When human beings are given the choice to make an ethical decision, most rely on personal experiences to aid them through the decision making process. Being able to choose between right and wrong can all be determined from one’s religion, family, or values. For me, all these factors played a huge role in my ethical decision making. Since a young age, everyone starts developing a sense of morality. Overtime, these choices in one’s mind can change as certain factors such as experience or outside pressure comes into play. One’s ethical decision making can be a reflection of one’s personality. I strive to have my personality and daily action be a representation of my ethical decisions.
At 18 years old, I would say my decision making has a lot to do with my age. Part of becoming an adult and starting college comes with a lot of outside pressure. Age for everyone has a lot to do with one’s definition of right and wrong. At 18, I make impulse decisions that I later blame at my age. “I’m 18, I need to do this at least once.” With age, comes wisdom and older me would stray away from decisions that current me would be making. Also, with every decision I make, I gain more experience. If I make a wrong decision I am likely to not repeat the same mistake again. As I get older, these current experience will turn into past experiences that would already have molded a new set of right and wrong for me.
My whole life I was raised catholic and in a catholic family. Each and every religion has a set of rules that every follower has to follow. Each religion has a set of ethics that is being promoted. Catholicism underlines the basic understanding that every human has between right and wrong. My family along with religion really made me prone to develop high ethical standards. For example, dishonesty is frowned upon in my family. Maintaining my family’s honor is always important to me in making sure my decisions do not directly or indirectly affect my family. I followed religion because that is what I was raised with and surrounded with my entire life. Today, I see religion as virtuous but I personally choose to follow the teachings of Catholicism because I want to be a good person. I will always demonstrate love to others because I am following God’s teachings of “love others as I have loved you.” Through following his teachings, I am also learning to develop my values that also determine how I act.
Values set the path for someone using ethical thinking. Values give ourselves a certain standard of what to expect from oneself. Personally, my values include honesty, respect, and love. When making decisions, I tend to ask myself if my decision will follow my values. These values make me who I am and every outcome of my decisions will be based upon if they reflect my values. For example, I would never lie to someone or to get something. When making a decision, I consider all factors in how my decisions will affect others. I always tend to have others as a priority which may lead me to make decisions that will help others but not myself or even, put me in a worse situation.
As a child, experiences are more likely to affect one to the point of changing their perspective on what is good or bad and how to make decisions in the future. Apart from my childhood, past experiences later on in life also shaped my morality. Experiencing the death of my father at such a young age lead me to think differently in my relationship with those around me. My father suffered from cancer for two years before he passed away and no one knew that day was going to be his last. After losing my father, I always regretted not telling him all the things I wanted to say because I thought I still had time.
Ever since that day, I tend to be more attached to those around me. I always think of losing my father and carrying that fear into future relationships with others. When making decisions, I always think of how it will affect my relationship with the other person. For example, when having a disagreement with my brother, I always choose forgiveness rather than keeping a grudge. Losing my father made me cautious with those around me in fear of losing them too.
The life someone carries comes from one’s personal character. Throughout my lifetime, I was faced with the responsibility of making a lot of ethical decisions. Each and every decision I made defines who I am now and every decision I still take is still shaping me into who I will become. Every time I make a decision I imagine different scenarios in my mind of what the outcome will be with what I choose. Personal ethics are important in everyone’s life and every person has a responsibility on how to apply one’s choices into ethical situations.
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