We all need basic human values rooted in trust and affection. – Dalai Lama
What does that mean?
This quote starts by stating that we all have needs. The basic needs are for human values. These values are rooted or based in trust an affection.
Unless you are doing far better than most of us, you probably have needs as well. And again, for most of us on the planet, those basic needs are rooted in the feelings of trust and affection.
Trust, in the dictionary, is defined as being confident, believing, or relying on someone or something to do what is expected. Imagine what a world would be like without trust.
Affection, in the dictionary, is defined as fondness, tenderness, and is one of the lesser flavors of love. Again, imagine a world without affection. That doesn’t sound like fun to me.
Why is trust and affection important?
As stated in the quote, these two emotions are the foundation of the basic human needs, and basic human values. Would you prefer to live in a society with a basic and mutual understanding of trust or in one which didn’t value trust in the slightest? I know which one I would pick, do you?
What about affection? Yes, we all have grumpy days, where we really don’t want to deal with other people – or is that just me? But would you prefer to live in a society with a basic and mutual understanding of affection, or in one which prohibited or restricted it? Again, I know which one I would pick.
While these are not the only needs we have as humans (food comes to mind), they are the foundation of nearly all of our interpersonal relationships. Can you think of a relationship you have that isn’t based on trust or affection? Let’s not include blood ties, but only the relationships we choose to enter and to which we remain a party.
I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t come up with anything, besides the afore-mentioned exclusion. Trust and affection is really that important. It is the glue which binds us together as humans. It is the basis for our societies and even for our relationships with our governments, at least those which are of our own choosing.
Where can I apply this in my life?
As none of us can control anyone else, we will have to start by examining our own life. How would you rate yourself in terms of trust and in terms of affection? Are you a know liar and cheat, or are you finest example of trust anyone has known? Are you loving and loveable, or are you sour and prickly?
Most of us will fall somewhere between the extremes. But where. On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is lying or prickly and 10 is trustworthy or lovable, I hope we all scored at least a 5 or 6. And yes, everyone can score high. The average score, I would like to think, is at least a 5, and hopefully going higher with each generation.
But how will it go up? By each one of us taking the time to consider how well we are doing, and putting in an effort to improve ourselves. As we each become better, we raise the bar of what is considered normal, and the next generation will, I hope, start from that lofty place and move even higher.
Take a moment to consider why you gave ourself the rating you did on trust. Are you someone in whom others can have confidence in you? Can they believe what you say, and then rely on you to do what you say? Sometimes or all of the time? What can you do to be more worthy of trust?
Sometimes, becoming more trustworthy simply requires you to make fewer promises. Do you do a lot of what you say, but sometimes say you’ll do more than you actually will or can do? Sometimes, less is more, right? Don’t promise what you can’t (or won’t) deliver. Think before you speak, right?
Now consider why you gave yourself the rating you did on affection. Are you someone others can be fond of, or do you make it difficult? What about tenderness, do you welcome it, or do you turn it away? Do you recognize it as one of the lesser flavors of love, or do you treat it with disdain?
Not everyone wants the same things, so there will be times when affection is given sparingly and other times when it is lavished on another. Praise, accolades, hugs, high-fives, or even a simple nod of the head can acknowledge a job well done (even if it isn’t at work). These are ways to show affection, right?
We can all stand to improve ourselves in one or more of these areas. The question is what are you going to do? Will you promise less, or do more? Will you find a way, within your personality, to praise or acknowledge the efforts of others, or will you snub them?
The choice is yours. You can change by accident or with purpose. I would highly recommend trying to improve something in your life, starting today.