Values I'm Grateful for by Dr. Anita Heiss

Out perusing the blogosphere digging for inspiration and I came across the incomparable, Dr. Anita Heiss' blog on values. For sure these are values to reflect on and one of her values, empathy, is one I hold near to my own heart. If you don't know Author, Poet, Satirist & Social Commentator Anita Heiss, I highly suggest you get to know her.  

Values I am grateful for…

I recently addressed 150 young women from around Australia and New Zealand as part of an AGSA leadership conference held at Sydney University. In preparing for the event I was asked to consider sharing the values I see as important to leadership and service. I thought about the values my parents had instilled in me, and while there are many, these are the ones I chose to share with the girls over dinner.

Values I am grateful for:

APPRECIATION AND GRATITUDE: Of and for the people in my life and the opportunities that are afforded me. This gratitude blog is partly a way to demonstrate both values.

EMPATHY: My parents instilled in me the value of empathy and to always understand that not everyone is as fortunate as I am. That old saying ‘walk a mile in someone else’s shoes’ is a reminder to put yourself in the position of someone you might otherwise find yourself criticising – especially if you hadn’t considered their life circumstances or you don't understand why they are behaving (or not behaving) a certain way.

DIGNITY: My mother has taught me to remain dignified a tall times, especially in public forums. I reminded the young women that places like Facebook and Twitter are the classic forums for potential leaders to come undone. I encouraged them to use their status updates and comments to empower, inspire and motivate, because there is absolutely nothing dignified about running people down and / or bitching about people on social media.

TRUST AND FAITH: First and foremost trust in your own judgement and have faith in your capacity to do what’s right for, and to your best ability.

I am also grateful for the value of optimism that was instilled in me by my parents, for it is the positive approach to every day that keeps a spring in my step (most days!) and makes me enthusiastic about what I do (and can do) in life.

What values are you grateful for?

Photo by Richard Birch

Dr Anita Heiss is the author of non-fiction, historical fiction, commercial women's fiction, poetry, social commentary and travel articles. She is a regular guest at writers' festivals and travels internationally performing her work and lecturing on Indigenous literature. She is an Indigenous Literacy Day Ambassador and a proud member of the Wiradjuri nation of central New South Wales. Anita is proud to be the Patron of WEAVE and the Alliance of Girls' Schools of Australia. She divides her time between writing, public speaking, MCing, and as a workshop facilitator. She lives in Sydney.  

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