Societal Security

Personal Core Value: Societal Security

Personal Core Value: Societal Security


  5 Min Read

The Personal Core Value: Societal Security is an Extrinsic Motivator.

In an era marked by global uncertainties and societal shifts, the concept of societal security stands out as a vital personal core value. This comprehensive post explores societal security’s multifaceted aspects, integrating renowned theories and real-world instances to enhance understanding. It aims to guide readers in recognizing and embracing societal security in their personal value system.

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1. Understanding the Concept of 'Societal Security'

"The safety of the people shall be the highest law," - Marcus Tullius Cicero.

This profound quote underscores the importance of societal security – a concept that goes beyond public safety to include the stability and well-being within our personal lives. Societal security is a fundamental aspect of our existence, influencing how we interact with the world and shape our personal journeys.

Societal security, as a personal core value, revolves around ensuring the well-being, safety, and stability of our wider community or society. It embodies our innate desire for a world where individuals can live without the fear of violence, instability, or external threats.

Societal security encompasses our innate desire to live in a world where individuals can pursue their goals, dreams, and ambitions without the looming specter of violence, instability, or external threats. It goes beyond personal safety; it extends to the safety and stability of our communities, nations, and the interconnected global landscape.

This core value is a cornerstone of our fundamental human rights, emphasizing the importance of living in a society that protects its citizens, promotes justice, and upholds the rule of law. Societal security seeks to ensure that we can engage in our daily lives without constant fear or distress.

Moreover, societal security isn't confined to personal safety alone. It includes economic stability, access to essential services, and the assurance that our basic needs will be met. When societal security is robust, individuals can flourish, communities can thrive, and nations can prosper.

2. The Interplay of Societal Security and Self-Determination Theory

The Self-Determination Theory, developed by Deci and Ryan, aligns closely with societal security. This theory posits that fulfilling basic psychological needs, including the need for safety and stability, is essential for personal well-being (Deci & Ryan, 2000). Thus, societal security is not only a societal need but also a critical component of our personal development and happiness.

3. Real-Life Examples of 'Societal Security' in Action

The concept of societal security is vividly illustrated in real-world scenarios, such as community responses to natural disasters and the global handling of pandemics. The following examples underscore how societal stability and safety are integral to our personal well-being and the resilience of communities.

For instance, the response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 highlighted the critical role of societal security. The breakdown in societal structures not only led to immediate physical dangers but also long-term psychological and social impacts. According to a study by Kessler et al. (2008), the aftermath of Katrina saw a significant increase in mental health issues, showcasing the deep interconnection between societal security and individual well-being.

Similarly, the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic reflects the importance of societal security in managing public health crises. Governments worldwide adopted various strategies, from lockdowns to vaccination campaigns, to ensure public safety. A study by Bavel et al. (2020) in the journal "Nature Human Behaviour" emphasized how societal measures during the pandemic significantly influenced individual behaviors and attitudes, demonstrating the crucial role of societal security in shaping personal responses during crises.

4. The Role of Societal Security in Personal Development

Autonomy and Societal Security: Autonomy, the feeling of being in control of one’s own life, is deeply influenced by societal security. In a secure society, individuals are more likely to feel empowered to make personal choices and pursue their goals. Research by Chirkov et al. (2003) in the "Journal of Personality and Social Psychology" demonstrates that perceived societal security enhances the sense of autonomy, which in turn fosters greater personal well-being.

Competence and Societal Stability: Competence, or the ability to effectively interact with the environment, is another need highlighted in SDT. A stable and secure society provides a predictable and safe environment where individuals can develop skills and achieve mastery. This aspect of societal security is crucial for personal development, as it offers a stable foundation for educational and professional endeavors. According to a study by Niemiec et al. (2006) in "Child Development," a secure and supportive societal environment significantly contributes to the development of competence in individuals.

Relatedness and Societal Safety: Finally, relatedness, the need to feel connected to others, is greatly influenced by societal security. In a secure society, individuals can form and maintain meaningful relationships, which are essential for emotional well-being and personal growth. A study by Ryan and Deci (2000) in the "Contemporary Educational Psychology" journal emphasizes the importance of a secure environment for fostering healthy relationships and community bonds.

In summary, societal security, as understood through the lens of SDT, is not merely a backdrop for individual existence but a fundamental component of personal development. It provides the necessary conditions for autonomy, competence, and relatedness, thereby facilitating holistic personal growth and well-being. The insights from SDT suggest that societal security is integral to creating an environment where individuals can thrive, both personally and collectively.

5. The Evolution of 'Societal Security' in Modern Times

In today's dynamic world, societal security is multifaceted, encompassing both physical safety and digital security. The evolution of digital technologies, while beneficial, has also introduced new threats, making societal security a more personal and immediate concern.

Digital security, for example, is a growing aspect of societal security. Cyberattacks can disrupt individual lives and broader societal functions. Research by M. McGuire (2018) in the "Journal of Cyber Policy" indicates that cybercrime affects not just economic stability but also mental health, as victims of identity theft or online harassment may suffer long-term psychological distress.

Furthermore, societal security plays a pivotal role in shaping our developmental environments. According to Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory, the stability and safety of the broader society (macrosystem) significantly influence individual development. A stable societal environment provides a secure backdrop for personal growth, fostering opportunities for education, career advancement, and social engagement. In contrast, a lack of societal security can lead to developmental challenges, as seen in contexts of political unrest or economic instability.

Thus, societal security is not just a macro-level concept but a foundational element in our personal development journey, influencing our psychological well-being, social interactions, and opportunities for growth.

6. Finding Your 'Societal Security' Value

Understanding and valuing societal security is key to personal development and well-being. If you're curious about how societal security resonates with your personal values, we invite you to visit and take our PVQ-RR based test to quantify it. How does this impact personal growth? Taking our personality assessment on can provide clarity. Based on the comprehensive PVQ-RR method (Schwartz & Cieciuch, 2022), it's tailored to offer a deep dive into your core values, including how much 'Societal Security' influences your choices. Don't miss out on this opportunity for introspection and personal development!

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