The 20 Most Important Social and Civic Values

The social values Are an important part of the communities, since they guarantee the stability and the order of the same. In general terms, social values ​​provide guidelines that regulate social behavior.

Fundamental values ​​such as rights, patriotism, respect, democracy, among others, shape our behavior and become criteria to evaluate our behavior, as well as that of others.

Social values ​​community

Values ​​vary from one society to another, since they depend to a large extent on what a culture accepts, condones or despises. In this regard, R. T. Schaefer points out that values ​​are collective conceptions of what a community considers good, desirable, appropriate, understandable, inappropriate or incorrect.

In this sense, values ​​are at first the result of social interaction; However, once accepted, values ​​are set in the culture and do not change until the collective decides to change them.

It should be noted that there are a number of values ​​that are common in most cultures, such as peace, honesty and respect, to name a few.

Some communities go further and include values ​​within their norms, such as freedom, justice and equality, which form part of most of the constitutions of the countries of the world.

From all the above it is derived that the values ​​constitute the element that keeps the societies united, since these are shared by the members of a community.

Likewise, values ​​give legitimacy to governments, since laws that are based on social values ​​tend to be more easily accepted.

You may be interested The 15 most important citizen values .

The 20 most important social values

1- Equality

The 20 Most Important Social and Civic Values

Equality does not mean"treating everyone alike"but that all people receive the treatment that allows them to obtain the same results.

For example, for a blind person, receiving equal treatment involves transforming spaces so that this individual can behave as any other person would.

Readers of computer screens and storytelling systems in museums and cinemas are elements oriented towards the achievement of equality between sighted and blind people.

Equality seeks to ensure that all people achieve similar results despite the particular conditions to which each individual is subject.

2 - Justice

Justice is a rather broad concept that is based on the ethics , Morality, rationality, religion and law.

Justice involves the value of equality, since people must be judged under egalitarian conditions; However, it departs from equality as far as the result is concerned, since it is not sought that people obtain the same results, but that each one receives what he deserves.

For example, let's take the following premise:"Everyone has the right to receive remuneration for services rendered." In an hourly job, it is only fair that people who work longer hours receive more money.

3 - Happiness


According to the online dictionary Merriam-Webster, happiness is a state of well-being, a pleasant or satisfying experience.

According to Mahatma Gandhi,"Happiness is when what you think, say and do is in harmony." For his part, George Sheelan points out that happiness differs from pleasure, since it has to do with struggle and perseverance to achieve a goal. Finally, Margaret Lee Runbeck indicates that happiness is not the season to which one arrives, but a way of traveling.

All these definitions point to a certain point that happiness depends on our decisions, that is, on the way we deal with the situations presented to us.

4 - Honesty

Honesty is the quality of being fair, trustworthy and sincere. The word"honesty"comes from the term"honor"and was used to refer to the honorary status that was acquired when avoiding telling lies, cheating, stealing or any other dishonorable practice.

An example of honesty is to tell the truth even after having committed a fault, regardless of whether this truth will carry negative consequences for us, such as punishment.

5 - Esperanza

The 20 Most Important Social and Civic Values

Hope is the belief that it is possible to achieve what is desired. This value represents the fuel that keeps humans moving even when circumstances are not the most favorable.

An example of hope is Voyager 1, the spacecraft launched by NASA that is further away from planet Earth. Voyager 1 carries information about the Earth: photos, data provided by NASA scientists, recordings of greetings from US officials and an audio track of music and land sounds, which include works by Mozart and the sound of the waves.

All this was done in case one day this ship managed to establish contact with intelligent forms of alien life, which shows the hope that humans have to find life on other planets.

6 - Gratitude

Gratitude is a trait of personality and an emotion. As emotion, gratitude is the sensation of happiness generated by appreciation.

This is an essential element of many religions; For example, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam promote gratitude to others, especially to God.

Saying"thank you"when getting off a bus or thanking the waiter who served our meal are examples of gratitude. These actions, although small, can improve a person's day and trigger positive reactions.

7 - Responsibility

The 20 Most Important Social and Civic Values ​​1

Responsibility is the quality of assuming and fulfilling an obligation or responding to the acts performed; This is why responsibility and commitment are related.

Acting responsibly is an important aspect of our lives since it generates positive consequences. Equally, being responsible makes others trust us and brings more freedom of action.

Some examples of responsibility are the fulfillment of the assignments assigned by our parents, teachers or bosses; Parents are also responsible for educating, protecting and caring for their children.

8 - Sacrifice

Sometimes it is necessary to put the needs of others above our own; This is the essence of sacrifice. In this sense, sacrifice is an act of interest in the good of others even at the expense of self-interest, inspired by affection.

9 - Friendship

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Friendship is the relationship of affection that is created between two or more people, characterized by being disinterested and reciprocal.

Friendship is a combination of love, loyalty, respect and trust. In this regard, the Greek philosopher Aristotle Points out that friendship is a single spirit that lives in two bodies.

10 - Love

He love It is a value, a state and an emotion. It refers to the affection that a person feels for another, which makes the person who feels it wishes the well-being and happiness of the recipient.

The affection of a mother for her children is an example of love; Likewise, the esteem we feel for ourselves is an example of self-love.

11 - Courtesy

Courtesy standards

The courtesy It refers to manners and accepted codes of social conduct. As a social value, it constitutes a set of norms specific to the interaction between the members of a community. It shows respect, consideration, kindness and gratitude.

Some examples of courtesy are"good morning","good afternoon"and"good evening"when you arrive or leave a place or say thank you for the services provided.

12 - Respect

Respect is a way of trying or thinking and refers to the consideration you have about something or someone. Respecting a person demonstrates good education, kindness and courtesy.

Consideration of one's own life and that of others is an example of respect. Also, there must be a respectful relationship between parents and children and between friends.

13 - Patience

The 20 Most Important Social and Civic Values

The patience Is the ability to withstand any condition. This involves the calm and the good disposition before the events that can be presented or in our daily action.

Patience creates a favorable state of mind, which allows you to make wise decisions and act wiser.

14 - Tolerance

The tolerance Refers to the acceptance of behaviors, practices, beliefs or customs that are alien to us.

This means that tolerance involves opposition; It should be noted that in order to speak of tolerance this opposition must have a logical justification.

Tolerance is a value that includes within others, such as respect, patience and courtesy.

15 - Dedication

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Dedication is the act of dedicating oneself to a cause. This involves giving the best of us, doing our best.

Dedication gives special value to our actions: it does not matter if the result you get is not what you expected if you achieve it with genuine dedication.

16 - Optimism

Optimism is a trait of character and an emotion that inclines towards the positive valuation of events, which affects and shapes our beliefs and behaviors.

Sonia Lyubomirsky points out that there are three types of optimism: broad optimism, small optimism and minor optimism. Broad optimism is the belief that everything will be fine throughout our life.

On the other hand, the small optimism refers to more specific situations; This is the emotion that comes in when we feel that we are going to do well at work or that we will be able to pass a particular exam. Finally, the lower optimism is the least positive of all and comes from external stimuli.

On the other hand, Elaine Fox, professor of the University of Oxford, points out in her book Rainy brain, sunny brain ( Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain ) That optimism can be a momentary state or a stable feature of our personality; In the latter case, Fox points out that optimism must include other values ​​such as acceptance, flexibility and tolerance.

17 - Cooperation

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The cooperation Is the act of collaborating and involves teamwork. Even the most difficult tasks can be done quickly when you cooperate.

On a daily basis, we see examples of cooperation, such as when we help with household chores or when a colleague explains something we did not understand.

18 - Commitment

The commitment is the act of engaging in a cause or a cooperative relationship with another person.

It is a process of mutual consent between two or more parties, in which one or all parties assume an obligation. In this sense, the commitment entails dedication, responsibility and effort.

Commitment is dedication to a cause. The best example of commitment is marriage.

19 - Sorry

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Forgiveness is not about absolving the mistakes that someone has made for a person, but about freeing oneself of the anger and pain that this error may have generated. Forgiveness is like carrying anchors, it allows us to move towards the life that awaits us.

20 - Integrity

Integrity is the quality of being honest and having Moral and ethical principles . This means that integrity involves the practice of all the values ​​mentioned above.

This quality is given when our actions correspond with our words and when our words are governed by the ethical values.

An example of integrity is following the ten commandments, in case you are a Christian. People actively participate in the defense of the rights of minority groups also reflect integrity.


  1. Honesty. Retrieved on April 16, 2017, from
  2. Hope. Retrieved on April 16, 2017, from
  3. Integrity. Retrieved on April 16, 2017, from
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  5. Responsibility. Retrieved on April 16, 2017, from
  6. Sees it. Retrieved on April 16, 2017, from
  7. Commit. Retrieved on April 16, 2017, from
  8. What is happiness. Retrieved on April 16, 2017, from
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  10. Social Values. Retrieved on April 16, 2017, from
  11. The Meaning and Functions of Social Values. Retrieved on April 16, 2017, from
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