show up, but you'll also be more motivated to pursue them!
What's your vision for your most important goal? Having a clear vision can make a significant difference in your success. In Visioning Lab we help you get clear on your vision and make it work for you.
Please go to VisioningLab.com to find out more or to register. The cost is minimal for what you will get from participating. I look forward to working with you and helping you to make your vision become real!
If you have any questions about Visioning Lab, please contact me, email@example.com, or 973-701-1007.
Quote of the week
"If we aren't willing to pay a price for our values, then we should ask ourselves whether we truly believe in them at all." - Barack Obama
I think this is a good point. If values are important to us, they must be worth some price. How much we are willing to pay determines how important they are. Perhaps the price we're willing to pay is an indicator of what our real values are, more so than simply what we think they are.
This newsletter is written by Joel Remde, to receive this newsletter via email contact firstname.lastname@example.org
. I welcome your comments and feedback; that will help me learn what you’re interested in and also make this a better newsletter.
Learn more about The Creative Thinking Coach at www.coachjoel.com
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