Discovering Bedrock Values
Even compassionate people sometimes tolerate harm to others when they believe that is the only way to protect their own well-being. When conflict is reduced to us vs. them, few people willingly choose “them”.
Discernment helps us avoid this no-alternative trap by clarifying the fundamental values at risk on both sides of a conflict. Social environments become coherent and sustainable when they take into account what matters deeply to all willing cooperators.
Three practices are helpful:
- Distinguish values from means
- Be vigilant about accumulating harms
- Honor multiple points of view
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