Personal Core Value: Universalism – Concern

Personal Core Value: Universalism – Concern


  5 Min Read

The Personal Core Value: Universalism – Concern is an Intrinsic Motivator.

Delve into how the core value Universalism – Concern intersects with Self-Determination Theory, its real-life applications, and the challenges it faces in today’s complex world. Understand the balance of global welfare with local needs, and see how Universalism-Concern shapes a more compassionate and sustainable future.

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1. What is Universalism-Concern?

Universalism-Concern is a core value that focuses on the welfare and respect for all people and nature. It represents a broad-minded perspective, emphasizing tolerance, social justice, and the importance of caring for the environment and the global community (Schwartz, 1992). This value transcends individual or parochial interests, advocating for a universal approach to human rights, equality, and ecological preservation.

2. The Interplay of Universalism-Concern and Self-Determination Theory

The interplay between Universalism-Concern and Self-Determination Theory (SDT) offers insightful perspectives on how our intrinsic values align with our motivations and behaviors. SDT, developed by Deci and Ryan, emphasizes the importance of autonomy, competence, and relatedness in driving human behavior (Ryan & Deci, 2000). Universalism-Concern, with its focus on global empathy, compassion, and social justice, intersects with these psychological needs in several ways.

When chosen autonomously, Universalism-Concern reflects a person's inner values and beliefs. Individuals who identify with this value often feel a deep sense of personal commitment to global welfare and environmental sustainability. Their actions, driven by this internalized value, are more fulfilling and align with their sense of self, thereby enhancing their autonomy.

Engaging in activities that promote social justice and environmental care can enhance an individual's sense of competence. By contributing to larger causes, people often develop new skills and knowledge, be it in community organization, environmental conservation, or understanding global socio-economic dynamics. This acquisition of competence reinforces their commitment to Universalism-Concern.

Universalism-Concern inherently involves a sense of relatedness, extending it beyond personal relationships to include broader humanity and the natural world. By acting on this value, individuals fulfill their need for connection with others and with the planet. This fosters a sense of belonging to a global community, where one's actions contribute to the greater good.

The synergy between Universalism-Concern and SDT illustrates how embracing global empathy and social responsibility can satisfy key psychological needs. It shows that commitment to broader, altruistic goals is not only morally and ethically significant but also psychologically beneficial, enhancing personal growth and fulfillment. This interplay is crucial for understanding how values shape our motivations and how, in turn, our actions can lead to a more just and sustainable world.

3. Real-Life Examples of Universalism-Concern

Universalism-Concern, emphasizing global empathy, compassion, and environmental stewardship, manifests in various contexts. Its application can lead to both positive and negative outcomes, as evidenced by real-life examples:

Positive Examples of Universalism-Concern:

  • Global Health Initiatives: A positive manifestation of Universalism-Concern is evident in global health initiatives like the World Health Organization's efforts to combat pandemics and diseases worldwide. These programs, aimed at improving global health equity, embody a commitment to the welfare of all people, transcending national boundaries. (WHO, 2021)
  • Conservation and Biodiversity Efforts: Environmental conservation efforts, such as those by the World Wildlife Fund, demonstrate Universalism-Concern through actions to preserve biodiversity and ecosystems. These efforts highlight the importance of protecting the planet for future generations and all species. (WWF, 2020)

Negative Examples of Universalism-Concern:

  • Ineffective Aid Programs: Some international aid efforts, though well-intentioned, have been criticized for inefficiency or exacerbating dependency. Studies have shown that aid can sometimes fail to align with local needs, leading to less effective outcomes. (Easterly, 2006)
  • Ignoring Local Concerns in Environmental Policies: Overemphasis on global environmental issues at times leads to overlooking local concerns. Policies focusing solely on global climate goals can neglect immediate community needs, creating a disconnect between global objectives and local realities. (Escobar, 1995)

These examples illustrate the dual nature of Universalism-Concern. While striving for global welfare and environmental protection, it is crucial to balance these efforts with local needs and contexts. Understanding the complexities and potential unintended consequences of actions guided by Universalism-Concern is essential for ensuring positive and effective outcomes.

4. Universalism-Concern & The Challenges in Today's Modern World

In today's rapidly evolving global landscape, the core value of Universalism-Concern faces numerous challenges. This value, which emphasizes empathy, social justice, and environmental stewardship, is increasingly crucial yet often difficult to implement effectively in a complex, interconnected world.

One major challenge is the rise of nationalism and isolationism, which can conflict with the universalist ethos of global solidarity and cooperation (Nye, 2017). These political ideologies often prioritize narrow national interests over global welfare, posing a direct challenge to the ideals of Universalism-Concern.

Additionally, the overwhelming scale of global issues, such as climate change and widespread inequality, can lead to a sense of helplessness or apathy among individuals and communities (Stoknes, 2015). The enormity of these challenges sometimes makes it difficult for people to see how their actions can make a meaningful difference, potentially hindering proactive engagement and solutions.

Particularly in contexts like the Israel-Palestine conflict. This longstanding dispute highlights the complexities in applying universal principles of empathy, social justice, and environmental stewardship amid deeply rooted political and cultural divisions. The Israel-Palestine conflict, with its intricate history and profound implications for both communities, presents a poignant example of how nationalistic and territorial interests often overshadow broader humanitarian and ecological concerns (Smith, 2021). Efforts to promote Universalism-Concern in such a context are complicated by the intense emotions, historical grievances, and security concerns that dominate the narrative on both sides.

Moreover, the conflict creates a challenging environment for initiatives aimed at promoting mutual understanding and cooperation. Actions based on Universalism-Concern, such as cross-community dialogues or shared environmental projects, are often hindered by mistrust and hostility, making the path towards reconciliation and sustainable peace difficult (Kelman, 2020).

In these situations, the ideals of Universalism-Concern must navigate a delicate balance between acknowledging the specificities of each group's experiences while fostering a sense of shared humanity and mutual respect. The Israel-Palestine conflict underscores the need for nuanced approaches that consider local dynamics without losing sight of universal values that promote dignity, equality, and environmental integrity for all involved.

Despite these challenges, Universalism-Concern remains a guiding principle for addressing global problems. It inspires efforts to build more inclusive societies, promote sustainable development, and create international policies that benefit all, not just a select few (Sachs, 2015). To overcome the hurdles in realizing this value, a concerted effort from individuals, communities, and nations is required, emphasizing the interconnectedness of all and the shared responsibility for the planet's future.

5. Conclusion

Incorporating Universalism-Concern into our daily lives is a step towards a more harmonious existence. To delve deeper into understanding its role in your personal values, consider taking our comprehensive personality assessment on The PVQ-RR assessment, based on Schwartz's refined theory, offers invaluable insights into your core values, empowering you with self-awareness and guiding personal growth (Schwartz & Cieciuch, 2022).

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