Human Values

Human Values

This article deals with topic titled ‘Human Values  .’ This is part of our series on ‘Ethics’  . For more articles , you can click here


  • Although values system depend upon society , religion , geography etc but there are certain values which are common to all humans . These values are found in all value systems and cherished by all humans . These are known as Human Values. (Other name for them is Universal Values)
  • Eg Love, truth, Compassion.
  • These are universal and even if we go to earliest recorded human societies and religions , we will find that they existed even at that time
  • In simple words – They remain static. Never change with time or region.
  • 4 values form the core of  human values and other peripheral values revolve around them . These are Freedom , Creativity, Love & Wisdom .

1 . Freedom

  • What we mean when we say freedom is the basic human value ?
    • Every living being who has come on Earth wants to remain free. They always dislike bondage and restrictions.
    • Saying – A man is born free but everywhere he is in chains.
  • There are different perspectives of freedom
Individual Freedom Individual freedom is required as every individual is unique.
Intellectual Freedom – It is the freedom of mind, knowledge, freedom to question the old ideas and to create new ones, freedom to think unthinkable, freedom to explore the unexplored, freedom to reach unreachable.
– Tagore wrote about Intellectual Freedom – Where the mind is without fear , where streams of human reason are not lost in the gravy dead sand of dead habits , in that light my country awakes.
Intellectual Freedom is necessary because persons having this always question the status quo
Freedom of will Freedom of will denotes freedom  to choose between alternatives
Freedom from  & freedom to Freedom from  includes , freedom from
1. Freedom from Gender discrimination
2. Freedom from Economic exploitation
3. Freedom from Mechanization of life 
4. Freedom from Environmental pollution etc   

– Gains of Freedom from are immense . Rather entire of human civilization and progress rests upon Freedom from . Has the freedom from was not in picture, probably the human progress that we find today might not be in existence. It gives real sense of comfort to the human life in various ways but it is very important to have second type of freedom as well ie Freedom to

Freedom to gives positive content of the real freedom . It is freedom to think, freedom to decide , freedom to be creative, freedom to actualize own potential , freedom to live good life .  

Hence , it is necessary that Process which was started with Freedom from and is accepted now in all countries should be taken to the level of Freedom to 

Side Topic : Freedom vs Discipline

  • Freedom doesn’t mean that person is free to do anything without any condition.
  • Freedom comes with certain restrictions. Even our constitution agrees with this concept (Article 19(2)).
  • This shows that freedom is not absolute and it always comes  at the cost of discipline.
  • Hindi word for Freedom is Swadheenta ie
Swa Self
Adeenta Control

Ie freedom is a thing in which person is under self control (not in control of others but not absolutely free)

  • Hence, freedom and discipline can be said to be two sides of same coin . 

2. Creativity

  • It is very important because through creativity only, civilisation can grow 
  • Freedom & creativity are interlinked because no creativity can take place without freedom. 
  • Creativity is of three categories
Intellectual Creativity It is creativity of mind.
Artistic Creativity Artistic creativity is more of a creativity of heart.  
Practical Creativity – Man has been always in  search of creating something useful for the humanity 
First major works of  practical creativity were domestication of plants and animals, invention of fire, wheel etc .
  • Civil servant needs to be creative because civil servant is expected not only to solve the problem but anticipate the problem as well .

3. Love

Human Love is the binding force which unites one individual with other individual 

Categories of Human Love

Parental Love – Normally comes in the form of Mother love with child and father love for child
– Mother’s love for the child is totally unselfish and hence , it is the noblest kind of the human love.   
Love between man & woman  
Love of God – Examples are Mira, Surdas, Chaintanya etc
– This love is based on total devotion & complete surrender
Love among Equals Basis and genesis of friendship, neighborhood and various other organs of the society.  
Spiritual love Spiritual person sees everybody in himself and himself in everybody.  If somebody feels  the pain, he personally feels the pain.

4. Wisdom

  • It is related more with the mind (as love was more related with the heart)
  • Full flowering of both wisdom & love is necessary for becoming great. Good life is that which is inspired by love and guided by wisdom.
  • Information , knowledge & wisdom are three different things but are interrelated .
    • If we integrate large information, that is converted to knowledge.
    • But it isnt that if we accumulate knowledge that we will attain wisdom.

Wisdom doesn’t come automatically with the accumulation of knowledge . What is required is that there has to be  an element of experience. When experience and knowledge are put together in right proportion , that results in wisdom

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