Ahimsa and Human Values

What human values are important to you? Perhaps there are certain ones you hold most dear, values that may even be central to your self-identity. I suggest you make a list of your values. If you want to compare your list (or if you need help in making it), try the links to these lists. The values below were represented in at least five of the twelve values inventories studied in this meta-inventory.

(1) freedom, (2) helpfulness, (3) accomplishment, (4) honesty, (5) self- respect, (6) intelligence, (7) broad-mindedness, (8) creativity, (9) equality, (10) responsibility, (11) social order, (12) wealth, (13) competence, (14) justice, (15) security, and (16) spirituality.

Our values reflect who we are and, perhaps more importantly, who we want to be. The extent of our shortcomings, which is to say, how far short we fall of self-actualization (or self-realization, if you prefer) may be reflected in how we impact others. I’ve noticed that some people’s flaws find mostly internal expression, while others’ flaws manifest externally, affecting those around them in major ways. Put another way, some people cause themselves to be the harmed through self-doubt, anxiety, self-destructive behaviors, etc., while maintaining sort of a firewall to contain the problems, so as not to burden friends, family, coworkers, etc., while other sufferers are inclined to freely share their miseries, which manifest as bad behaviors. Just as children develop the ability to care about the needs of others, when we as adults become more self-actualized, that capacity can continue to develop, and I would argue that it should, as a natural progression for those who continue to grow emotionally, or psycho-spiritually, if you will.

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