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The Importance of Values in Society: Are We Experiencing a Dramatic Value Change?

Updated: Apr 30, 2023

Rebuilding Our Society: Rediscovering the Power of Ideals and Values in a Time of Change

Values are the immaterial and ideational foundation of a society and are expressed in its customs and traditions. They serve as a significant framework for social interaction and help people navigate their community. Values are the standards that guide social behavior and action, and therefore are essential in society. However, values may change from generation to generation, and their priorities may shift, depending on the zeitgeist. The question is, are we currently experiencing a dramatic value change in our society?

In the past, families were the primary means of transmitting values from one generation to the next. However, with the destabilization of the family structure in recent decades, this has changed. The stability of the family structure has been gradually eroded and replaced with a focus on individualism and materialism. As a result, the value system that has been established over the centuries has been disrupted.

The emphasis on materialism and the erosion of the family structure has led to the prioritization of material values. This has resulted in the breakdown of the social environment and the loss of the supporting and stabilizing foundation of the traditional value system. In this context, it is important to emphasize the significance of the immaterial, ideational values that ensure social cohesion and help children navigate the world. Values like honesty, respect, justice, loyalty, appreciation, sincerity, reliability, openness, and clarity are crucial in any society.

Values are learned from parents and the social environment. Every family has its own value system, which is passed down from grandparents to parents and then to children. However, when this value transmission is disrupted, what happens to family cohesion? The family structure has been gradually destabilized, and this trend continues. The days of three generations living under one roof and sharing responsibilities are long gone. More and more children are left alone as “latchkey kids” or are sent to kindergarten at the age of two or younger. The bond between mother and child is significantly disrupted at this time. The child is unable to form a bond with the parents or grandparents during the first seven years of life. Instead, they rely on their peers in kindergarten to develop their language and values. As a result, the decline of family values intensifies, as it is difficult to instill the same values in kindergarten as it is in an intact family structure.

In contrast to the material values that are regulated by politics, immaterial values are learned through life experience. They have been established in families over centuries and are tried and tested in human coexistence. They represent the valuable pillars for the development of every individual, and they are especially important for social coexistence. Immoral, spiritual, or social values like helpfulness, tolerance, wisdom, discipline, kindness, tact, dignity, etc. can be elevated to cultural norms and standards. However, different views and interpretations of values within a society can lead to conflicts that may jeopardize these standards.

Are we at a point in our society where we are experiencing a dramatic value change? Yes, values have changed, and the stability of the family structure has been eroded. Nevertheless, it is still possible to revive and revive the value system of our ancestors. This is only possible by returning to the roots of our value system and redefining it for ourselves. A new community that is built on values can emerge from this. It is important to emphasize the significance of the immaterial values, which are the essential building blocks for a successful society. It is time to re-establish a value system that prioritizes ideals and promotes social cohesion.

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