10 julio, 2024

Human coexistence: characteristics and examples

The human coexistence It is a process that implies showing respect for others, consideration of differences, commitment, tolerance and mutual recognition. For decades it has been seen as the basis for building and rebuilding the social fabric. Human coexistence represents the possibility of human groups coexisting in peace.

The Royal Spanish Academy defines human coexistence as that which implies living in company. From etymology, it is pointed out that the term already allows us to deduce that it is a necessary condition for the human being, since it derives from the word coexistwhose meaning is “cohabit”.

People are social beings by nature; therefore, there will always be a tendency to expose themselves to daily socialization in order to live together, agreeing criteria at each moment to reach agreements.

These agreements will be some more basic than others: some will be more necessary than others to advance and even overcome conflicts that arise daily and are conceived naturally.

There are authors who approach the subject from a less pragmatic or reductionist approach and more anthropological and even philosophical, and consider that the crisis of humanity framed in the presence of armed conflicts, discrimination and daily confrontations between groups with different ideals, is for not knowing how to live.



As the author Humberto Maturana points out, humanity imperatively needs to learn how to achieve adequate coexistence.

For this, it is understood that in the first place it is essential to know oneself, to know the nature of its most basic processes. In this sense, knowing what characterizes human coexistence can serve as a first approximation in this learning.

not optional

It starts from the fact that no person can live in isolation. The verification that the human being is a social being has been described since the first primitive societies and becomes palpable when observing the spontaneity in grouping and the use of communication as the main bridge of various personal and social processes.

It is important to highlight that conflict has never been absent and is positive as long as reflection, understanding and, therefore, agreements are present.

Strengthens self-worth

From social relationships, recognition of the other can be generated and strengthen the process of self-knowledge; this process is not generated in only one direction.

Various studies on human relations indicate that living together can be the starting point for learning trust, warmth, spontaneity, emotions in general, and faith, among other elements.

When living together, one’s own values ​​and customs are contrasted, options are chosen and it is decided how to act in each situation.

This forces to acquire and strengthen external references, and simultaneously strengthen individual references that ultimately shape the individual personality. Self-assessment arises by testing who each one is in relation to the other.

Promotes dialogue

Dialogue is a process in which positions are established and it is possible to both contrast and defend ideas, as well as expose and make clear needs and requests based on them, consider points of view and reach agreements.

It is clear that in coexistence it is necessary to be willing to learn to promote the strength of social cohesion from the understanding of each other; therefore, it is necessary to develop strategies for this and dialogue is one of these.

Serves as a foundation for citizenship

The multiple competencies of the citizenry —among which stand out respect, self-regulation and compliance with norms favored by the institutional framework, among others— are developed and strengthened only in coexistence.

This is so because coexistence requires self-reflection and invocation of personal responsibility so as not to limit oneself only to blaming others.

This scenario sets a limit and reveals what is pursued with each attitude: understanding that responsibility is first individual and then social, and that the defense of the duties and rights of citizens must be pursued based on the democratic participation of each one.

implies values

Coexistence as a phenomenon has individual and social dimensions. It is individual when in the development of the person the coexistence of different values, tendencies, tastes, preferences, characteristics and feelings is put to the test, until forming beliefs and more personal ideas that arise from a personal and moral combination.

The social dimension appears because the coexistence process is only possible in socialization and it has become clear that this process cannot be surgically separated from education and pedagogy because it is at school where socialization —and, therefore, coexistence—has a privileged place.


Educational programs

An example of coexistence corresponds to the educational programs specifically focused on this area, which are increasingly common and are present in various countries.

These programs are based on the concept of democratic coexistence or coexistence and seek to offer students concrete strategies that facilitate coexistence both in the classroom and outside of it.

On the other hand, there are already interesting examples in the work that has been carried out around social networks to create guidelines, norms and/or various mechanisms that favor coexistence and reduce the level of violence and conflicts with their consequences.

Programs focused on immigrants

Currently there is a large migratory wave generated by various events. An example of human coexistence is reflected in the actions carried out by public and private institutions that favor the integration of immigrants in their new social settings.

By generating an atmosphere of understanding and openness, it is possible to allow those who arrive in a new country to feel that they can belong to the society that exists there, and for the natives of the receiving country to understand the scope of the positive feedback that can arise as a consequence of the coexistence.

What is needed?

As Professors Ortega and Del Rey point out, in order to achieve coexistence it is imperative that those who share land, chores and activities within a social system are obliged to submit to certain rules.

These rules are the only guarantors of the prevention of conflicts that may be detrimental to the members, as well as the emotional consequences of such confrontations.

Today the promotion of coexistence is seen as a basis for the prevention of more complex processes of discrimination of all kinds: racial, economic, gender, among others.

In several countries, human coexistence is associated with democratic patterns. An example of this is education for democracy, understood as an organizing concept that also integrates ethical motivations and values.


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Padilla, PC. «Democratic Coexistence in Schools: notes for a reconceptualization» (2013) in Ibero-American Journal of Educational Evaluation. Retrieved on July 3, 2019 from the Dialnet Foundation: unirioja.es
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