What are human values?

Human values are the moral and ethical principles that guide a person's life. They are part of the formation of conscience and the way of acting and relating in a society.

Human values are norms of conduct that can determine important decisions and ensure that people live together peacefully, honestly and fairly.

Values are socially constructed and will guide decisions and guarantee some principles that govern actions and, consequently, human life.

Examples of human values

There are many values that are important in any context or place and can be considered universal values. They must be cultivated to ensure an ethical and healthy coexistence among the people who are part of a society.

Get to know some of these values now.

1. Respect

Respect is the ability to take other people's feelings into consideration . It is one of the most important values in the conduct of a person's life, as it can influence decisions, relationships and the way of living.

This value can be manifested in different ways. An example is respect for differences. In a society there are different ways of living and thinking, as well as different perceptions of life. For a good collective coexistence to be positive, it is essential to cultivate and exercise respect for people and for different decisions.

Respect also has another meaning. The concept also refers to obedience to the rules that are determined in a society and that must be followed so that order is guaranteed, even if one disagrees with them. An example of this is the obligation to respect and comply with the laws of a country.

The dream of equality only grows in the field of respect for differences. (Augusto Cury)

Read more about the meaning of Respect .

2. Honesty

Honesty is a fundamental value for human beings and can influence every aspect of a person's life. Honesty means acting ethically and truthfully in human relationships and in fulfilling obligations, acting in accordance with ethical principles.

However, the feeling of honesty is not associated only with external relationships, in relationships between people. Honesty is also linked to the individual's own conscience, which acts with integrity in relation to their own feelings and principles.

No heritage is as rich as honesty. (William Shakespeare)

Read more about Honesty and Sincerity .

3. Humility

Humility is a very valuable virtue in an individual's life, as it signifies his ability to recognize his faults or his difficulties . The concept of humility is related to the idea of acting with modesty, of having simplicity in your attitudes and knowing how to recognize your own limitations.

This characteristic is based on the ability to recognize oneself as an incomplete individual, recognizing one's own difficulties and enabling the realization of new experiences and learning.

Humility also has another meaning, linked to the relationship between people. In certain cases the concept can refer to the way to act with equality towards other people, as a show of respect.

Humility is the basis and foundation of all virtues and without it there is none. (Michael de Cervantes)

4. Empathy

Empathy is a person's ability to perceive other people's feelings , putting oneself "in their shoes". It is an important value for maintaining good human relationships because from it it is possible to understand the thoughts and attitudes of others.

Developing empathy involves being able to step away from your own ideas and convictions and look at an issue with someone else's perception.

It is characterized by being an attitude of generosity with others, demonstrating the importance given to the feelings of others.

This value helps to better understand the other people with whom one lives, it is based on the idea of understanding the other as if they were experiencing a situation through their perspective.

Being empathetic is seeing the world through the eyes of the other and not seeing our world reflected in his eyes. (Carl Rogers)

Read more about Empathy .

5. Sense of justice

Possessing a sense of justice means having the ability to assess the existence of justice or injustice in situations . Being just is having as a principle of life to act with integrity and equality, making correct decisions, both for oneself and for others.

The sense of justice can also be manifested by the capacity for indignation.

Faced with a situation of injustice, the person feels obliged to intervene, opposing that situation, even if it is not an event in relation to himself.

When an individual who has a keen sense of justice perceives a situation that manifests unfair conduct, he usually takes action to try to resolve the issue.

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you choose the side of the oppressor. (Desmond Tutu)

See more about this human value in the article on Justice .

6. Education

Education, as a human value, means acting in a cordial, polite and kind manner. It is knowing how to relate to others following principles of good relationship, which must be based on mutual respect.

Acting with education in human relationships is knowing how to live with different people, in different environments, always acting with respect for all people, in all situations. Education also manifests itself in not having certain attitudes, such as not disrespecting other people.

Education also refers to the processes of learning and human development, which can take place formally or informally. Formal education is education received at school and colleges during a person's school life. Informal (or non-formal) education is education received from the family, based on ethical and moral principles.

Educate the children and it will not be necessary to punish men. (Pythagoras)

7. Solidarity

Solidarity is the ability to have sympathy and attention with another person , which demonstrates the appreciation and importance given to other people. This feeling is characterized by a genuine interest in joining someone's suffering or need, helping them in whatever way possible.

For solidarity to be put into practice, feelings of detachment, empathy and compassion are needed.

One of the most common ways to exercise solidarity is to help another person without expecting any retribution for your act. It is possible to be supportive in many ways, whether by giving attention and moral support to a person, or through material help.

Solidarity is the feeling that best expresses respect for human dignity. (Franz Kafka)

Also read the meaning of Solidarity.

8. Ethics

Ethics can be defined as the gathering of principles that determine a person's attitudes. Thus, acting ethically means living according to fundamental moral values .

According to Philosophy, ethics is a set of principles that determine human behavior and life in society.

Aristotle described that ethics had three foundations: the use of reason, the decision for good conduct and the feeling of happiness. For him, an ethical life would only be possible if the individual managed to find a middle ground between excesses and omissions.

To be an ethical person is to be aware of the importance of fulfilling one's duty and acting with justice in view of the common good of society.

If ethics does not govern reason, reason will despise ethics. (Jose Saramago)

See also what is Ethics and learn more about Ethics and Morals.

crisis of values

Nowadays, the existence of a crisis of human values ​​is being discussed, which would be the distance from ethical and moral principles that should be cultivated by all people. Much is said that this crisis occurs due to social changes that allowed a change or flexibilization of values.

That's why everyone needs to be aware of their thoughts and actions. This self-observation is essential so that values ​​are not relativized, that is, that the fundamental principles of ethics and morals are not forgotten, regardless of situations or social contexts.

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