Why are values so important
Why values are important *
Our world is facing great and serious problems. Global progress, measured in terms of quality of life indicators, has reached its limits, and over a billion people still live in dire poverty.
- What the international community will do against climate change in the future is written in the stars. Everywhere and all over the world the state of ecosystems is deteriorating dramatically.
- In the UK, economic inequality has recently peaked in the last 50 years,
- the best interests of the child in this country are rated as the lowest in developed countries,
- an anti-immigration and anti-Islam mood has spread
- as well as a general disinterest in issues of social justice.
- There has been and is encouraging progress in many areas; what is achieved and the damage averted are undoubtedly important.
Nevertheless, there are systemic and structural problems that have so far stubbornly defied all efforts to tackle them sustainably. Solidified power structures and the inertia of well-established political institutions have thwarted many attempts in this direction. However, what is regularly neglected in the struggle for change are the value systems by which people are guided. Values are powerful drivers behind many of our attitudes and behaviors. When we examine these values more closely, we find profound connections between seemingly different problems. And we find a wealth of opportunities to change things fundamentally and permanently.
Values are what motivates us most comprehensively: They are the guiding principles of our attitudes and our actions.
People can be influenced by a wide variety of factors, both in their thinking and in their actions: by experiences from the past, by cultural and social norms, by how much money they have, to name just a few of the most important. All of these factors are to some extent related to values as a guiding force - a force that shapes our attitudes and behavior in the course of life. It has been proven that values influence our political convictions, the will to be politically active, the choice of profession, the ecological footprint, our use of resources and its purpose as well as our personal well-being.
↑ Figure 1: Values influence various aspects of our attitudes and behavior
Obviously, whether we think and act socially and ecologically does not only depend on mere access to information - a seemingly trivial insight that is often difficult to break through. In reality, both seem to be primarily motivated by the fact that we base our thoughts and actions on a certain set of values. In the following, we will examine what values are (and what not), how they work in dynamic, interactive systems and why they are so important for everyone who is socially and environmentally committed.
↑ VALUES APPEAR ABSTRACT BUT THEY HAVE BEEN PROVIDED TO INFLUENCE MANY OF OUR OUR ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT ATTITUDES AND BEHAVIORS
* For technical reasons, references and footnotes can only be found in the PDF version of the manual.
What is regularly neglected in the pursuit of change are the value systems with which people are guided. Values are powerful drivers behind many of our attitudes and behaviors. When we examine these values more closely, we find profound connections between seemingly different problems. And we find a wealth of opportunities to change things fundamentally and permanently.
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