Seven Pillars of Society

It’s hard to believe about about 17 years ago I was studying a degree in Marriage, Family and Human Development.  At the time I had a friend who had studied Social Work.  And while these are two very closely related fields, there are some distinct differences.  One day we were discussing some of those difference and she told me about what I believe was call the seven pillars of any society.

She claimed that in any society (no matter how large or small) these seven pillars were present.  They may vary depending on the needs and cultural values of that society, but there were still there.

When I learn something like this my mind naturally takes a cynical approach.  And while I didn’t accept it at face value at first, I did find it intriguing launch point for viewing the world, society, and especially politics.  But I am getting ahead of myself.

Because of my bad memory I had to search this on the Internet.  And here are the seven pillars that I found.  They are not in any particular order (accept maybe the order I will discuss them later on).

  1. Family
  2. Government
  3. Religion
  4. Economy
  5. Education
  6. Arts and Recreation
  7. Communications and Media

I could describe these more in detail, but I plan on posting a separate article about each of these over the next month. For now think about the interaction between these 7 pillars. How do each of these pillars affect the other? How do decisions of the family pillar affect the arts?  How do the actions of business (the economy) influence religion? How does the predominant faith (religion) of a community change education? and more.

Also, I invite you to contemplate these seven pillars even deeper.  Perhaps rather than thinking about them as pillars you could think about them as subcultures or divisions.  Perhaps you can imagine a society without the existence of one or more of these pillars.  Are there any aspects of a society you know of that might be an eighth pillar?

I know you don’t have a full understanding of these pillars yet and I will be discussing these later. However, as I have a education in family studies, I look at things from a systems approach, and I am trying to get you to think like I do.  As I develop these ideas further, I would like you to come back and contemplate some if these questions a again.

Why am I giving you homework? First, I really don’t expect you to do anything with this, unless you really want to gain a similar experience to my 17 year contemplation on this subject. I just want you to join me in this 9 article journey.

Second, I have concluded something I find inspiring as I have contemplated these pillars.  Something that I wish not to share until the last article in this series.  However, to give you a hint, here is a question that I hope to answer in the last article: “Which of these seven pillars should lead the other six pillars?”

So, What do you think?