If “wisdom is the realization of that which is of greatest value to oneself and others” (Nicholas Maxwell), then the pursuit of value is our supreme human endeavor. What then constitutes value?
Value is our definitive human quest. More aptly than Homo sapiens, we are Homo valorens—“man the valuemaker,” or “man the evaluator”—and our quest is to find out and determine what is of truest and greatest worth and to achieve it.
Although the Buddha taught compassion and Jesus taught love as the supreme human values, idols of lesser rank have typically pervaded human history: wealth, status, power, dominance, and vainglory—all being perversions of true human value.
Wisest are they who know that we are worthiest when we express life-fostering loving-kindness toward all creatures great and small, regarding ourselves as no more important than others: humble, generous, respectful, and reverent.