New Study Shows People Around The World Place The Most Value on Friends and Family | Best countries

The COVID-19 pandemic has put people’s values ​​under a microscope, highlighting who and what our systems and communities value the most. Around the world, as social safety nets were stretched, governments struggled to serve their citizens and existing inequalities deepened, communities also came together in every way they could – whether through parties. birthdays and graduation ceremonies or mass crowdfunding efforts – and community care has come to the forefront of our collective values, even in the midst of chaos.

A new study from the Pew Research Center, a non-partisan American think tank, reflects this mutual commitment. The study, which surveyed nearly 19,000 adults in 17 countries where they find meaning in their lives and what makes them move forward, found that family remains the primary source of motivation for most people around the world.

Australia has the highest percentage of respondents who cite family as their main motivation, with 55% of Australian respondents mentioning their family or children when describing what gives their life meaning.

“I think family is very important in my life,” said a 52-year-old Australian in response to what gives her life meaning. “You practice what you preach. And contribute to society and instill strong values ​​and a sense of respect in my children to treat others as they want to be treated.

Another Australian said: “My life is good, the family is good, I have a cat, everything is fine.”

In New Zealand and Greece, more than half of those polled also cited family as their main motivator, with the US and UK following closely behind.

However, although family ranks first in most of the countries studied, disparities still exist in the data – showing how cultural differences impact what people value.

In Taiwan, the family is the third most important facet of a meaningful life behind society and material well-being. Taiwan is the only country to have a plurality of respondents who state that society is their main reason for motivation in life, with responses citing everything from their specific neighborhood to the island as a whole and reflecting the ideals of support and collective care.

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“Taiwanese are kind, they are ready to donate in the event of serious incidents,” said one interviewee, a 57-year-old woman, when reflecting on Taiwanese society. “Taiwanese are adorable.

Work and material well-being were consistently among the top five sources of meaning in the lives of respondents in the majority of the countries surveyed. Friends have also consistently scored high, especially in the UK and US, where friendships have become the second reason for having a meaningful life, after family.

Despite the disparities, the clear trend across the data is that Resounding Care for Others is keeping people around the world throughout the pandemic, despite the fact that last summer another Pew to study found that the pandemic has increased social division.

“Community and purpose. Being able to contribute to community building helps to form an identity that is not limited by family or ancestral identity and promotes diversity, ”said a 28-year-old American respondent. “Events like a global pandemic should foster unity, because such a virus is largely non-discriminatory. In particular, I think that with the shift in narrative associated with the shift in leadership, we’ll see less conflicting ideals and begin to take community and unity seriously as priorities.

James C. Tibbs