American Core Values (Part 3)

By | January 27, 2015

[January 27, 2015] Core values tell us a lot about people and their culture. Ten American core values were proposed in Parts 1 and 2 previously, but how can we test them against what American’s respect and see as popular? Most people the world over would likely be able to identify what Americans like and do so for a variety of reasons.

America is a popular nation and is seen as providing valuable leadership worldwide. This is true despite its political schizophrenia and divisiveness on social issues. Being a large and rich nation, its citizens also have distinct likes and dislikes. There are identifiable patterns that help us understand its core values and thus Americans are defined by what they see as good and as bad.

The most respected jobs in America are doctor, military officer, firefighter, and scientist.1 These hold true to their core values. Sports are also popular and the most watched team sports are football, basketball, baseball, and soccer.2 How current U.S. citizens see their past presidents is even more revealing. They measure those presidents based upon leadership, accomplishments, political skill, and character/integrity. Therefore it is not surprising that the most respected presidents are Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson, and T.Roosevelt/F.Roosevelt.3

There are a number of things American’s dislike. They hate corruption, abuse of women and children, slavery, and a large array of criminal behavior. People who take undue advantage of another, jealousy, spite, lying, and cheating are just a few other behaviors they have a particular distaste. Yet, Americans recognize their own problems but don’t like their noses rubbed in it as such an act would be considered disrespectful.

Americans are also defined by their generosity through volunteerism and charity. If we look at what are considered the most important issues in American society, jobs and the economy consistently top the list.

A review of any newspaper or any news program today would help get a good sense of what Americans believe to be important to them. In this list you will be able to see their core values on display for the world to see. Criticism of those values from outsiders will, unsurprisingly, make the American smile who knows that such condemnation is based on envy.

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[1] http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2014/09/10/most_prestigious_jobs_in_america_the_short_list_has_barely_changed_in_37.html

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sports_in_the_United_States

[3] It is interesting to note that when asked of historians and political scientists, Franklin D. Roosevelt was in the top four but Theodore Roosevelt supplanted him when the question was asked of all citizens. http://americanhistory.about.com/od/uspresidents/tp/toppresidents.htm

 

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Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.