Attributes Held in Common Across Most Cultures

Attributes Held in Common Across Most Cultures results from a study of over 200 past and present cultures, looking at attributes that are valued by all. We can see in the definition of these traits found below why they might be admired and valued by various cultures and societies.  In each attribute, we see elements that contribute to meeting the needs of a society.  It is interesting that these attributes are valued in most warrior codes of ethics and conduct.  There may be other elements, but these are found in common across more than 98 percent of all the published and unpublished codes found.  Religious precepts and tenets, codes of conduct from a variety of military and martial arts organizations, and legal codes were studied. We can speculate how these traits become in common globally and transcendent to history.  The Master Pastor teaches us to believe it is derived of the principle that God made man in His image and according to His likeness. Although we all have sinned and distorted the image of God within us, we still have knowledge of His character within us.In the order of the strength by which they are valued they are:

Honor - Honor refers to worthiness to be admired by others. It is behavior that is always upright and blameless and worthy to be emulated by others. Honor respects life and acts to protects innocent life.  Honor respects other persons and acts to protect the defenseless from harm and exploitation.  Honor seeks to help those who are inneed.  Honor respects and gives grace to others in love.  In this, an honorable person respects cultural norms and manners, yet not in a manner that would violate another person, even one of culturally low estate.  Those who are honorable also seek justice for others and for society as a whole.

Honesty - Honesty refers to communications (in word and deed) with others with truthfulness and which does not lie or deceive.  Honesty requires absolute fairness in all transactions – a fair scale and a just heart.  Honesty commands the respect of others, even those who are not similarly inclined, and also actively seeks truth and exposes lies so that deception cannot succeed against the honest person.  Honesty calls to account hypocrisy.  Honesty teaches the truth in everything, yet with loving care for the well-being of others in being truthful.  Honesty speaks the truth even when it is unpopular because the truth is more valuable than the approval of others.

Humility - Humility refers to not holding oneself above anyone else. Humility gives recognition to others to whom it is due.  Humility does not demand honor or glory fromothers, but accepts honor gracefully. Humility gives honor to the lowly when it is due.  The humble person respects all who are in authority, and exercises authority over others with respect. Humility brings a person to do whatever tasks, no matter how lowly, need to be done – humility does not elevate one task above another (tasks are prioritized in common, not unilaterally).  Humility assumes the tasks to be accomplished that supply the needs of others without question or request for compensation.  Humility acts righteously without regard for the derision of others.

Heroism - Heroism is the manifestation of courage and purpose above what is required by others.  Courage is the ability to do what is right and needful despite fears.  Heroism provides for people to act and to help others sacrificially (even risking death, if need be).  Heroism assumes purposes of love for others above love for self.  The heroic person has purposes above or outside of himself to accomplish that which a greater good than self-interests.  Heroism seeks to deliver and provide relief for those who are helpless and in need or to remove the sources of their distress.

Generosity - Generosity is giving without expectation of repayment and without a motivation of endearment or obligation.  (Giving generously may be anonymous.)  The generous person gives to satisfy true needs of the needy or of society without any expectation of the acknowledgment of others; therefore, the generous person may be quick to volunteer or to give materially when a need becomes known.  The most important giving is of oneself, with material giving being secondary.

Integrity - A person of integrity is always the same in character in every circumstance; they are totally without hypocrisy.  Thus, integrity means that a person always acts consistently in his character without regard of the circumstances.  However, integrity also embodies righteousness and moral or ethical behavior toward others.  Therefore, a person of integrity values other persons and will not violate their personhood physically, emotionally, or spiritually.  It is implicit in order to do this that a person of integrity will not do things that would cause them to lose control of themselves (i.e., drunkenness, abuse of drugs, subjection to temptations, etc.).  As a result, a person of integrity also exhibits great self-control at all times and is a person who is disciplined in all ways.

Gratitude - Gratitude and giving thanks to others is basic to virtually every society. It is expected to be taught to children by their parents.Interestingly, gratitude is an attribute that is not mentioned among all but avery few lists of cultural ideals. However,gratitude and giving thanks is very highly prized by our Lord God. Psalm 100 tells us “enter His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise;give thanks to Him and bless His name for the Lord is good…”

This resource is a core teaching resource of The Master Pastor.

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