Personal Reflection on Values and Ethics
Values and ethics are something which we develop through the course of life; they can change over time and may be influenced by our family, friends, culture, religion and the media. Personal values develop through experience and development; they impact our personal lives as well as our professional lives. They essentially characterize who we are and what we accept. There are numerous components that decide our qualities and ethics.
As a child I was taught to be polite and to never use obscenities, that there are many words within the English language that I can use to express myself and this was enforce by family and teachers and I was aware of the consequences of disobeying rules set forth. A core principle that was instilled in me was to always ask for something, but most importantly the value of earning and deserving of getting rewards, that nothing in life that is not earned without hard work and sacrifice. In earning these rewards one can appreciate hard work and know the value of hard work. Another important value taught to me as child is to be willing to share with others and that there is joy and fulfillment in sharing and an appreciation for what you have and not to covet things your neighbors have. I had to learn to appreciate what I had and show that appreciation and that has carried over into my adult life wherein I appreciate gifts and people and I am very thankful for those in my life. I am very careful of the friends I keep as one of the things instilled in me is that the people you surround yourself is a reflection of the person you are. Personal ethics are different for each person but for the most part, people want to be known as a good person, someone who can be trusted, and he or she are concerned about his or her relationships and personal reputations. As I am writing this paper, I will focus on answering what are my ethics, where do my ethics come from, and how do I manifest my ethics?
What are ethics?
My ethics are the rules or standards governing the conduct by which I live my life and make all my decisions. My ethics govern my thought process so that when a problem arises or I need to try and work my way through a situation your solution is based on your ethics.
So exactly where these do comes from? Ethics are not born in a vacuum. Ethics are more like a jigsaw puzzle that is thrown together over time, that when complete makes up whom I am and what I believe. From my earliest days of life, I start to learn from those around me. These learned behaviors add to the traits that I are already born with and help to shape me into the person I will become. As part of this learning process, I develop what will become my norms.
Norms are our everyday way of looking at how the world around us works and helps us to understand our place in the world. Norms also govern how we react to different situations and problems that arise around us. These are our ethics; the things we learn as we grow that govern the rest of our lives. Ethics are important for a number of reasons.
First, ethics are important because they give me a baseline for understanding the concepts of right and wrong. Ethics help me to have a ready understanding of how to react to a certain situation long before that situation happens. There are situational ethics whereby I react as the situation dictates but my reaction is due to our built-in value system that tells me what to do, not the situation itself.
The major problem with having situational ethics is that they can be change depends on the situation. Having a standard of ethics that governs my everyday lives means I always know how I suppose to live no matter what. There is no second-guessing and no changing my ethics according to what I feel at the moment.
Second, ethics are important because they act as my mediator when dealing or coming into contact with other people. If I have the wrong sense of ethics we will react to people in a negative manner. But if my ethics are built on the truth, as found in the Buddhism, I will see people for who they are as children of God and we will learn to love them just as God loves them.
Third, ethics are important because what I pass them onto others. I have the ability to show others the correct way to act and behave by remaining ethical in the way I live, regardless of whether it involves my personal or business life.
In every area of society, ethics play a major role in decision making. An ethical decision brings up the issue of how this result will affect others. These choices can be broken down in several distinct areas. The choice made will affect others in some way. Because of this, I need to think about what is the consequence. The second part deals directly with the decision I make and if it could end up hurting others. Life decisions have both good and bad outcomes. As a result, decisions need to be made with all the facts and determine what the best conclusion would be under the circumstances. The third process takes into consideration the adage, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, which applies for the purpose of ethics in society today. I need to think about the options and base judgment on the outcome. The last part of making an ethical decision relates to how others are going to respond to the resolution (Pollock, 2010). Any ethical decision has ramifications and people will have varying opinions on my actions and decisions.
In conclusion, ethical standards play an important role in personal decision making process. People’s ethical standards are invariably influenced and shaped by many factors such as their families, friends, the culture they live in and internal reflection. Critical thinking is very necessary when people face an ethical dilemma. A utilitarian is willing to sacrifice his or her personal profits for the privilege of the whole society. Our actions and decisions in any situation define how society views us. We must be mindful about how others view us, our decisions, and our actions. Negative ethical decisions are noticed more frequently and provide a basis for judgment rather than positive ethical decisions. Each individual has a distinct responsibility to make the right and moral choice each time an ethical situation arises.