Every society encounters a set of universal problems. Usually, they are about communicating with others and managing people's behaviour.
Some universal problems are raising children, relating to foreigners, or searching and maintaining sexual relationships.
To solve these problems, societies select a set of values. Over time, these values shape society's culture. However, different societies have different preferences in solving these problems.
For example, a hierarchical family will confer privileges and make decisions powers to older family members because they are responsible for caring for others. On the other hand, egalitarian families treat everyone as equals, participating and contributing to family building, no matter the age.
As a member of society, many of your values are inherited and learned from the people around you. Sometimes, these values do not truly reflect your inner beliefs or experiences.
Instead of blind acceptance, take the time to reflect on your values. Ask yourself
- What are the values I hold?
- Are these values still relevant?
- How do these values benefit me or others?
- Do they harm me or others?
Inspired by Shalom Schwartz's A Theory of Cultural Value Orientations