5th Anniversary of OurValues: After 1,300 columns, what's next?
The fifth anniversary of OurValues.org concludes with my enthusiastic note to all of you: Thank you for being part of this experiment in showing the nation that civil dialogue is possible, even when we confront controversial issues. Readership has grown every year, and we now have many, many thousands of regular and new readers in the U.S. and from around the globe.
Five years and 1,300 columns later, what’s next?
The core idea behind OurValues—common ground—will remain the same. Common ground means that Americans share 10 Core Values: symbolic patriotism, respect for others, freedom, security, self-reliance, equal opportunity, getting ahead, pursuit of happiness, universalism and critical patriotism. The evidence for these core values comes from four national surveys that I conducted.
What these values mean and how we should apply them is a perennial challenge, as we’ve seen the diversity of subjects covered on OurValues.org. This diversity can be seen in the most popular columns we reproduce this week: How Lincoln’s depression or “melancholy” fueled his greatness, Germany and its role of a post-nuclear world, America’s sometimes mediocre educational system, and the phenomena of paying it forward. Looking ahead, we’ll continue to cover contemporary events and breaking news—but always with an eye toward America’s common ground.
And there’s a new book that will be published later this year: The Values that Unite US. Each chapter focuses on one of the 10 core values. In each chapter you will find topics to contemplate and discuss, along with questions that will stimulate reflection and respectful discussion about a value, what it means, and the challenges of applying it.
As always, I invite you to read and share the columns, comment on the posts, and participate in our online experiment.
What topics would you like to see covered on OurValues?
What do you foresee as the pressing problems about values and ethics in America?