The Good Life of Human Flourishing: Six Values for Living

1. Self-Cultivation: The value of self-cultivation means that we respect and develop the whole person, including the care of the body, soul, mind and spirit, of all our human faculties. It is at the very heart of the German educational ideal of “Bildung.” It involves developing all sides of one’s humanity, of becoming a real person of character and competency, creativity and commitment.

2. Human Temperaments: The value of human temperaments means that we respect fundamental psychological differences, including comic, romantic, tragic and ironic moods, styles and sensibilities as casts of mind. While we all share a common humanity, people are nevertheless different in quite fundamental ways, and so we need to recognize those differences. The Jungian Meyers-Briggs temperament types and the Enneagram paradigm are two popular ways that people seek to articulate and understand those differences. James Hillman’s and Thomas Moore’s “psychological polytheism” offers a pluralistic model that postulates that we are “many selves” rather than just one. The self in their model is polymorphic, free and adaptive rather than singular, deterministic and static.

3. Life Balance: The value of life balance means that we respect the many sides of life, including of relationship with our self, our significant others, our work and leisure, and everything else that makes for a rich, full, creative and diverse life experience.

4. Historical Perspectives: The value of historical perspectives means that we respect the wisdom that can be attained from a study and understanding of the various epochs and ages of human history, including the ancient, medieval, modern and contemporary perspectives. First Peoples, the Ancient World Religions – both East and West, Greek and Roman Classicists, Renaissance Humanists, Protestant Reformers, the Enlightenment Generation, 18th Century Romantics and Transcendentalists, Modernists, Existentialists, Pragmatists, Positivists, Phenomenologists, Post-Modernists, and Trans-Modernists all have something to teach us about the human quest for meaning, purpose, fulfillment and hope in an ambiguous and perplexing world.

5. Cultural Literacy: The value of cultural literacy means that we respect and explore all the vital domains of general knowledge and life experience, including the humanities, arts, sciences and technologies, that we familiarize ourselves with “the best that has been thought and written” across the ages by history’s most original and creative minds.

6. Social Pluralism: The value of social pluralism means that we respect and seek to understand the various social ideologies that shape our society and world, and endeavor to build a civil society in which they can co-exist together. These social philosophies include conservative, liberal, libertarian and communitarian schools of thought.

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