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Sunday, 3rd December 2023



Book Review: LIVING OUR VALUES - An 'inside-out' approach to change your world for the better - Brahma Kumaris

One of my favourite global organisations are the Brahmakumaris - they actively promote peace and inner happiness through education and transformational workshops and retreats. They are also extremely creative about the way they do it, and practice diversity by working with people from all cultures and backgrounds. They have a presence in over 140 countries in the world.

Nearly two decades ago, they produced a wonderful book on Values, which has now been updated and re-written with the wealth of experience that they have. We hear a huge amount in the world today about the importance of ethics and values, but rarely do we see genuine attempts to address this subject, and make it real and practical. Also very rarely are such approaches holistic - often they subscribe to one particular theory or culture, and are either very philosophical or very dogmatic.

Living Our Values is refreshing because of its simplicity, practicality and lucidity. The first section is an exploration of our values. It examines words like Co-operation, Freedom, Happiness, Humility, Respect, Tolerance - and encourages people to think about their true meaning and explore our own experiences and role-models who practice these values. Simple as they are, rarely are these values openly discussed and explored. I feel that schools could have different weeks devoted to these core values, and encourage students to reflect on them and come up with innovative interpretations and strengths. Section 2 is devoted to helping people really think deeply about their personal values, why they are important to them, and ways in which they can realise and draw strength from them. Titles like 'Let Your Conscience be Your Guide' encourage people to tap into their inner voice and intuition, and listen to it and use it as a guide and beacon for their life. Section 3 shares their amazing workshops and practical experience of Value-based training, and shows individuals, organisations and communities how they can discover and reinforce their values and draw courage and strength from them.

There are a lot of people in the world who are frustrated with modern life and modern heroes, know that there is a different path, but lack a guide and support to make this transformation. This book is an excellent resource for learning and reflection, for inner transformation, and for personal development that can really help people remove stress, build lasting self-confidence, and tap into their vast inner reserves which they did not even know they had. It is a book of hope, of action, of positive change.

I have no hesitation in recommending readers to buy it and use it to enrich their personal lives, and those of their colleagues and communities. It offers a mind-body-spirit perspective which is desperately needed today. For employers and businesses struggling to make sense of their core purpose and values, this book is a minefield of practical tools and ideas which can really help them transform the whole culture of the organisation, and improve performance and productivity at the same time.

The book can be ordered on-line by clicking here.

Article added on 31st July 2013 at 1:05pm