As human beings, we often find ourselves in different situations in this world. In that case we need to apply ethics in every decision that we make so that we do not end up harming ourselves and others. According to Kraus and Marco (2016), ethics can be defined as the well-substantiated standards that stipulate what we should do in terms of obligations, rights and societal benefits. Enck (2013) emphasizes that ethics are not dictated by feelings, religion or obedience to the law; but by well-founded reasons that are consistent and rational. In this world, it is expected that every decision that one makes has an ethical standing. One has to think ethically. Enck (2013) further asserts that ethical thinking encompasses the process in which one considers the impact of their actions on themselves and the society. This means that for one to be considered as having thought or behaved ethically, a majority of people must have accepted the action as good and one should not have been forced to follow the stipulated rules and regulations. In this paper, I will reflect on who I am and the main values that have had a positive impact on my life as well as the character traits that I consider crucial and those that I would wish to develop further.
To begin with, I am a go-getter who will often pursue what I think I need or must achieve. This means that I work very hard whenever I get an opportunity to showcase my prowess. I think this is because of the crucial values that I gained during my childhood. According to Enck (2013), values which are acquired during childhood are instrumental in shaping the nature of an individual's behavior. Having grown up in a family where almost every member was extremely hard-working, I had no choice but to learn that hard work pays. I methodically understood that I could achieve any goal as long as I was focused and hard-working. I often knew what I wanted, thought about it and ultimately, made my best choice. Such values have had a positive impact in my life because; they have often manifested themselves in my life as an adult. They have regularly influenced the way I make decisions and perceive hard work. I have, in the process, been able to go places and achieved what seemed as wild dreams. I have motivated many into believing that nothing is impossible in this world: one only requires a willing heart and the spirit of hard work. This has also helped me gain other values such as the ability to serve others, courage and dexterity to pursue anything that I dream of. At the same time, I have been able to make decisions that are generally acceptable in all my endeavors.
Secondly, I am a person who has gradually learnt the value of honesty. Whenever I get an opportunity to serve others, I always make an effort of acting with integrity and reliability. Whenever I make a promise, I try as much as possible to keep it so that I do not inconvenience others. Therefore, before I make any promise, I ask myself questions such as: what is expected of me in this promise? Will it be possible for me to deliver on this promise? What if it becomes impossible? Are there alternatives? What impact will my final decision have on me and the society? In the process of trying to answer these questions, I frequently find myself only promising what I can deliver. This trait is particularly important to me because I have been able to develop other traits such as dependability, reliability and consistency in almost all my undertakings hence giving me a good reputation.
The other trait that I consider particularly important is my respect for others. According to Kraus and Marco (2016), respect entails treating others in a better way than they treat you. Despite the fact that I am rather hot-tempered, I have never allowed my emotions to determine the decisions I make. I acknowledge the fact that we are all unique and each person is different from the other. Whenever I work with people, I appreciate the fact that everyone holds a unique set of values which often determine their perceptions and behavior (Kraus & Marco, 2016). Such a set of values is so ingrained that one's behavior is almost unconscious in most cases. For that reason, I treat everyone respectfully since I am open and aware of the diversity in values as we work together within some set rules and regulations. I am always courteous, considerate and tolerant whenever I work with others. I understand that, just as I am, every person is different. This trait has been particularly helpful in terms of making decisions. Before I make any decision that touches on others, I always ask myself whether my decision takes personal orientations and differences into consideration. In that case, I have been able to maintain high levels of respect between me and other people.
In addition, fairness is a trait that I consider particularly significant to the way I behave. Enck (2013) emphasizes that fairness entails playing by the rules. One question I always ask myself before making any decision is whether my decision is fair enough to exhibit the fact that I am just. In that case, I always attempt to be impartial and open-minded. According to Kraus and Marco (2016), it is unfair when people give or receive favors in any organization. All decisions made have to be ethical. I often consider the fact that every person is supposed to be given a fair hearing: no blame game. Before making any decision, I consider the consequences. I even take responsibility over my actions where applicable. At times however, I am faced with the challenges of ethical dilemmas in my attempt to be fair and just; especially when a quick response is expected from an unusual situation. I would therefore wish to develop an aspect of shrewdness so that whenever I am faced with such a situation, I am able to give a fair response that utilizes ethical considerations.
In conclusion, it is important to note that ethical decision-making is founded on choice and balance (Kraus, & Marco, 2016). It is a kind of a guide that favors good choices and discards the bad ones. In that case, a framework of ethical decision-making principles comes in handy. The framework entails justice, virtues, utility, rights and common good. In order to make a successful ethical decision, one should first understand the impact of the decision on them, others who are potentially involved and the world in general. After that, they should seek all the necessary information or facts about the situation, try to identify and evaluate as many alternatives as possible, and consult widely from those who are likely to be impartial on the issue. Before the final decision to act, the decision-maker should test the idea and finally act but should not forget to reflect on the outcome of the decision. In this way, an ethical decision is likely to be reached. A society in which people make rational decisions is likely to be a successful one.
Enck, G. (2013). Six-Step Framework for Ethical Decision Making. Journal of Health Services Research & Policy, 19(1), 62-64. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1355819613511599
Kraus, C. & Marco, C. (2016). Shared Decision Making in the ED: Ethical Considerations. The American Journal of Emergency Medicine, 34(8), 1668-1672. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajem.2016.05.058
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