Values are codes that reflect people’s core beliefs. Oftentimes, values are defined by a person’s religion. They are also taught by parents to their kids. Values tend to be the things that keep us out of trouble. We know that violating our personal values, or society’s values, usually leads to feelings of guilt and other consequences.
But, how are values linked to crime? Well first of all, it is often people’s values that drive them to enforce the law and to fight crime.
Values usually define what is good and what is bad in a society. For example, murder is considered wrong. This is a reflection of the societal value that it is not right to take the life of another.
As a result, those in the justice system will fight to bring justice for victims of murder, as well as their devastated loved ones. Lawyers and detectives will spend countless hours finding and convicting the murderer. Part of these dedicated people’s ambition and drive comes from their values of right and wrong.
If you look at the flip side, though, the murderer is not following the same values. In fact, he has violated them. It could be argued that most criminals are devoid of values.
Instead of following any kind of moral code of right or wrong, hardened criminals, for example, seek only to do what is in their best interest. They do not care how their violence acts affect their victims.
Sociopaths who commit crimes are known for showing no conscience whatsoever. These people completely lack values. They will never admit they did anything wrong, as they just do not see the world the same way that normal people do.
When values are not followed, and are instead violated, many bad things can happen. Sadly, the media covers stories daily that reflect a complete lack of values in various situations.
The best we can do as individuals is to try to uphold the values we were taught, and strive to be decent people. We also have a responsibility to set an example for our kids, and to teach them right from wrong.
Otherwise, if values continue to decline in importance, we will see a continue decline in society. Just think about how often school shootings happen these days. Yet, most of us would have been shocked just 15 years ago to think that something like that would even occur in a school. We would not believe it to be possible.
That is but one example of what can happen as our society continues to ignore values. Instead, priority is often put on money, success or celebrity.
Let’s hope for the future of society that people will start remembering the basics, and teaching their kids the values that were once held so dear by leaders. Otherwise, the spiral of all kinds of crime will continue, and that is truly a dismal future.