Six Types of Human Values

Human beings need different things to live in this world. However, nothing in this world is available free of cost. Everything has a price and one has to pay the right price to get ones need satisfied. However, we value the things based on our needs and the needs depends on the basis of our value system.

First, there are basic necessities like food, water, air, shelter, and clothing without which survival of the body itself is not possible. However, once these necessities are satisfied, man moves to satisfy his higher needs like the social needs, security needs or the need of self-actualization.

However, every person does not follow the same path as his path would depend on the inherent values of the person. These inherent values are acquired by the man by virtue of his nature and also by his nurture. The effect of the family, society, nation and individual makes every person unique as he develops a unique set of values. These values decide the priority and lifestyle of the person. The values make the personality of the person and decide the growth of the individual, family, society, nation and the humanity.

1. Individualistic Values

The most inherent value of a person is individualistic which means valuing the self over anything else in the world. This is also the most natural value which is inherent in every animal of the world. The animals live for themselves without much bothering about the other animals. The only exception would be the mother animal which takes care of her child animal till the child grows up sufficiently to support itself.

The modern world has been moving more and more towards individualistic values where the interest of the individual is considered to be the most “right” and needs to be protected over everything else. The individualistic value support freedom as it believes that every person has the right to decide what is good for him.

Every child starts with individualistic values and he wants everything in the world for the self and wants everyone to serve him. When the need of the child is not satisfied, he cries and do everything to get the need satisfied.

2. Family Values

The human specie may be the most powerful specie in the earth but it is also true that human specie is also the weakest specie. A human child does not learn to even walk for one year. If the child of the man is allowed to survive of its own, it just can not survive. The support of family is must for the growth of every human child. It is for this reason that human specie over the year has invented the concept of family that lives like one unit and supports a new born child till it becomes strong enough to support itself.

The concept of family has given rise to the family value where a family is considered to be the basic unit of the society instead of the individual. The family has right and power to control the other member of the family. In a family system, the members of the family divide their work in a way that all members perform complementary functions rather than performing same functions. For example, father earns the livelihood and protects the family being the strongest member of the family. The mother takes care of the family by cooking food, cleaning house and rearing children. The children on their part get these benefits free of cost from their parents but they have the family obligation to provide the same benefits to their children. Thus the family ensures the continuity of the value and tradition of the family.

In the family system, the interest of each member of the family is protected through an unwritten law as love and trust alone govern the management of a family. The parents do not seek any personal benefit when they give something to their children. The children too recognize the contributions made by the parents in building their lives and they not only pass on the same benefits to their own children but also take care of their parents when they grow old.

The entire system of family value is maintained by tradition and trust.

However, when family values are strong, it results in the reduction of individual freedom and decline in the individual values. Every person has to think for the family first and the self as secondary. This often kills the creativity of the man as he is never free to think as an individual.

3. Professional Values

A society is made of not only families which are natural but also by origination which are artificially created to fulfill a specific requirement of the society. The government is one of the most important organizations which had been created to bring order in the society. The government is further divided into different departments like police, revenue, defense etc which are needed to keep the country united and protect it from external aggression. There are many other organizations which are run by private persons or bodies which produce goods and provide service to the people of the nation and the world.

Every person has to join an origination to earn his livelihood and to contribute to the society. These organizations are designed to serve a specialized function of the society and thus need a set of value to keep all members of the organization motivated and united.

Thus man develops a set of values due to his profession. The values of a police official are different than the values of a judge or a politician. Each profession has its own set of values which often contradict the values of another profession. Yet these values are necessary to keep the professionals united and deliver what is expected from them.

4. National Values

The world today is divided into a number of countries and each country is sovereign and independent. However, in recent years the countries have started behaving like family members as the independence is gradually being replaced by interdependence in the globalize economies. If China is emerging as the manufacturing hub of the world, India has become the outsourcing and out-shoring hub of the world from where the different services are being provided to the world. Arab world is producing oil for the world and USA has taken the leadership role in creation of the knowledge and the Information Technology for the world. Each country is gradually becoming specialist in some specific task and getting the rest of the requirements fulfilled from the other countries of the world.

Thus, just like individuals and families have to compete with and complement each other for their survival in a society, each nation has to compete with and complement with the other countries of the world. In order to make the nation stronger, certain types of values need to be cultivated in their citizen which makes the country not made of millions or billions of individuals or families but like one family.

By virtue of independence, every country develops certain values which keep on evolving with time. The values of a nation represent its tradition, history and experiences of its people since its creation. The values of India and China are many thousands of years old while the values of the newly created nations like USA, Israel, Australia, and Pakistan are quite new.

The national values are often codified in their laws that seek to grant equality and justice to all its citizens. There, is wide diversity in these laws as the requirement of each country is different. The violation of national values is treated criminal acts which are punished by the State. Thus the countries with strong national values enforce their laws very severely as they keep the interest of the country over the interest of the individual.

5. Moral Values

While the legal values of a country or society is documented and enforced, these are insufficient for the smooth functioning of the state. The ideal state is one where the State does not have to enforce any law as the citizens voluntarily follow the laws of the land. However, this rarely happens since all the State laws are drafted by the people who are in power or those who have influence on powerful people. These powerful people ensure that laws are drafted in their favour of few rather than in the favour of the masses. Thus over a period of time, the enforcement of laws creates a class of people who are extremely powerful and rich while the majority population live the life of haplessness and poverty.

However, the disparity and injustice created by law is largely reduced due to the prevalence of the moral values in the society which need not to be codified in the statute books. Yet the moral values are passed on from one generation to another by tradition. For example, the sanctity of the institution of marriage in India has kept the divorce rate to the minimum despite having the provision of divorce in the law books like any other western country. The moral laws are enforced jointly by the society. As every man desires to be loved and respected by the society, the moral values are often more powerful to keep the man on the right path than the legal enforcement.

6. Spiritual Values

All values adopted by men create exclusivity in human beings as these values are different for every society and indeed for every man. The values are thus the source of conflicts in the world as every person or nation believes strongly in their values as right. Yet all these values are non-permanent and transient which changes with time and space. The values of the present generation are not same as the value of the previous generation.

Yet there is some ingredient in all values that never changes. It has remained same in long years of human evolution. These values are eternal as they never change. Therefore, often people call such values as spiritual or divine as it never dies and its origin too is not known.

These are the spiritual values.

The spiritual values are often attributed to God and called divine. The spiritual values include love, compassion, justice, truth etc. It is the nature of the man to imbibe these values irrespective of his religion, race, culture or nationality. These values are so universal that all human beings seem to understand it without being taught.

The spiritual values unite all human beings on this world. It is due to these spiritual values that we want justice and can not see injustice in this world. The feelings of love and compassion cut across all barriers of religion, race and nationalities. The spiritual values can not be eliminated from man and these are universal.

The Conflict of Values

No person can have only one set of values and all human beings are governed by the combination of all values. However, the dominating value in every person is different which arises due to the birth in a particular family, culture, religion or nationality. The values also change with the age of the person as the same person transforms from individual to a family man. When a person grows up and earns his living, he has to work in some profession where his professional values are developed. The national values too get ingrained in the person due to the common value shared by the citizens. However, as the men grow older, they tend to become spiritual and develop spiritual values. Thus all six values are always prevalent in every society that keeps the society moving and united.

Source by Dr Awdhesh Singh

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