12 Core Values That Can Unite Us & Create Peace
February 2, 2016
We can achieve a culture of Peace for America.
We can — if we come together to be a people united by our values and our core beliefs — create an America that succeeds and thrives going into the challenging years that lie ahead.
We can help all Americans have the opportunity that we all should have to achieve the American Dream.
We can build a future where we all do well and where our country is strong, safe, and successful, because we are all doing well. To succeed in creating Peace for our country, we need to very intentionally build and use a shared set of values as a country that can both bring us together as a people and that can both help guide our collective behavior and shape our collective sense of right and wrong going forward, as we work together to create a new culture of Peace and inclusion for America.
To succeed as a nation and as a people, we need to agree to be united as an American people by our shared values and by our shared beliefs.
We need to understand that we will all benefit from being on that path, united by those behaviors and aligned by those beliefs.
We Will All Do Well When We All Do Well.
We are all in this together. We need to recognize that fact to be true.
In very practical and important ways, we will all do well when everyone does well. We will do badly collectively as a society and as an economy, and we will do badly as a country if major subsets of our population do badly or fail.
Significant failures for any groups in this country can create a purely functional economic and societal drag at multiple levels that can pull the whole country into economic and functional distress and failure.
We All Gain When We All Gain.
There is great group gain to be had from having everyone being able to gain. When all parts of our country prosper, that full and shared national success obviously will create prosperity for all of us.
If we bring all of our people into the full benefits of the American Dream, the positive consequences of including everyone in the American Dream will make us richer, stronger, and safer as a country.
We Need To Know Exactly What We All Collectively Believe In As An American “Us”
Those core beliefs should be clear. They should be explicit and they should be shared by all of us.
The basic list of key values proposed below isn’t a long list. But it is an extremely important list. There are a dozen key beliefs included in that set of beliefs that we all share and that we all commit to using as the guides for how we live and how we collectively succeed.
1. Democracy needs to be at the top of that list. Democracy is key. Democracy defines us.
2. We need to believe in Equality and commitment to equality. No one is higher in than any of the rest of us.
3. We Believe In Inclusion. We need to believe in the value of being inclusive to all groups of people who are part of the great and diverse fabric of this country.
4. We Believe In Freedom. America is “the land of the free and the brave.” Freedom is also an anchor attribute. We don’t have the freedom to harm other people or to take the property or possessions of other people and we don’t have the freedom to order other people to do what we want them to do or to tell other people how to think.
5. We Believe In Religious Freedom. We particularly need to support and protect our religious freedom. We treasure our freedom of religion. We each need to protect the right for each of us to have and to hold religious beliefs or to choose not to have religious beliefs — and we absolutely do not allow anyone to impose his or her religious beliefs or his or her lack of religious beliefs on any other person against the will of that other person.
6. Justice is another core belief that needs to anchor the shared belief system for the American Us. We need full justice under the law for all of us — with full protection of the law and with objective justice used to interpret the law and our accountability under the law.
7. We Believe In Accountability. We each need to be accountable for our own behaviors and for our lives. It is a good, ethical, and even noble thing to be accountable at a personal level. At the same time, we need to provide each other with a safety net so that if any of us are in need at a basic level, we are collectively accountable for making sure those needs are met.
8. We Believe In Merit. When people work hard and achieve success and build things and do things that create value for others, we believe in being a culture and a society where the person who has achieved and who has created that value then merits, benefits, and can receive both recognition, and reward for that achievement.
9. We Believe In Creativity, Invention, Innovation, And Continuous Improvement. In that same vein, we need to be a country and a culture and a society that celebrates, encourages, empowers, and enables creativity and innovation. The world we live in can only get continuously better if we have people in it who are continuously making it better.
10. We Believe In Honesty also needs to be a key value and a core belief for us as a people and as a culture. For us to successfully bring all of our groups together, we need to have intergroup trust and we need positive, beneficial, and trustworthy intergroup and interpersonal interactions. We need to be a culture where we can rely on the truth of our key interactions and where we can trust that the agreements we make are the agreements we honor.
11. We Believe In Human Dignity. We also need to clearly support human dignity. Each of us needs to respect each of us. Doing demeaning things to people needs to be something that doesn’t happen to people in our society or in our nation.We need to celebrate each other’s personal worth and we need to support and show respect for each of us as human beings.
12. We Believe In Win/Win Outcomes For All People. Our overall agenda — to succeed in the Art of Peace — needs to be anchored on win/win outcomes and on win/win belief systems.
All Groups Should Benefit From And Use These 12 Core Values.
We need those values to be actualized and real — and we need those values to be shared as behaviors and as beliefs.
We Need To Build On Our Wonderful Diversity — Not Eliminate It.
The Art of Intergroup Peace does not call for people from all of the diverse groups who make up the fabric of America to abandon their old group affiliations or to give up or eliminate their old group allegiances or identities. We need to build on our diversity — not erase it.
We Need A Shared Sense Of “Us”.
The Art of Intergroup Peace does, however, call very directly for each and all of us to bring all of those old alignments consciously in to a new and additive large scale alignment.
The Art of Intergroup Peace calls for all groups to win. Intergroup Peace calls for victory for us all by making us all victorious. Win/win needs to be the action plan we use at this point in our history to give us the foundation we need for collective and intergroup success.
There are no losers in any setting if we all actually achieve Peace in that setting. We can do that best if we collectively understand the strategy and if we very clearly share in that commitment.
Share this post to help the learning process.
Use this post as a tool. This tool and the book The Art of Intergroup Peace are intended to be used as a tool with people who want to specifically align with the key areas and the key beliefs that need to be included in a new culture of Peace.
We need to discuss those issues with one another. We need to collectively understand what our core beliefs are — and we need to collectively commit to following those values as the functional template for our lives.
The sister books to The Art of Intergroup Peace — Primal Pathways, Cusp of Chaos, and Peace In Our Time each describe the basic packages of instinctive behaviors that are so functionally relevant to us in more detail. Those explain in more detail how those sets of instincts have structured our history and how they influence our behaviors and our intergroup interactions today.
This is the time to be doing that work. We are the people who need to do it.
No one else on the planet will do this work — and no one else can actually do this work — other than us.
In our time.
With all of us making it happen.
Featured image credit: Vincent_AF, Flickr Creative CommonsTags: American Dream, Democracy, Freedom, InterGroup Peace
This post was written by Institute for InterGroup Understanding