Around the world, there are five priority values that keep humanity moving forward. While each of these have sub-categories, the major value concerns center around Beauty, Truth, Justice, Goodness, and Love. In LibPsych we use a simple acrostic: BTJGL (pronounced beetle).

The scholar's challenge in locating the primary values has been to find those positive forces that truly liberate. Ultimately, selection comes due to the power for those engaged in them to not dwell on negativity dragging down the human spirit. The BTJGL values reveal humans who have forsaken Narcissism and are driving towards options benefiting others. Those involved in these values have a vision to produce something making the world better than they received.

The idea of analyzing values in terms of their liberation content has several criteria. Does the foundational value lead people beyond parochial concerns? For instance, some think that loyalty is a primary value. We don't. The reason is that the virtue of loyalty can lead to following orders which can be used by any tyrant to create chaos in the world. Therefore, foundational values needs to be trans-cultural, trans-national, and even trans-temporal in the sense that any human of any time period can recognize the person with that value as an exemplary person. Evolutionary values are ones that recognize complexity of human experiencing while still pointing to the hope that, some day, the larger mass of humanity will live in peace. It is understood that there will always be individual criminals who choose to do evil.

With those few words of introduction, it is time to turn to the values themselves.


Fine art. Dance. Music. Sculpture. Architecture. Fine goods such as textiles and jewels. In Ben-Ami Scharfstein's fine book Of Birds, Beasts, and Other Animals there is a search through many of the beautiful creative expressions of humankind with the continual finding that artists seek to give a lift to the human spirit. Creativity is the hallmark of those committed to Beauty.

To recite even one example is to leave out a million others, so if we use as an example enameled boxes from the Ukraine, we omit jade snuff boxes from China. The point is that across the world, humans have dedicated themselves to making something (an object or a performance) beautiful for others. This primary value liberates the soul of those engaged in it even as they engage those whom they reach with the power of something beyond the ugliness of humankind. Service to Beauty is a primary value.


Science. Education. Books. And, even, the Information Age of computers is a part of the thrust of this value. Here, the attempt is, as is characteristic of each of the values, to reach beyond parochialism and present stories, information and ideas which go beyond all borders. Through research, teaching, storing data, and transmission of information, those dedicated to this value honestly transmit better knowledge to future generations.

The goal is to be trans-temporal in that the material is not tied to a given place or time. That is a most difficult task because of the limitations available in each historical epoch. Still, those dedicated to Truth seek to accomplish broad universals in the plethora of fields ranging from archeology to the study of zebras. During all eras, all over the world, there have been those who actively advanced this value to the following generation. They are members of an invisible brotherhood and sisterhood adding their stubborn pieces of truth to advance society.

Again, illustrations are so mighty that there is no way there can be an adequate representation. All teachers. All researchers. All those who study and learn and pass on data. All who explain something to a child of the next generation. All who share knowledge with neighbors. The point is that there is a transmission of information with the belief that knowledge itself liberates and will lead humanity to peace.


We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men (and women) are created equal and that they are endowed with unalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. People dedicated to the value of Justice are freedom fighters. They fight for equal opportunity for all people irregardless of birth, national origin, gender, social status, political orientation, financial situation, or any other false category devised by those who use power for narcissistic ends. Typically, those who fight for justice are usually misunderstood, disliked, and even greatly persecuted during their generation. They challenge the status quo. The Justice force must be almost immune to abuse. If they fight for the rights of women, gays, poor, or an ethnic minority the result is the same: they are despised for their struggle. Power is not surrendered freely by those who will lose some narcissistic pleasure, or position. No matter the rightness of the cause, those of the status quo fight fiercely to stop and silence those who, inevitably, push for equality of opportunity.

One thing usually not understood by the populace is that Justice and Fairness are not synonymous. Fairness is a short run reality, while Justice must be viewed from a longer historical reality. In the United States, there was two hundred and fifty years of systematically destroying the identities and options of people of color. To re-correct that long historical wrong, it was (and is) necessary to have recompensatory programs over a long period of history. Affirmative Action Programs that give more scholarships to African-Americans, for instance, need to be carried out until the option is deeply established so it is normal for educational opportunity to be there for all families.


No matter where this value is explained, people can immediately relate to it. Everywhere there are simply good people who do the hidden tasks that keep a society from surrendering to those who are selfish and only think of themselves. Good folk do the many thankless jobs of committee work, volunteering, working at low paying jobs in the helping professions, and are, in effect, the glue holding society together. The prototype of the value of goodness is the farmer. In television news reports showing war-torn areas, it is commonplace to see a farmer who looks confused at the chaos around his fields. All he wants to do is plow, plant, and harvest. He's a good man who wants his crops to produce good food for others. That's it. There is no profundity about ideas or theories. He simply does his best helping with what he has.

When first designing this schema to understand values, there was hesitation as to whether others would identify goodness as a central concern. Over and over it was discovered that names of good people automatically came to minds of those polled. It became clear that there is no question whatsoever about this being one of the primary five values of humanity.


Some concentrate upon getting people to love each other. Peacemakers are the obvious example. They focus on negotiating honorable solutions so that hate, war and death cease. Marriage counselors also come to mind for they attempt to re-build the original love a couple felt for each other.

Grandparents may be the prime examples. Having done therapy for forty years, a constant has been clients, when searching their minds for someone who was continually nurturing, almost inevitably come up with names of a grandfather or grandmother. Loving people and traditions surround us. Societies have their Kris Kringles, Santa's, and saintly figures who symbolize nurturing love. It is almost ironic that this paragraph has failed to mention parents themselves, though, of course, loving moms and dads take care of infants and give across the decades even until their deaths. People choose to love and give. If they did not, the world would be not only chaotic; it would be a hell.

The value of love actually undergirds the other four values, though it is not obvious on the surface. An artist, for instance, may seem to simply focus on playing her violin with purity of tone and excellence of technique. Looking at her play, one could think her simply lost in the adoration of her instrument and music. She plays, though, for the ears of others whom, she hopes will have an uplift of spirit due to her devotion to the violin. A good person cleaning the basement of a church is making the place safe and attractive for the next group using the facility. A person of justice is willing to take the heat of oppressive society because they want future generations to have better advantage. A contributor to the world's store of truth seeks to stop the pain of ignorance while releasing the strong medicine of information.

Beauty, Truth, Justice, Goodness, and Love form the five key values that provide meaning structures for humans. Those involved strive for a better world while using their full energies making it happen. In the grand main, they do so while receiving little appreciation from their particular societies. It matters little. They make their contribution and integrity. That is enough.