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Duty and responsibility | Human Givens Charter

The Human Givens Charter — A vision for good government

Duty and responsibility

Since we elect people to take roles in government every citizen has a duty to consider how well we are governed and how our taxes are spent. This means we all have a responsibility to ask the following questions of politicians and managers, and demand clear answers. Each question cuts to the core of the matter by taking account of the human givens.

  • Is my government successfully ensuring that our basic physical needs can be reliably met — i.e. those for food, unpolluted water, pure air, space to exercise, freedom to move about the country unhindered, quiet time to sleep?
  • Is it contributing to a social climate that takes account of the full range of each person’s emotional and physical needs?
  • Is it effectively maintaining an environment where people feel secure and are free to go safely about their lives?
  • Is it both encouraging and protecting environments and activities that enable children and adults to feel emotionally connected to others, to experience and enjoy friendship and intimacy (in the family and beyond), and demonstrate that each individual feels valued by the wider community?
  • Is it providing the conditions (but not prescribing the method) for the cultivation of a culture where children and adults can easily be stretched in healthy ways both mentally and physically (as in education, work, play) so that they find meaning and purpose in life?
  • Is it encouraging working practices which take into account the needs of all involved? (Does it, for example, consider the innate needs of teachers and nurses as being as equally important as the needs of children and patients?)
  • Is it providing the facilities and services that cater, as best as is reasonably possible, for the sick and vulnerable?
  • Is it building trust in public services and raising the morale of those who work in them?
  • In any particular situation is it behaving wisely or foolishly with regard to innate needs?
  • Is it maintaining good contacts and building co-operative relationships with other countries around the world in ways that consider the innate needs of the people of those countries too?

Read The Human Givens Charter and accompanying article

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