I have noticed a margin between values professed and values actualized. Clearly each of us lays claim to essential values. But often a void exists between the profession of the value and the actualization of it.
While this difference is often constrained to an either/or framework, I believe there are depths within our value structure — not that I have a value on honesty, or that I do not, but that I value honesty to a certain degree. I must admit that circumstances of life serve to impact the depth of my values.
In great times of crisis, I am tested with decisions. The outcome of these tests may drive the value deeper or it may do just the contrary. After the crisis, I may profess the value vociferously, but my profession may be accompanied by an even greater margin between that profession and actuality.
This is not to say that the depth of my values is only impacted by the major events in my life. The accumulation of small events or the exposure to certain personalities/models can also impact the depth of my values.
What I am most concerned about is this margin between what I say and what I live. I must yield to the process that deepens those values. I must resist oversimplifying this growth process.