At The Caring Place, sharing our values is part of our everyday job. The new year feels like a great time to share those values with you, as well as offer inspiration as you seek to find joy and meaning in 2023. Perhaps, learning how The Caring Place brought new meaning to its mission will help you learn new ways to remember the power of your own values.
Several years ago we updated our mission statement to read “To provide for the basic human needs of all people in our community in a welcoming, respectful and caring way.” A mission statement by design expresses why an organization exists in a rather succinct statement. Our leadership team and Board of Directors at the time took this updated mission development a step further. They wanted to ensure that everyone who has a role at The Caring Place has standards, or guiding values, in which they operate so that fulfilling that mission in a ”welcoming, respectful and caring way” becomes more than words on a page. It becomes central to how we operate. The Caring Place shares our organizational values through an acronym, which in itself states our values; “I am CARING.” The words this simple sentence stand for are:
Integrity, Caring, Accountable, Respectful, Inclusive, Neighborly, Grateful
While we aren’t perfect, these words help guide us as an organization and as humans. How do we want to respond to difficult situations? How do we want to care for our community? How do we want to speak to people? How will we make others feel? How will we be remembered? What is our legacy? The answer to any of those questions could indeed be one of those values-driven words above.
Personally, I feel grateful that The Caring Place has brought forth these words to a place of intention. It is our purpose to live these words through our work and our mission. When I think about my personal values, would I choose anything different than these seven words to help me illustrate the living out of my personal values? I am not sure that I would. They are great words. That’s what is so beautiful about seeing these words used so thoughtfully throughout The Caring Place. If you’ve never explored your own purposeful values that drive your actions, I highly recommend it. It’s not just about why you do something, it’s asking yourself if you are in fact doing it.
That brings us to the next step in values exploration. What do you have to do to reflect the unique words that are meaningful and powerful to you? What do you have to do to make those words exemplify who you want to be to the world? At The Caring Place, we put together a list of common actions that help our volunteers and staff understand what seeing those words in action looks like. Yes, it’s true, we were and are serious about seeing that mission lived out in a thoughtful way. Providing examples of actions and situations adds a little reality to the seven words we see on paper.
If you’ve gotten this far into the summary of how The Caring Place lives its values, I have a New Year’s challenge for you. Do as The Caring Place has done and think of some words that characterize the person you want to be. Then think of a few statements which include specific actions. These are actions which if you saw them happen yourself you’d begin thinking of the words you want to characterize you. If you end up having an “Aha!” moment or find yourself living with more purpose and a fuller heart, we’d love to hear about it!