As children we are malleable, impressionable and resilient. Children constantly absorb the information around them, and what we learn during our early stages of life, shapes us as adults. We are products of our experiences. Usually these experiences are influenced by our families, communities and surrounding environment. The cultures and religions that are impressed upon us as young people also plays a major role in shaping our morality and ethic in adulthood. The personal experiences that I had as a young child certainly molded me as an individual and they instilled strong values that I carry with me now. I believe that one should embrace their experiences good and bad and learn from ...view middle of the document...
There are several virtues that I believe make a person ethical and moral. By adopting these qualities as your lifestyle you will be a just person. Firstly a person should have respect. Not only for themselves and others but also for the earth and all of the beings and elements that it encompasses. Secondly a person should bear responsibility for their thoughts, actions, and decisions for future generations. The third virtue is generosity, having a good heart, and giving what you can, materialistically and emotionally is beneficial to the community and family. The fourth virtue, compassion, is essential to maintain a close relationship to all the human and non-human beings. Having an intimate relationship with nature is essential to maintaining it's integrity. The sixth virtue is bravery. One must be brave to live. One of the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism is that, "To live is to suffer, and that suffering is what connects us to one another." (Elacqua, 2013)
Respect is an essential component for a balanced interaction among all living things. According to Albert Schweitzer, in his explanation of the ethic of reverence for life he writes, “Ethics is in fact reverence for the will-to-live both within and without my own personality.” (Schweitzer, P. 201) He is saying that by definition, ethics is consideration for others. If we have no consideration or regard for other beings then ethics would not exist. Thus, respect is essential to be an ethical human. So essential that it is included in the Earth Charter as Principle number one:
Respect and Care for the Community of Life:
1. Respect Earth and live in all its diversity.
a. Recognize that all beings are interdependent and every form of life has value regardless of its worth to human beings.
This is a powerful statement and affirms the idea that everything is interconnected, and giving all life reverence and consideration is imperative to maintain the integrity of those connections for the good of the whole.
My younger brother Josh and I were adopted for the third and final time when I was 12, and he was 10. Until this moment, we had been shunted around to a slew of homes some good and some not so good. However, none of the people we lived with really took the time to teach us things that may be necessary to function under normal social circumstances. The definition of respect and behaviors that accompanied it were among those things. So when Josh and I were with our new parents they were constantly trying to imbrue us with social norms and appropriate behaviors and reactions. They used phrases foreign to urchins like us such as “respect your belongings” or “show respect to your elders”. The word respect was lost on us. Perhaps we had heard it at school, or read it in a book, but we had never been properly introduced to the actual meaning.
My parents, at a loss had to figure out a way to demonstrate exactly what it was they were...