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Our values form the main force that shows us the (right) direction in our decision-making process. Each day, we place our decisions on scales to weigh what is wrong and what is right based on what we have learned in our families and culture. But we are not so different, after all! We all are always pushed by our values towards those who have the same attitude as us. We are making friends, finding lovers, creating families, and even fighting wars based on our values. So, for the Values Month, I decided to serve you a Spotify playlist of 10 songs representing 10 fundamental human values uniting us. Tune in!

The more I read about this topic, the more articles I noticed about shared human values common for all human beings. I even came across this theory of cross-cultural researcher Shalom H. Schwartz called The Theory of Basic Human Values. It talks about values that are recognized and shared between all the cultures and are common for everyone. Mr. Schwartz picks out 10 fundamental values suitable for everybody: self-direction, stimulation, hedonism, achievement, power, security, conformity, tradition, benevolence, and universalism. And I have turned these values into songs!

The Beatles – I am the Walrus

Self-direction. In other words, creativity and freedom. I am the Walrus by The Beatles is a perfect example of how creative music and people can be. Combined from 3 different songs and full of nonsense lyrics, this song is one of the first rock songs in which the orchestra was used. It does make your head spin. 

David Bowie – Heroes 

Stimulation as an exciting and challenging life. This song makes us believe in ourselves and feel heroic. As David Bowie says, we can be heroes, just for one day.

Kiss – Rock and Roll All Nite

Hedonism. The pleasure of living. This song was the first one that started to play in my head after reading the words pleasure of living. Here you go, a real ode to the rock’n’roll kind of lifestyle.

Daft Punk – Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

Achievement. When you work harder, you make it better.

Kanye West – Power

Power. Could not think of any other 21st-century musician having this kind of authority and self-confidence as Kanye West. In Power, Kanye claims that he is the most influential person of the era. I think this is quite a powerful statement! (Fun fact: it is said that Kayne West spent 5000 hours on this song!).

The Five Stairsteps – Ooh Child

Security. As everybody wants to be secure, this is the song that always tells you that things are gonna get easier, and everything will be alright. 

John Lennon – Imagine 

Conformity. The tendency to align one’s attitude and beliefs to fit in. It can be used for bad but also can be utopic good. Just Imagine

James Brown – I’m Black and I’m Proud

Tradition and respect for your heritage. This is something we cannot take away from James Brown, who sings Say it loud! I’m black and I’m proud!

REM – Everybody Hurts

Benevolence or simple kindness. REM created this song for their fans to know that they are never left alone. This music just catches you and holds you tight. I call it a reasonably good act of kindness. 

Macklemore ft. Ryan Lewis – Same Love

Universalism. What is more universal than love? Whatever God you believe in, we come from the same one. Strip away the fear underneath, it’s all the same love.

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