Values to Live By
These are spiritual values, inspiring the conscience and the consciousness of those who serve to create a better way of life.
The Fate of All Peoples and Nations is Determined by the Values which Govern Their Decisions
The human and world crisis of today is basically spiritual, testing the character, and intention of all men and women. This provides opportunity to reappraise the values we accept as a personal standard of behaviour.
The world of the future depends on what each one of us chooses to do today.
This is a crisis period of significance for the peoples of the world. It should be a time of re-evaluation. A value is the relative worth we assign to some aspect of daily life, or a recognised intrinsic excellence or usefulness. These may be matters of opinion and, therefore, debatable. But many values in human life are basic to the "general welfare of all the people" lying above the daily round and the common task. The principles set out in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights are a constant reminder to all the people of the world of the fundamental goals and purity of motive that influence decisions.
Today, in a rapidly changing world we see a basic confrontation between the old and the new; crystallized, outworn forms and progressive ideas, self-interest and human welfare, nationalism and a planetary consciousness, material values and spiritual values.
Material values confine an individual, a group or a nation within limits determined by the forms of life created to serve its own interests. Forms may change; but if motives of narrow self-interest remain, nothing of value to human culture and civilisation results.
Spiritual values relate to the enlightenment, the freedom and the creative growth of the human race. They promote the innate human tendency toward synthesis and wholeness. They expand rather than limit the horizons of human vision and capacity. They can be symbolised as an upward spiral of infinite potentiality.
The spiritual values of greatest importance are those that lift us out of our self-centered pre-occupations. Self-interest benefits no one, including oneself, so interdependent and interrelated has human society become.
The "sacrifice of selfishness" would release new values into national and international life. It could hasten the end of the arms race, still perpetuated by the power and profit motive, and lead the way towards world disarmament and world peace, visioned and provided for in the Charter of the United Nations.
The sacrifice of selfishness provides for the sharing and contribution of all parts of society in the growth and prosperity of the whole. It provides for responsibility, concern and commitment, for wholeness in attitudes and actions, for a new perspective on life and its true values. The true values of the peoples of the world lie in a few principles or qualities: unity, tranquility—social harmony, security, freedom, and a general wellbeing—"for all the people". In such a framework, a sense of responsibility develops side by side with the rights and freedoms to which all are entitled; mutual trust and respect provide the safeguard.
Each nation, great or small, can play its part. Focused, determined, enlightened public opinion is the most potent force in the world and can produce the needed moral leadership. Let our renunciation of selfishness and of materialism light the way into a better future for humanity.
THE SACRIFICE OF SELFISHNESS
The hindrances to a new and better world order for all mankind can be summed up in one word, selfishness—national, racial, political, religious, economic and individual selfishness.
New values to live by are desperately needed if our planet as we know it is to survive. Selfishness can be transcended and the vision of a better world can become factual. The time has come in this interdependent world for individuals to submerge their personal interests in the good of the group; for the group or groups to merge their interests in the national good; for nations to relinquish their selfish purposes and goals in the interests of right international relationships and the good of humanity as a whole.
There is a growing tide of aspiration towards new vision for better ways of life for all people everywhere in the world. Human consciousness is opening to spiritual impression and to the realisation that there are desirable spiritual values to be built into every aspect of life, superseding the materialism which has controlled mankind for centuries. These values concern essential attitudes of mind and heart which determine actions and create the circumstances of daily life.
The sacrifice of selfishness would increase the bonds of understanding between peoples of the world, through the practical substitution of international cooperation, mutual tolerance and sharing between peoples and nations. It can liberate the men and women of all nations from limitation into freedom from fear and from want, freedom of speech and of worship, and freedom to expand mentally and spiritually.
HUMAN VALUES IN DAILY LIFE
The time must come in the history of the human race when so large a number of people have awakened to the finer spiritual issues and values that the old attitudes and activities will be rendered eternally impossible on a large scale.
The goal of the new world order is surely that every nation, large and small (with minorities given equal and proportionate rights) should pursue its own individual culture and work out its own salvation, but that each and all should develop the realisation that they are organic parts of one corporate whole and should consciously and selflessly contribute to the whole. This realisation is already present in the heart of countless numbers all over the world; it carries with it great responsibility. When intelligently developed and wisely handled it will lead to right human relationships, economic stability, based on the spirit of sharing, and a new orientation of person to person, of nation to nation, and of all to that supreme power to which we give the name God.
Translated into national terms, these realisations take the conflict and competition out of the many facets of society. While each group fights for itself and its own self-interest there can be no "social harmony," no tranquility, no security or unity, no freedom or wellbeing.
The fundamental human value needed today as the basis for a better life in the society in which we live is the simple, practical use of the energy of goodwill. Goodwill is an inclusive, cooperative attitude of mind; it is "love in action"; it encourages justice and integrity in those with influence and authority. It is truly the cornerstone of a human society responding to the values of the new age.
Let us support in thought and action those who act with goodwill on behalf of "the general welfare of all the people."