The values, principles, and concepts necessary in sustaining the society were mainly engraved in the culture of a society in the traditional set-up. These were passed from one generation to another through particular means like education to the younger ones. However, these have faced various challenges in the wake of rapidly dynamic society now comprising of systems which emphasizes (at times) on the superiority of negative behavior and teaches different behavior than that conventionally known to be right. Today, there has arisen many means of passing knowledge among people and because people are open to a wide range sources of information, they have access to different opinions pertaining the conventionally established principles, values, and institutions. But also such is an opportunity that can be used well to pass important information to many people pertaining different types of societies, their cultures and the principles they uphold. The first step to achieving a desired society with the desired principles is first to knowing the type of society aspired for. Then the next step would be to teach those principles, values and institutions.
Values, Principles and Concepts
A society consists of different types of people in the way they have been created. Every person has different behaviors and character and these shapes their interests, ambitions, and daily activities, including interaction with others. It is important to ensure that the society aspired for is that which provides a place for everybody. Such a society must be diverse. But at the same time, the society should not show support for the undesired behavior because it must aim at making sure that the members with such behavior are taught and converted. This is so because human beings are learning, and change of behavior is about learning new behaviors. While society must punish the people with undesired behavior, it must also seek to promote the desired behavior by making sure that the role models are rewarded through particular means. It is important to create a good environment for people living in a certain community although it is difficult to accommodate everybody (Earlham College para.9).
In fostering a society that has certain acceptable principles, it is important to tap on the power which institutions within the society present. These institutions like schools deal with masses like students who are aiming at becoming important members in society and therefore teaching certain acceptable principles and values is easier within these institutions than outside the institutions. Schools present an opportunity to shape the lives of the pupils and students the way society wants and therefore they can learn to become valuable members. In addition, members in these institutions learn practically to interact with others and therefore can practice the principles and values taught there (Alschuler 38).
It is important to consider three types of questions in order for developing particular principles and practices in a community. These include questioning ourselves on the sort of community we aspire to be in and this will lead us into developing this kind of community. The community should foster fairness and equality for all individuals, first in enjoying coexistence. The well-being of a society can be perceived in various different contexts. First is the economic setting, social, cultural and political settings. In order for the members of the society to live together in harmony, there are certain things that must be ensured within the society. These include issues to do with peace and justice. This is rather more responsibility of all the members of the society than the government. However, enforcement of particular rules and regulations that touches on these principles is important in order to ensure that unwelcome behavior is punished, and members of the society are corrected to become better and not left to become worse (Lacey 75). Institutions within the society must ensure that physical, emotional, verbal, or any form of violence or injustice that may harm relationships within the society are discouraged either through teaching the members of the society on the need to avoid them or act otherwise, and/or through punishing those who have the tendency to portray these behaviors. However, rules and laws cannot themselves ensure that justice and peace are present. The institutions must avoid denying individuals their rights at the expense of others because this may spark mass violence. Fair and responsible governance is an important aspect in the society that seeks to make the decisions that will affect the community in general. These decisions affect the political, economic and social status of people within the community. These institutions must encourage the building of consensus concerning various decisions touching the community. Consensus allows that every member is given an opportunity to express themselves and contribute to the making of decisions that affect them. It will be necessary to foster certain decision-making processes and make members of the society know them, as well as making them aware of the matters which require to be decided upon (Earlham College para.4). Teaching involves listening to the members of the society to be in a position to cater to their needs in respect to what is expected of them.
Every member of society should be taught to play their own part and to be part of the general community so as to be integral. Educational values therefore must foster practical components of how students as young can play their roles in the society for the wellbeing of the society in general. There must be an emphasis on the character of respect for an older generation. However, the principle of respect for persons is engraved in the fact that society treats all people as equal and that every member should have concern for another physically, emotionally or intellectually (Earlham College para.11). Members of the learning community must also be taught these aspects. The community, which may comprise of individuals of different religion, age, class, ethnicity, physical ability, and gender among others calls for respect among individuals by each recognizing the other hold an important part in the society. Respect is important because people are interacting on a daily basis and members must show welcome for others, care and responsibility for one another. The institution within the society should discourage destructive and coercive behavior in interpersonal relationships. The younger generation should be able to respect the older members of the society either at school-teachers or in other places (Alschuler 43). The second concern to be raised should be the particular principles that shape and sustain the community we aim to be in. raising concern on the practices which are necessary if our community is to thrive and the practices which could prevent its thriving.
In order to help build trust upon one another, and hence build important relationships, members of society need to be taught to have integrity. Integrity means completeness or one-ness (Lacey 75). In a community where members will participate in common activities and will need to make important decisions together, it is necessary that they become people of integrity in order to be relied on by others for truth. Members of society should learn to act responsibly towards others in the decisions they make to represent the rest. Obedience to principles and values established within a community calls for integrity. The members of society need to learn to be open to opinions and ideas while being committed to critical thinking. Older members or those granted the responsibility for others should be people who are able to reward the effort of others and ideas developed or gotten from others. Members of society such as teachers should learn to always evaluate students fairly and honestly. They should mind about the need for a good reputation as important members of society and guard integrity because younger people are seeking to emulate them from a young age. Individuals must learn to be simple meaning having focus, being calm and clear and being “single self” and not “committee of selves” (Kelly 114). Simplicity is not allowing a list of what is permitted and or proscribed (Lacey 75). In teaching particular aspects, values and principles, it is important to ensure that the curriculums at schools and other institutions have a focus on them. Particularly, the members of the society that teach students and that are respectable in the society need to be taught these principles, values and aspects so as to pass them to the members of the community.
Alschuler, S. Alfred. Values, concepts, and techniques. Michigan: National Education Association, 2007.
Earlham College. Principles and practices. 2005. Web.
Kelly, R. Thomas. A Testament of Devotion. New York: Harper & Bros., 1941.
Lacey, A. Paul. Growing into Goodness: Essays on Quaker Education. Wallingford, Pa.: Pendle Hill, 1998.