The objective of Five Foundations of Human Development (FFHD) is to introduce an approach to the discourse of human development, which considers parallel growth in spiritual, moral, social, intellectual, and physical development. It proffers compelling philosophical, analytical, and empirical arguments for a better world, which is inherent in the worship of God, service to humanity, loyalty to family, obedience to the governing authorities, and management of God’s creation. We hope that readers will grasp our unique approach to FFHD and understand the intrinsic capacity we have to begin to solve the fundamental problems of humankind.
This treatise will empower you to write, speak, and act in the best interest of humanity, and it will help to create a better world for the next generations. The authors (Gibbs and Grey, 2011) tender the indisputable observation that our materially driven life is a threat to the spiritual purpose of our existence. We believe that God’s creation of human beings was the first step in His plan to reveal to us the glories of eternal existence. Likewise, He did not leave us to our own devices to figure out our life’s purpose and destiny. We acknowledge the existence of many varied world religions, including Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Judaism, Baha’i, Jainism, and Shinto (to name a few) as ways of life and practice to their adherents.
We note the influence and ancient knowledge that all religions bring to the table of civilization. We are especially mindful of Judaism, one of the oldest religious traditions. The tenets and history of Judaism are the major part of the foundation of other Abrahamic religions, including Christianity and Islam. The West has historically accepted Jesus Christ and Christianity as its principal religion, the Holy Bible as the moral guide for humanity, and God as Creator of the universe in opposition to the theory of evolution.
Judaism has been a significant influence in shaping the West and the world. It is the religion of the Jewish people and one of the earliest monotheistic faiths in recorded history. Judaism and Islam are also religions practiced in the West, although adherents of these religions may not have the same view or understanding of the Christ of Christianity who gave to His disciples the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18–20). The Western world has historically responded to the Great Commission by making disciples of those who observe and follow His teachings.
Although world religions promote unity and love as a central theme of their beliefs, the world has been, since early history, engulfed in genocide and war, underpinned by religion, race, color, culture, and in general acts of inhumanity to each other, among other social ills in the crucible of the twenty-first century. These actions threaten to unravel the religious, social, and economic fabric of nations.
More importantly, they threaten the existence and survival of humanity. They frustrate individuals, governments, and the international community and result in considerable financial burdens on the world economy. Furthermore, they constitute a drain on human and material resources, the world’s productive capacity, and they violate the rights of human beings to live in peace and harmony. The accumulation of great material wealth has failed to satisfy an inner emptiness, internal struggle, and spiritual hunger for a life of peaceful coexistence among individuals and nations.
The fall of the great empires of the ancient world is a testament to this correlation and is an illustration of the futility of a society that abandons God’s plan for human survival. Emphasis on wealth accumulation and human authority, as opposed to the authority of God and service to humanity, contributes to the decline of nations. Modern civilization has taken a materialistic path, relying on wealth, power, and human authority as the first imperatives of human existence. FFHD is a work not just for academics, intellectuals, theologians, ministers, students of religion, professors, or for some select few.
It is a book for everyone; it has a message that everyone can read, and that everyone can benefit from its message. It is a book for anyone who is interested in a “revolution of hope,” a revolution of optimism,” and “a revolution of knowledge.” Knowledge can help us to change the course of human history, and take us on to a path to joy, peace (harmony), and a life of fulfillment. We acknowledge that this book cannot match the original simplicity, or the divinely inspired message of the Holy Scriptures, which is the foundation of our inquiry. Nevertheless, we trust that this text will engage, enlighten, and encourage you to further search for the universal truths of human existence. We present Five Foundations of Human Development (FFHD) (spiritual, moral, social, intellectual, and physical) as the five foundations to which we subscribe as the path to a life of fulfillment.
FOUNDATION 1 —SPIRITUAL FOUNDATION
The objective of the SPIRITUAL FOUNDATION is to demonstrate that it is the highest order of FFHD. It illustrates that one can attain this foundation by the realization of God’s supremacy as the ultimate goal of human life. It portrays elements of the “Fruit of the Spirit” as the essential attributes of our Spirituality such as love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things, there is no law.
These spiritual attributes speak to the foundation of God’s love (agap`e) for His creation, which is absolute and unconditional. His love manifested within us breaks down barriers of intolerance between human beings regardless of color, race, class, culture, nationality, or religion. God’s love is inherently spiritual. When God’s love (agap`e) radiates in our hearts, the universality of humanity becomes a reality, and we begin to experience the same love for others as we do for ourselves.
FOUNDATION 2 —MORAL FOUNDATION
The objective of the MORAL FOUNDATION is to demonstrate that moral discipline, moral courage, moral appeal, and moral persuasion, helps individuals, families, and nations to prosper. It further demonstrates that voluntary control of excessive wealth and power helps individuals, families, and nations to grow and prosper equitably and economically as well. Moral authority is an indispensable attribute of leadership and authority in the world, and such authority can only come from higher moral authority. Regardless of the origin of leadership and its inherent authority, leadership should never be the imposition of one’s will on others. It should lead us to seek to do that which is good and proper in the sight of God and to the benefit of the human family.
FOUNDATION 3 —SOCIAL FOUNDATION
The objective of the SOCIAL FOUNDATION is to demonstrate that we can achieve a higher order of social relationships in our various social interactions. In this foundation, we examine fifteen distinct relationship types, five essential bonds of human relationships, five foundation principles upon which human survival rests, and nine spiritual bonds to build enduring relationships, with God, husband and wife, family, friends, and neighbors. This is possible when we first develop our vertical relationship with God. The peace of God within brings us to a higher understanding of our relationship with Him and with our neighbor.
Second, peace is possible when we build horizontal relationships with our neighbors who are not merely those who live in our neighborhoods; they represent the totality of the human race, whether they live in the Orient or the Occident. Our neighbors are African, American, Asian, Dutch, English, and German. Our neighbor is the Doctor, the Engineer, the Lawyer, and the Landscaper. They are Catholics, Hindus, Protestants, Jews, and Muslims. Our work examined why relationships fail and discuss strategies to enhance the same. When our relationship conforms to God’s love for each other our independent relationship, we will achieve our true humanity.
FOUNDATION 4 —INTELLECTUAL FOUNDATION
The objective of the INTELLECTUAL FOUNDATION provides the basis for making critical life-saving and life–enhancing decisions, based upon the knowledge, wisdom, and understanding that come from God. We often construe education and intelligence as a similar human attribute. Our “root source” of intelligence begins at birth, given to us by our creator the highest of His creations with unique creative capacity, enabled by three levels or concepts of intelligence, namely, Spiritual Intelligence (SI), Human Intelligence (IQ), and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
SI transcends and empowers all other forms of intelligence, such as these: moral, social, scientific, and leadership. SI gives us spiritual insights into God’s knowledge, wisdom, and understanding, which are prerequisites to moral leadership and authority in the world. Spiritual intelligence enables human beings to understand things that the natural mind cannot comprehend. Conversely, education is a human construct, and the education curriculum is the sole prerogative of human beings.
FOUNDATION 5 —PHYSICAL FOUNDATION
The objective of the PHYSICAL FOUNDATION, while being the least profound, is nevertheless an essential foundation that sustains the physical realm of our lives. The authors strive to demonstrate the critical importance of the health of our physical bodies in relation to the physical environment. The authors’ non–scientific definition of health is a general good feeling of spiritual, mental, and physical wellbeing.
Although, we have general control of our health, nutrition and nurturing impact every aspect of human health. Maintenance of health requires nutrition, which is the appropriate quantity and quality of foods and fuel (air, water, exercise, and sunlight) necessary to sustain our physical bodies. Nurturing is the spiritual and mental stimulation that helps us to maintain our emotional balance. Likewise, physical activities contribute to our physical health.
We have discussed very briefly the five foundations necessary to engender the peace and prosperity that is the hope of every nation. The authors (Gibbs and Grey, 2011) also tender that these five foundations should underpin every human endeavor, in particular, our educational endeavors. FFHD constitutes a “Wholesome Education” (WE) such as spiritual, moral, social, intellectual, and physical. To neglect such, an all-encompassing approach to education relegates the noble goals of education to purely Academic Information Literacy (AIL), a path that has provided humanity a materially driven life but has failed humankind in achieving the wholesome and purposeful life that we crave.
In 2002, Errol Gibbs relinquished his technical career to research, study, and write about the betterment of humanity, enabled by spiritual, moral, social, intellectual, and physical growth and development. Errol hopes that this article will shed light on another path that will better inform the mutual survival of humankind as a viable species.