Values could be thought of as the essence whose reason for being is not at all obvious, and they are a rarity in our civilization. The economic and pragmatic rationality has become all-pervasive in society, causing people to believe that nothing has worth by itself but due to its usefulness. A work of art is not dazzling as a result of its beauty, but because of the opportunity to invest that it represents; studying is not a pleasure, but a procedure to earn more money; and only the numerical and quantifiable can be the object of satisfaction.
Perhaps the fundamental reason for the emptiness of values that we see today is the condemned feelings to a secondary role in our dealings with people and items. Moral values exist to guide the preferences and choices of humans, to base our thought processes based on the ethics of the situation. Comparatively, market values are not able to distinguish between what is categorically good or bad, nor between what is fair or unfair. Values have never been so mutable, so dependent on interests foreign to the beauty of objects in and of themselves, subject to fashions and unpredictable impulses.
We are facing an evident crisis and emptiness of values, leading mankind to live facing the superficial, dazed between rush and noise, without knowing where he is going nor who he is. For this reason, it is necessary to open safe and coherent paths to family, school and to society. It has become crucial for us to seek values that give meaning to our lives, especially given the many youths who are trying to find a purpose for themselves.
The lack of values can be observed in all social classes, from the richest to the poorest. Among these we find the loss of respect for each other, as well as a frightening trend of unpunctuality, impoliteness, aggressiveness, discrimination, etc. Toxic childhood upbringings are a key contributor to this issue, with many-a-child having no positive example in their lives to learn respect from.
Given the importance of values at home, a family should not forget that here the child receives the first caresses in their life, the first teachings. From their family, a boy or girl perceives their initial template for adequate behavior, and it is with them that their ethical foundations are built. These go on to govern individuals throughout their life, later put into practice via societal and educational establishments. Positive childhoods are therefore essential not just for personal growth – but for the coexistence within our community.
A cat will always behave like a feline and will not be blamed nor praised for it. Humans, on the other hand, have the wonderfully advanced capability to empathize. It is therefore all the more precarious when we choose to listen to our lower instincts and inclinations – when we act like beasts – and dehumanize ourselves. If we don’t discover what we are, we won’t discover what values suit us either.