What Are Values

Values ​​are the principles, virtues or qualities that characterize a person or an action, and that are considered positive or of great importance for a social group.

Values ​​motivate people to act in a certain way because they are part of their belief system, determine their behavior and express their interests and feelings.

Values ​​define the thoughts of individuals and the way they want to live and share their experiences with their environment.

There is a series of values ​​shared by society that establish how people’s behaviors and attitudes should be in order to achieve collective well-being.

Human values ​​stand out for having greater recognition and repercussion in the different social groups. They are respect, tolerance, kindness, solidarity, friendship, honesty, love, justice, freedom, among others.

For example, freedom is a human value that all people possess to make our decisions and to be able to express our feelings and opinions.

The values ​​applied to a group of people based on their culture and social characteristics are cultural values ​​and social values.

Cultural values ​​relate to the beliefs and customs shared by a group of people or a community.

Social values, on the other hand, are principles that the members of a society recognize and apply to relate to each other.

There are also ethical and moral values, which refer to the norms and behaviors, respectively, practiced in society and by individuals.

Finally, in more specific contexts, we can differentiate between:

  • Family values, which are those that a person shares with their closest environment.
  • Religious values, specific to the belief of each person.
  • Personal values, which are the guidelines that each individual establishes in their conduct.
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Examples of the most important values

Below is a list of the most important values ​​and their meaning.

  • Respect: It allows us to recognize and accept that all people are equally important. Respect defines the way we act towards others.
  • Love: It helps us to act from the good through the respect and freedom that each one possesses.
  • Justice: It is about acting and making the most balanced decisions according to each person or situation.
  • Freedom: human value that people possess to make our decisions and to be able to express our feelings and opinions.
  • Tolerance: accept that all people are unique with the qualities and defects that identify them.
  • Responsibility: it is the fulfillment of obligations that were previously accepted or agreed upon.
  • Goodness: it is the desire to do good to other people.
  • Gratitude: It refers to being grateful to all those people who help and support us.
  • Modesty: ability to recognize our limitations and weaknesses without feeling shame or guilt.
  • Solidarity: principle that allows us to give our help to any helpless person.
  • Loyalty: value that invites us to be faithful to what we believe, whether it is a person, rule, etc.
  • Sorry: It refers to knowing how to forgive and ask for forgiveness. Forgiveness desists from revenge.
  • Patience: it is a virtue that allows us to endure setbacks with a mature and positive attitude.
  • Honesty: It is a fundamental value to establish relationships based on respect, trust and telling the truth.
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See also The most important values ​​in society and their meanings.

Ethical values ​​and moral values

Ethics and morals are terms that are related to values. Although in many cases ethical values ​​and moral values ​​are spoken of interchangeably, these terms do not have the same meaning.

Ethical values ​​are the behavioral guidelines that seek to regulate the conduct of people. They are universal values ​​and are acquired during the individual development of each person. For example, in professional life values ​​such as responsibility or justice are key.

On the other hand, moral values ​​are those transmitted by society, from one generation to another, and can vary over time. In some cases, they may be determined by religious doctrine. For example, values ​​such as solidarity or honesty are very important in social settings.

See also Top 5 Ethical Values ​​with Examples.

Value scale

There is a large number of values, both general and specific, whose order of importance varies in each individual or social group.

For example, among friends there is a set of shared values ​​such as friendship and respect. However, each member has a different set of personal values.

The scale of values ​​indicates that there is a hierarchical system in which some values ​​are prioritized over others when there is a conflict.

Likewise, the values ​​that are considered most important are those that encompass a broader or more complex meaning. For example, the value of love contains the value of friendship.

Hence, these values ​​serve as a source of motivation and condition the decision-making and actions of the human being.

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See also Scale of Values.

Importance of values

Values ​​form the basis for achieving the personal and general well-being of all those around us, which is why they are considered important for various reasons.

They are related to our behavior from a personal, family, work and social point of view, although their hierarchy of importance varies in each of these aspects.

For example, with our loved ones we apply certain values ​​such as love, communication and gratitude, to establish a healthy coexistence and mutual respect.

At school or at work we can apply various social values, acting responsibly and with respect for those around us.

Even if we refer to our community, we also make use of values ​​such as tolerance and solidarity to establish positive links with our neighbors.

The importance of values ​​lies in recognizing the principles that govern our behavior and feelings, and that motivate us to be better people every day.

Values ​​are also important because they serve as a guide to make the right decisions in the face of various life events, and allow us to take responsibility for our actions.

See also:

  • Worth
  • The 11 types of core values ​​in society
  • Antivalues
  • Responsibility