The seven values have served Homo sapiens beings very well for over 200,000 years even though humans had never identified what motivated them to sustain their lives, to grow into their innate potential equally as anyone else could, and to incessantly work to improve their quality of life. It appears that no one has given much thought to the values that support the decision-making that has resulted in the sustained survival of our species. Yes, morality and ethics have been an ever challenging philosophical topic since the days of Aristotle. That will change now that the timeless values of our species have been identified.
For over 30,000 years of human social existence, no one seems to have made the connection between the innate values for decision-making and survival of the species; or of being aware that applying those values, plus the three secondary values, could result in the long term sustainable social existence nations and civilizations. The proof that no one made that connection is evident in the remnants they left behind after their empires rose, crested, declined, disintegrated, and collapsed. None has survived functionally intact and operational.
The possibility of a thriving survival of social existence for cities, states, and nations has never occurred. There simply did not exist the tools to change the cultural model from “get all you can while you can,” to the model of “empower the present to transcend the past” for this and all future generations. To do so would be one of the most audacious culture-changes in the history of human social existence because it would be initiated by a conscious intention to do so!
In the early 1900s and before, no one thought it would ever be possible for a human being to travel to the moon and then walk on it. Russia’s Sputnik changed that cultural thinking forever. Only two things were needed. 1) “Possibility thinking;” and 2) “The Right Stuff.” Culture-change occurs with ideas, invention of new technologies, and the courage to try something new. Chester Gould’s “Dick Tracy” detective of the 1940s had a communicator watch that Sylvania eventually built. Now billions of people take their cell phones for granted and being able to talk with almost anyone anywhere in the world. Huh?!!!
So, do not THINK that transcending the 30,000 year failed history of all social existence isn’t possible. All you need is “possibility thinking” and the “right stuff.”
The “Right Stuff” to Create Sustainable Societies
The logic of the seven values and their mutual characteristics is obvious and self-evident once we become aware of their connection to all things human and all things social. The seven values are embedded in our DNA to sustain the species, even though we are unconscious of their presence. To assure the social survival of our families, communities, and societies we must intentionally and consciously apply those values to the decision-making process of all organizations in order to sustain the social context of our existence. In a social context, what is needed next is a system of priorities for making decisions for the sustainable social existence of our species, families, organizations, and communities and societies. Only that and a morality and ethic that are in complete alignment with those values will ensure that those decisions are humane and equitable.
Priorities for Decision-Making That Contribute to Social Sustainability
The functions of the seven values provide the basis for the discussion of the priorities of decision-making that is needed to sustain the continuing social existence of societies.
Until now governments, corporations, foundations, education, social organizations and many dozens of other types of social entities have pretty much gone their own way, doing what they thought was right and good by whatever definitions they contrived. “Going your own way” does not contribute to the social holism that is required to sustain societies.
Separation, isolation, and becoming insular are filled with assumptions that provide a slow acting poison that threaten survival and eventually lead to the decline and death of democratic societies.
The Illustration above is an Organic Decision-Making Tree based on the seven values as the criteria for logical and reasonable decision-making that supports the ongoing sustainability of the social context of human existence. The operation of the tree is inherently invested in the logic of the characteristics and values that have sustained our species for over 8,000 generations.
It provides individuals and organizations with a logical and rational process for reframing human motivation and decision-making collectively from the simple task of sustaining the species to sustaining the social fabric of our communities and societies. As we work though the illustration several insights become clear.
In the illustration, the arrows between the Individual/Family and the three pillars of societal existence, (social-societal, political-governmental, economic-financial), reveal a reciprocal and symbiotic relationship involved between the organizations of those three pillars and the individual/family. The individual/family and organizations are the only decision-makers involved and are jointly responsible for the social sustainability of communities and societies in which they both exist. Communities and societies are not involved in that decision-making process.
The dependency of Communities/Societies upon the Individual/Family and Organizations arises because neither a community or society are identifiable by GPS location, address, or responsible organizational entity. The welfare of communities and societies is dependent upon the ethical and moral decision-making of Individuals/Families and the three major organizational structures that support the framework of a society and community. Yet, when a community or whole society begins to wither and die no one has understood the dynamics of their failure. Now we do.
The survival of communities and societies is dependent upon the ethical and moral decision-making practices of all individuals/families and organizations faithfully using the seven values as the criteria for their decisions in a system of priorities. Adhering to the priorities of the organic decision-making tree will result in socially sustainable families and organizations and the development of stable and peaceful communities and societies.
The First Priority is always to sustain the species because it holds the genetic program of our species. The primal motivation of the individual is to reproduce to sustain the continuation of the species. At the early animal survival level of our species that does not require a family, community, society, organizations, or morality and ethics. And, as we are so vividly seeing from the immense human migration from Africa and the Middle East, over-population combined with severe weather, political, and war activities works against their physical survival and their sustained social existence.
For organizations to help sustain the species, that means not polluting or endangering the species in any way that would cause damage to the genetic program. For organizations, that means supporting their half of the symbiotic relationship they have with the employee/family. And for families that means teaching children how to live in a functional loving family, and how to live peacefully in the community and the larger society.
The conscious and intentional priority of the individual/family and organizations is to sustain the social fabric of communities and societies, i.e., functional families. That may seem as though I am stating the obvious, but the other side of that statement is raising children without any direction for establishing their own functional family, and raising children who do not know how to live peacefully in their community and society, and who do not know how to become employable and literally “go to work.” When that occurs, that initiates the disintegration of families, then creeps into organizations to poison communities, and eventually whole societies.
The Second Priority, more graphically, supports the synergistic relationship between the individual/family and organizations. It is a two-way relationship. If families raise children well, then organizations will be managed well. If not, then organizations will make many mistakes. This is recently evident, (2016-2018), with the egregious decisions at the highest corporate executive levels in Wells Fargo and Volkswagen among many others.
The responsibilities of organizations arises because families are the primary socializing and enculturating social institution that can produce well qualified, socially capable, responsible, and competent employees and executives of those organizations. The source of all future generations of directors, managers, executives, middle managers, supervisors, team leaders, consultants, and the great body of employees comes from families. If the quality of the child’s preparation is high when entering into the work force, whether as a laborer or as a member of a board of directors, then those organizations will benefit from the good work that the parents have done raising that child. How organizations directly and indirectly aid in that process must as well be ethical by applying the seven values in that aid.
Organizations are an invention of people and therefore dependent upon the quality of the design and functions of the organization and the decisions made by those who execute decisions for their organization. When we give the illustration above deeper thought some very large insights become visible. Ironically, in developed and complex societies no thought is ever given to sustaining the species. We take that for granted. The greater irony is that no one ever really gives any thought to the sustainability of our societies and communities that support the well being and the quality of life of our families. In other words, no one has really given much thought to the transcendent responsibilities for making a decision about the social sustainability of the family AND society.
The Missing Factor for attaining social sustainability. What is missing are the criteria or rules of decision-making that will keep (sustain) families and organizations of our communities and societies running smoothly so that everyone arrives in the far distant future with the same or better quality of life as we have today. When that is in place, then the primary elements to initiate the social sustainability of families, organizations and their societies will have been put into place.