A Trinity of Values For a Better Society

(Part 1 of 5)


The harmonious functioning of any society depends on the interaction between responsibility, freedom, and security. These three elements are the building blocks for a peaceful and balanced community. They must function together; having one without the other is impossible. An important lesson from the July 2021 riots in South Africa is that freedom alone is not enough without security. Similarly, responsibility cannot be considered without the presence of freedom. Looking back at the Apartheid era in South Africa, it becomes clear that this trinity of values must be equally regarded and upheld. Maintaining a balance between responsibility, freedom, and security is necessary, and there can be no compromise.

Responsibility: The Foundation of Social Order

Everyone has a responsibility to uphold the laws and regulations that govern society while also enjoying the freedom to pursue their goals and ambitions within the framework of those laws. At the same time, society must provide adequate security measures to protect its citizens and ensure their safety. We can create a truly harmonious and just society by striking a balance between these three pillars. Let’s explore why and how to find this balance!

Being ethical means being responsible, which helps build trust and promote cooperation. It entails making responsible choices and considering the impact of our actions on others. For instance, loving care of our pets involves ensuring their safety and cleaning up after them.

“The world is a perilous place to live, not because of the people who are wicked, but because of those who do nothing about it.”- Albert Einstein.

Similarly, we must prioritise sustainable practices in our daily routine to care for our planet. For instance, by conserving water and energy, recycling, and reducing waste, we can positively impact the earth’s well-being and help secure a better future for generations to come. Other ways to positively impact the earth’s well-being include using environmentally-friendly transportation options such as biking or public transit, supporting local and organic food sources, and reducing single-use plastics. Also, volunteering for environmental organisations and educating others on the importance of sustainability can make a significant difference.

“The care of the Earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all, our most pleasing responsibility.”- Wendell Berry.

Freedom: Empowering Individual Autonomy

Freedom enables individuals to express themselves, achieve their goals, and contribute to society according to their values. It celebrates diversity and encourages innovation by allowing different ideas and perspectives to prosper. For example, having the freedom to choose our hobbies and interests allows us to explore and develop our personal preferences. Learn more

“To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”- Nelson Mandela.

Freedom of speech is a fundamental right that allows individuals to voice their opinions, challenge injustices, and bring about positive change. Individuals can express ideas and advocate for their beliefs through social media, public forums, or peaceful protests.

“If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.” John Stuart Mill

Security: A Must for Well-being

Security is essential for the safety and well-being of individuals and communities, enabling them to thrive without constant fear or anxiety. It includes protection from physical, emotional, and societal threats. For example, installing security systems in our homes helps safeguard our property and gives us peace of mind.

“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”- Benjamin Franklin.

Community-driven security initiatives, such as neighbourhood watch programs, are ideal. When neighbours unite to take responsibility for their neighbourhood’s security, they can report suspicious activities and keep a watchful eye on one another. This collaborative effort instils security and unity, resulting in stronger communities. Learn more.

“Safety and security don’t just happen; they are the result of collective consensus and public investment.”- Cynthia Weil.

The Interdependence of Responsibility, Freedom, and Security

In a balanced society, responsibility, freedom, and security are corresponding values that depend on each other. The relationship between responsibility and freedom is particularly vital. When individuals exercise their freedom responsibly, taking into account the rights and well-being of others, it promotes social harmony and cooperation. For instance, responsible driving ensures the driver’s and others’ safety on the road.

“Freedom is the capacity to exercise choice, and choice is the capacity to experience growth.”- C.S. Lewis.

Responsibility and security go hand in hand. Being responsible helps create a safe and secure environment by adhering to laws, societal norms, and personal obligations. Locking our doors is a responsible action ensuring our security and protecting our community’s safety.

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”-William James.

Preserving both freedom and security cannot be understated. By upholding individual freedoms, we can uphold a high level of safety within our society. This is because a community that values personal liberties enhances trust, collaboration, and a sense of unity, leading to a more secure and stable environment. For instance, consider a workplace where employees can freely voice their opinions and ideas without fear of retribution. Such an environment promotes trust, leading to better collaboration and a more secure and stable workspace.

“I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.” -Thomas Jefferson.


As we look towards the future, it is crucial that we hold ourselves accountable for our actions, exercise our freedom with care, and make safety our top priority. Through cooperation and collective effort, we can create a society where individuals thrive, communities flourish, and peace prevails. Our ultimate objective is to build a better tomorrow for ourselves and future generations. Let us unite to pursue this noble goal and strive to make the world better for all.

“Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.”- Mahatma Gandhi.

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