At the core of a community they have their mission statement and goals. These are usually formed off of the values that the people of the community consider morally important. When you ask a group of people what are values they say intangible things like reciprocation, economic security, support, family, and tradition. These are things we find important to the way we live our lives. It helps with the function of our daily proceedings. Prilleltensky, et al. offered an outline of values that would come together and benefit cooperating communities. It worked upon the values of holism; health; caring, compassionate and supportive community structure; self determination, participation and social justice; respect for diversity; and accountability to oppressed groups.
They stress the importance of each value playing its part in the community's success. I think it is interesting that holism comes first. It reminds me that it's at the top of the list, so it could be the most important or the most difficult to achieve therefore it requires more effort than the rest. Who can really argue that health is important? We all want to be healthy without the struggle of ailments as we go through life. It encompasses more than just physical health though. It also matters to be healthy in different areas of life such as social and material. Life shouldn't be such a struggle.
Shouldn't be. That is almost an anomaly by now to me. When I think of what should be and what shouldn't be I usually just end up shaking my head and saying, "but that's the way it is." That is the ultimate battle in social justice. The 'is' vs the 'ought.' Things ought to be equal and people shouldn't have to struggle for clean drinking water as a bare minimum. Yet there are people in this world, even this country, that drink water that infects them further instead of providing them sustenance. What this chapter really gets to is bringing that global concern down to a local level. They can use this value system to motivate their venture to providing a community the resources to rebuild together. Instilling these values on an individual level so people learn to appreciate the work they are doing and know that it doesn't happen overnight but if we keep our attitude up we are one day closer to a brighter future. It will take hard work but that's why we have a support system. That's where we get back to the values of a caring compassionate and supportive community.
Where would we be without family, and how would we go through life without social connections. It's the network that we build our life on. We start at a young age learning to be socialized. The socialization practice of our culture is why there is such a need for diversity. We need our children to realize that people come in shapes and sizes. We cannot judge by the version in our head of a person. We have to be open to them revealing themselves as we reveal ours. Diversity puts us in touch with oppression. You meet new people, you hear new stories, and you realize that no one is the same. Not on a deeper level. Some people know they are different and some people still want to be just like this or that. It's all on the journey to self- actualization which is the value at the top of the Maslow hierarchy of needs.
Nelson, G. & Prilleltensky, I. Chapter 2, The Project of Community Psychology: Issues, Values, and Tools for Liberation and Well being. Retrieved from http://www.education.miami.edu/isaac/public_web/chaptwo.htm