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Inicio Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatría (English Edition) A country without values or principles
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Vol. 48. Issue 1.
Pages 1 (January - March 2019)
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Vol. 48. Issue 1.
Pages 1 (January - March 2019)
DOI: 10.1016/j.rcpeng.2018.12.004
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A country without values or principles
Un pais sin valores ni principios
Carlos Alberto Palacio Acosta
Director of Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatría
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This has been a worrying year for Colombia in the social context, due to multiple situations occurring nationally, such as corruption at every individual and collective level; the inequities present in fundamental rights such as education, health and justice; conflicts between government institutions leading to a dynamic where there is a lack of articulation and thus no ability to appeal or work for collective well-being. The impression that many of us have is that we have entered into a “collective feeling” whereby we are lacking the basics needed to live and build “healthy communities” that support a society with vast socio-economic problems.

Analysing the root of the problem brings us face-to-face with individuals who lack the most basic values: loyalty, solidarity, honesty and empathy, to name but a few. The social distortion that led us to live for decades in a “mafia culture” that upheld and introduced concepts such as “the end justifies the means”, “money represents success as both a goal and symbol of power”, “power is achieved by walking over people” and “survival of the fittest”.

These elements prompt us to ask how we can return to the road towards a fair and supportive society, where people prioritise public interests over individual ones, are able to share responsibilities and build as part of a team, are honest with themselves and others and empathetic and understanding of the “suffering of others”. This “road” should be defined through the capacity to educate subjects on values that allow them to be resilient and participative in society.

Values education is one of the major challenges faced by Colombian society. From early childhood to adulthood, organisations and social institutions—from the family to the school—should reflect in this sense, worrying more about “being” than “knowing”; skills to live adaptively should take precedence over the acquisition of knowledge.

Psychiatry, and particularly social psychiatry, must have significant inputs in the problem and, as a discipline contribute with responsibility towards proposing a way out of this crisis. Violence and the consequences thereof are one of the issues facing us today and we have a duty to create opportunities for bringing together coherent and transformative training processes in the community at an individual level and overall.

Please cite this article as: Palacio Acosta CA. Un pais sin valores ni principios. Rev Colomb Psiquiat. 2019;48:1.

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