Back to Basics by Barrington H. Brennen


Back to Basics
What Are They?
By Barrington H. Brennen, October 3, 2003, 2020

I have never heard a statement used more often in recent times than "Letís go back to basics."  It comes from concerned citizens who are fed up with the state of our families and society. It speaks of the colossal effect of the great number of people in society who do not have the fundamental skills needed for healthy nation building.

The basics of life are first and best transmitted from parents to children. No school, church, society can function as parents. The basic individual values needed to build healthy families and society are:

  1. Literacy
  2. Industriousness
  3. Faithfulness
  4. Selflessness
  5. Integrity and Honesty
  6. Reliability
  7. Loyalty
  8. Friendliness
  9. Community
  10. Sobriety
  11. Equality
  12. Justice
  13. Mercy
  14. Righteousness.

I have formulated Ten Basic Principles of family life that affect nation building. I am anxious to hear your views on our families and nation building.

The goal is to encourage you to rate your family and our your countryís ability to apply these basic values to build positive families and your nation (RATE BOTH).  In order to have your voice heard on how well we apply these basic values, place a number from 1 to ten (range) under FAMILY and under NATION on the Questionnaire. 1 = extremely poor to 10 = excellent.

How did you rate our families? How do your rate our ability to apply these basic values to our (your) Nation? If our families are weak in any or all of them, then make it your decision to change and learn the needed skills so that our nation can be healthy. If you rate the nation as unhealthy, then you must do something to change it. Note carefully that this is not intended to be a scientific study but a simple format to encourage thinking and change in our society.

Ten Basic Principles of Family Life that Affect Nation Building

By using numbers 1 through 10 type in the blanks the number that you feel best describes the skill level of your nationís families for each of the statements below. The GRAY COLUMN is where you rate the nation. The GREEN COLUMN is where you rate the family. Number 1 equaling extremely poor to number 10 equaling excellent ability to apply the basic principles of positive family life and nation building. RATE BOTH.  Press the SUBMIT button after completing the form.

Country Where You Live

Type your rate for each statement in these columns

  STATEMENTS Nation Family
1 Family members and neighbors treat each other with respect and honor. Gentleness and kindness are normal family behavior patterns. In other words, they live by the old adage: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

2. Both parents (married or single) value spending time with their children. They provide positive re-enforcement and encouragement through kind words and affection (hugs, kisses, laughter, fun time, etc).

3 Parents (most often the mother) remain at home during the early years of their childrenís lives, providing the needed guidance, nurture, support, and early education that only a parent can provide.

4 Both mother and father are happily married and sexually and emotionally faithful to their marriage vows

5 Children are taught the value of sexual purity and sexual abstinence before marriage, and are encouraged to remain sexually pure through the attitude and consistent lifestyle of their parents.

6 The entire family goes to church regularly and makes valuable contributions to the development of the community. The adults in the family do not destroy community and church leaders through idle gossip and cheap talk.

7 Parents set a good example in their own lifestyle and behavior by not smoking, drinking alcohol, or using illegal drugs.

8 Children see their parents reading the newspaper, informative literature, the Bible, good books or magazines, and are encouraged by their parents to do the same.

9 Parents build wise social, spiritual, and emotional boundaries, avoiding threats and intimidations. They teach their children how to govern their own lives and to think critically (able to reason from cause to effect) and to think and act independently. They help their children to have internal principles of life that can stand the test of time.

10 Parents have good work ethics at home and in the work place. They are open and honest, punctual, trustworthy, dependable, friendly, and non argumentative, thus making it easier for their children to be likewise.

Add your response to each statement under NATION and under FAMILY then type the totals in these boxes

Your Response

I would like to hear from you.  Type in the box below your comments or questions. 
You are not required to identify yourself.



Basic Individual Values
Needed for
Healthy Nation Building
By Barrington & Annick Brennen, 2003, 2020

Literacy -The ability to read and write with full comprehension, to interpret, transfer and apply knowledge to new situations.

Community - A spirit of togetherness. "No man is an island."

Equality - Fairness, the equal treatment of people regardless of color, race, gender, religion, ethnicity, and physical status.

Faithfulness - The quality of being steadfast. Can be depended upon in all relationships through bad and good times.

Friendliness - Warm, welcoming, and respectful to all with whom we come into contact.

Industriousness - Steady attention and effort to oneís occupation. Seizing opportunities for growth and change. Creativity.

Integrity and honesty - Moral or ethical strength. The quality of being honest, transparent, and consistent. No sneaking around.

Loyalty - Faithfulness or devotion to a person, a cause, obligations, or duties popular or unpopular.

Justice - The state of being just and unbiased. The principle of treating all persons equally. Dealing with problems in all spheres of life with equity.

Mercy - Kind, forgiving, or compassionate treatment of, or disposition towards others, even in unjust situations.

Reliability - Capable of being depended upon, no matter what.

Selflessness - Putting others above self.

Sobriety --Temperance. Abstinence from alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs. Moderation in the amount of food one consumes.

Righteousness - Being morally sound and taking courses of action because one is connected to The Higher Power.




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Permission is granted to place links from these articles on social media like Google+, FaceBook, etc..   Permission is also granted to print these pages and to make the necessary copies for your personal use, friends, seminar, or meeting handout. You must not sell for personal gain, only to cover the cost to make copies if necessary.    Written permission (email) is needed to publish or reprint articles and materials in any other form.    Articles are written by Barrington H. Brennen, Counseling Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist.

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