The Human Givens Charter — A vision for good government

The Charter

In the light of this knowledge about innate human needs and resources we all have a duty to help our health, educational, economic and social organisations implement concrete plans for:

  • Maintaining an environment where people can feel secure and go safely about their lives
  • Ensuring basic physical needs — for food, unpolluted water, pure air, space to exercise etc. — are reliably available
  • Creating a social climate that takes account of each person’s need for autonomy and volition, where they can take individual responsibility for as many aspects of their lives as possible.
  • Encouraging and protecting environments and activities to enable children and adults to feel emotionally connected to others, experience and enjoy friendship and intimacy, in the family and beyond, and feel valued by the wider community.
  • Providing the conditions (but not prescribing the method) for the cultivation of a culture where all children and adults can find meaning and purpose in life by being stretched mentally and physically in healthy ways.

This Charter derives from the universal law of all living organisms: That, to survive, each living thing must continually maintain and rebuild itself by taking in appropriate nourishment from the environment. The existence and survival of all life forms depend on this. The specific needs of each species’ are genetically programmed in to drive every member of it to fulfil its potential. When these innate needs are met well in the environment it flourishes.

None of us can escape this universal law while we are alive. It is the key to emotional health and clear thinking and, as such, we must take account of its truth in everything we do, including how we die. Every policy and plan should derive from being underpinned by this principle. It ensures fair and wholesome management of human affairs. The prime purpose of government therefore is to ensure that the innate physical and emotional needs of the people it serves are met well.

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