In the previous blog post we talked about how people who act with integrity and display exemplary moral behavior can inspire us.

Unfortunately, morality isn’t something that schools generally teach, at least not systematically, and many of us don’t have a clear understanding of all the underlying values that, to a large extent, define our identities and behavior. So I decided to do some research.

I stumbled upon the work of Jonathan Haidt and Craig Joseph, who created a theory called moral foundations theory in which they, as the name suggests, identified various foundations that underpin our moral reasoning.

There are six values:

  1. Care vs harm
  2. Fairness vs cheating
  3. Liberty vs oppression
  4. Loyalty vs betrayal
  5. Authority vs subversion
  6. Sanctity vs degradation

Here’s a great exercise you can do, either by yourself, or with someone you’re really close with:

Rank these values based on how important they are to you.

It will give you a deeper understanding of who you are and what really matters to you.