Personal Values Paper

1371 words - 5 pages

Values are traits that are considered beneficial or meaningful. Being of German immigrants, my personal values, morals, traditions and beliefs are defined by the friends they kept here in America. My parents left family and friends behind in search of a greater lifestyle, working opportunities and new friendships, while still maintaining old world customs and traditions. Growing up, we treated friends as family, inviting all to personal gatherings, worshiping at the same church, attending the same schools, and often vacationing at the same destinations. The core values and beliefs were defined by these individuals and make me the person that I am today in society. Although personal values have not changed, my ethics have evolved primarily due to friends, employment and having a family. Encarta defines personal values as the accepted principles or standards of an individual or group, while ethics is defined as principles or standards of human conduct (Encarta, 2008).When my parents came to the United States, they left their immediate family and extended family behind. They met here after attending a German club meeting where many German immigrants went to get information on jobs, services, immigration and naturalization issues, and to just meet others with the same goals and ideas as their own. These new found friends became my aunts and uncles and their kids were my cousins. To this day I still refer to them as aunt and uncle. When I make new friends, they are usually friends for life. Many of the personal traits of these individuals became traits I inherited during my lifetime. Foods, money, family and friends are the centerpiece of these traits. Ethics though have completely changed as I viewed them as a child. Considering that I had a skewed view of ethics, not that the ethics portrayed by them were wrong, I just think they took a wider or more general approach to what they thought was ethically or morally right.All members of this extended family are workers. They came to the United States with little higher level, educational training. Many by today's standards would be considered blue collar workers. Many started their own business, worked for large corporations, or looked to the government for employment. Whatever their job was, they all appeared to work in some form of a service providing capacity. This is where I think working for the fire department fit into what I valued. Since it is a service provider, has great benefits and retirement system, good pay and a lot of time off to spend with family and friends, working here went along with what I had grown up viewing as the acceptable profession to be in. This is where many of my ethics had changed. Since members of a fire department are held in high esteem by the general public, I found past practices were no longer acceptable in my new found profession. Honesty, integrity, being courteous, and conducting myself in a professional manner is basic tenants of being a firefighter. My parents...

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