The Contribution Ethic Essay

1433 words - 6 pages

It is no longer a secret. History reveals it. Successful Individuals have one trait in common. What is more, their lives were instrumental in reaching the social goals of their coeval civilization. Although many of them possessed the intelligence to fathom the mysteries of the stars, genius is not the common denominator. Their footprints have led sages and scientists to the discovery of reproducible lifestyles that are conducive to personal achievement. In studying their lives, the most startling revelation has not been that their habits can be reproduced, and to some extent, their results; the most profound revelation has been the slight glimpse of the influence behind their drive, which was imprinted in them at an early age. This is evident. Children raised in a religious community have higher rates of success in spousal, social, and professional life due to the contribution ethic deeply inculcated in them.
When analyzing the lives of individuals who have contributed the most to humanity, it becomes evident that a significant number of them have been raised and rooted in a non-cultist, practical religion that has been lived in close relationships with other devoted parishioners. In Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis, specifically in his chapter titled “My Traditional Christian Faith,” Jimmy Carter states: "I was born into a Christian family, nurtured as a Southern Baptist, and have been involved in weekly Bible lessons all my life, first as a student and then, from early manhood, as a teacher” (17). He attributes his worldviews and the successes he has enjoyed throughout his life to the religious values instilled in him by his religion. Further, it is worthy to note that Carter describes his Christian religion in the form of everyday practices.
On the meaning of religion, James C. Livingston quotes Immanuel Kant offering his definition for religion: “Religion is the recognition of all our duties as divine commands” (5). The duties and conducts, both theoretical and practical, that children absorb become the governing values of their life. This truth has been known for ages. The Hebrew Scriptures succinctly expresses this truth in the following words: “Train children in the right way, and when old, they will not stray” (Proverbs 22:6). The moral behind this verse is parallel to the ways and means that schools employ to socialize children. For instance, “Schools pass down the values, beliefs, and attitudes that are important in American society;” chiefly, “Bells ring to ensure that we learn how to get to places on time, we are punished for cheating to reinforce the consequences of being dishonest, and we are taught to obey authority in the form of teachers and administrators” (Dalton 282).
Comparatively, religions indoctrinate children with the values and beliefs most important for the success of their community. To illustrate, Dr. David Yoggi Cho, pastor of The Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul Korea, explains in his book...

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