At the time you must chose, which one is prevailing?
Truth or compassion?
Friendship or Justice?
Beauty or usefulness?
Freedom or Equality?
Solidarity or Prudence?
It is easy to choose between good and bad; the difficulty is to choose between bad and bad or good and good. The hard part is to judge the degrees of each and how they fit together.
The trouble with positive moral values is that they are not ends in themselves and not alone to rule the world.
The high moral values are - like work and science - only tools, instruments, servants of the final value - GOOD itself - which is essentially Human flourishing in the pursuit of happiness.
This truth, that most high values are only means is often forgotten by the zealots of one or other ideal. The moral values are good because and only as long as they serve humanity's well-being and survival. They are means not ends. As high and sacred as they are they are, they remain good as long as they are pursued in harmony and good sense. Good as long as each of them leave place to the other good values. Such concord is not easy.
Worse, values are not created equal, there is no impartial measure of numbers to compare their merit* and they have no privilege to measure each other. They are relative to each other but poor judges of each other: the case in point is that you cannot judge all the other values by how true or precise or profitable they are; or you cannot judge truth on how beautiful, or generous or just it is. In fact, truth cannot claim moral merit beyond itself. The pairs I proposed as examples are all in possible conflict. To avoid turning inhuman, our value judgements require character and intelligence - and, above all, wise moderation - not just exclusive loyalty to abstract codes.
Most of us people, even the vilest, will swiftly agree with most of the labels naming high values of humankind: life, freedom, happiness, truth, respect, justice, equality, prudence, compassion, courage, modesty, patience, moderation, harmony, industry, competence and so on. Who does not want a happy and meaningful life, those ultimate values of humanity? This could open, as it seems, a generous way towards global harmony and peace, a rule for the solution of all conflicts.
However, ask people which value is the most important and prevailing in order to make life happy and meaningful (not to speak about how they define what those words mean); you will suddenly find in the pattern of ranking the striking differences that tell fascists apart from communists and religious fanatics from tolerant free thinkers; or, why not, tolerant believers and fanatic free thinkers . In good faith, each live in their own edifice of unquestionable values, so obvious and universal, the sole one possible, that debate is impossible, a dialogue of the deaf. Values are too deep in the chest to discuss.
The selfsame values change their bonds and consequences depending on how we rate their order of importance and how far we go in applying them. The noblest value turns base and evil when exaggerated astray from good sense.
Arguably, the difference between sages and fools is also a matter of good sense in judging the priority of values in a real-life context.
Did you ever find time to explore your backbone of values?
To pull your own constellation of values within awareness - in front of your mind, not behind it as a puppet-master - and to size up your orders of priority - in general but also relative to the often incongruous seasons in which you live - careful reflection is well worth. Simply because you may want to be a free person, not a puppet or a weathercock.
Alas, in our busy everyday life the changeless virtue of values passes so unquestioned by the persons and groups professing them in good faith, that our common sense keeps unaware and we take them for granted.
We do not see or examine our edifice of values because we see everything through them, as if they were our eyeglasses. Your "obvious" layout governs nevertheless, like a compass shielded from critical sense, like a shiny mirror reflecting everything but itself, who you are, what you value and respect and what you seek in life. Nonetheless what you detest, hate or ignore with indifference. Your value-formula determines what good life is for you and what kind of wisdom fits you. That in turn gives shape to your possible choices and sizes your moral freedom.
Not considering the existence of a plurality of ways in which values are shaped and structured hierarchically in individuals is, I find, one of the main blindnesses making people unable to even understand their differences, not to speak about discussing them with mutual respect. This makes life so much harder to live.
Your values drive you; if you are not aware of their thrust, they drive you from the dark. You interpret everything - inevitably - in their selective light. Bring them to awareness and examine their articulation, so that you become the rider, not the horse. Moral values are supposed to be rational; therefore you do have the means and a right - in your head - to weigh them fairly but freely, to chose your own justified preferences.
To start this work of clarification you cannot avoid understanding that values are not something otherworldly, nor intangible; they are standards of an encounter, a face-to-face of who you are with the World, with people and with circumstances, sometimes beyond your control. Your values acquired from your education and your experiences, become practical in what you do or abstain to do. Values are not nailed in some spiritual realm, nor in lip service and political correctness. I would go further, to say that many values become existent only because and to the extent we practice them and thus bring them into our world.
Some post-modern thinkers (whom I see as responsible in part for discouraging moral relativism, for promoting anomia and the dissolution of Western civilisation) draw from the plurality of value systems and from their human, historically evolving origin a loser's conclusion that everything is relative, that whatever comes is justified for somebody, sometimes or from some point of view. This is false and spineless nihilism, compare it with one telling you to throw away your walking cane because there are many kinds of cane and some people do not need walking sticks anyway. It is not true that anything goes.
We do not live in general, in History, we live here and now, in our time, our country, our culture, our biography. We do need these artefacts to be sacred and stable, our norms conquered their social reliability through long tradition, because they serve and protect us. Our hierarchies of values make our human world predictable. They make human action mutually understandable and concerted. After having tested and civilised them for millennia, we have a right to our customary values; visitors - and even theorists studying them - have a duty to respect them. As long as they give meaning and harmony to our life and societies, we have a right to refer to them and to act in their name. Human values make us human. They give us rights.
It becomes however justified to re-examine values and challenge them when they are used to oppress and to cheat. When values offer pretext for hate, rejection and violence it is time to remember that they are man-made and therefore they may need to be argued and justified anew. For the sake of being free, when people wield "universal" values at you as self-evident, higher and more important than Man, keep Nietzsche's hammer at hand  or at least in your mind, to gently tap on each such value and to judge the sound. Depending on the place where they are hung, some of those bells are noble sounds but some may give an empty ding of hypocrisy. Or of utopian delusion turned feral.
My call here is not theory, it is a recipe of personal freedom: your own chime, your arrangement of espoused values chants who you are and what you can. Master it. As long as you respect people who differ and they respect you, this is a right.
* The precise word for this is "incommensurable".
 See the work of Milton Rokeach ex: "The Nature of Human Values" 1973
[1a] To put the science of values (axiology) in simple words read this:
"Pre-industrial societies thought and lived secure in the belief that their collective
axiological projects had been passed down to them by their sacred ancestors or the
In the first wave of industrialisation, societies were convinced that they received
their collective axiological projects from the very nature of things or the inevitable
course of history, through philosophy and the sciences.
In modern industrial knowledge societies, we now know and live in the knowledge that we do not receive anything from anyone. Rather, we must construct it ourselves."
Corbí, Marià, Principles of an Epistemology of Values, The permutation of collective cohesion and motivation, Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016 p.V
Friederich Nietzsche, "Twiligt of the Idols" and "Beyond Good and Evil"