KVE301/KVE401 Universal Human Values and Professional Ethics
Chapter 8: Harmony in Family – Understanding Values in Human Relationships
“Justice is the recognition of values (the definite feelings) in a relationship, their fulfillment, the right evaluation of the fulfillment resulting in mutual happiness.”
Justice concerns itself with the proper ordering of things and people within a society.
Elements of justice
There are four elements: Recognition of values, fulfillment, evaluation, and mutual happiness ensured. When all the four are ensured, justice is ensured. Mutual fulfillment is the hallmark of justice. And justice is essential in all relationships, be it with the small kid in our house, our old grandpa, the maid in the house, our fast friends, or our distant relations. We need to grow up in relationships to ensure continuity of justice in all our relationships.
What is the state today?
We need to evaluate for ourselves whether we are able to ensure justice in relationships. Let us answer a few questions listed below:
- Do we want justice only on few occasions or every moment?
- Will the justice get ensured in the family or in courts of law?
- In how many relationships and on how many occasions, are we presently able to ensure justice?
These are quite relevant questions in our daily life. We tend to feel that we are being subjected to injustice. But, we seldom evaluate how just we are in our interactions. We see the partition of houses, family feuds, enmity in relations so often…. All these are the outcome of the injustice that starts in the relations at some point of time.
Recognizing relationships with others based only on the body
We are able to see ourselves as co-existence of the self (‘I’) and the body. As a result, we see ourselves as a body and we also see the other as a body and we subsequently reduce our relationships and the feelings in the relationship to the level of our body. We tend to assume that we have a relationship with our blood-related family members only. However, this wrong evaluation does not mean that the relationship with others is no more there.
When we see the relationship, we accept it. When we are not able to see it, we have a sense of opposition or lack of belongingness. The feelings in a relationship are the same with every human being, only that we are not aware of them. This is something we are going to explore in detail as we proceed further.
Relationships largely based on the exchange of physical goods
As a result of the mistaken assumptions of us being only the body and the relations with others being only at the level of the body, we have reduced our expectations in relationships to the mere fulfillment of physical facilities. We evaluate all our relationships in terms of material things like money, property, etc. In short, the purpose of the relationship has been reduced to physical and material needs and its exchange.
Bringing up children in a harmonious family
The most important function of a family can be said to be: ‘To develop into emotionally stable individuals, children need unconditional love, opportunities to develop self-confidence and appropriate guidance and discipline.’ Unlike basic physical needs of food, sleep, and shelter, a child’s mental and emotional needs may not be obvious. This makes it all the more essential for parents to acknowledge that a child’s mental health is as important as his physical health.