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Exploring How Can Moral Character Be Developed

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Words: 1776 |

Pages: 4|

9 min read

Published: Aug 31, 2023

Words: 1776|Pages: 4|9 min read

Published: Aug 31, 2023

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. A Developed Moral Compass and Character
  3. Moral Vision: Social and Economic Justice
  4. My Moral Character
  5. Conclusion
  6. References

Introduction

It is my immediate inclination to challenge that a person’s moral compass has to be actively recognized for it to exist. In my opinion, each individual has a moral compass that they have developed through their life experiences, which reflex their decisions, behaviors, actions and the way one treat others. In my opinion, moral compass is influenced by philosophy, religion, experience, surrounding, and other influences. That being said, I would agree that to truly understand what guides your moral compass and how you have developed your character takes a significant amount of self-reflection, including asking the question, 'how can moral character be developed?' Through reflection you can identify your moral strengths and weaknesses, and finally can work towards strengthening your moral compass. This type of exercise can allow you to be more prepared for difficult decisions and situations, because over time one will be able to develop a unique moral compass methodology to face difficult situations. A refined and practiced moral compass is much more important and helpful rather than one that has no distinct direction and parameters.

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A Developed Moral Compass and Character

I strongly affirm the statement that the moral compass is rooted in a wisdom tradition. Though I question my religious doctrine regularly and no longer feel inclined to formally practice Hinduism, I am fully aware that my moral compass is entirely built on the foundation of Hindu philosophies that I have learned and practiced throughout my life. I am so deeply rooted in my Hindu tradition that their teachings play a significant role in all of my daily activities and decisions without consciously recognizing them. Due to my upbringing and thirteen years of conservative Hindu schools, stories, and philosophies are deeply ingrained in my personality and the way I interact with those around me, as well as the way I perceive the world. I difficult situations where I have to make tough decisions, I always remind myself of the story from Vedas, Upanishads, Shastras, and Sutras from which gives me strength and helps me to choose the right path. These stories help me develop a unique personality and make me a better human being. I take great pride in serving others when the opportunity arrives. This also causes me to distrust or resent those who mistreat or disrespect those in-service roles such as cab drivers, waitresses, and secretaries. This feeling is compounded by the fact that my mother is a home maker and she has been taking care of every person in the family for the past twenty years without complaining and a smile on her face. I admire her empathy and ability to treat everyone with dignity and respect even if sometimes situations are not in her favor. He strong behavior and her kind nature also influence my personality.

Humility, empathy and justice are three important principles of my moral code as founded by my wisdom tradition. There are many branches and facets of these three principles that form my moral code. I won’t go into all of them deeply, but to show an example of how these three principles can encompass a larger group of rules and behaviors to practice I will talk a bit about justice. In my opinion, the most unjust thing someone could do is to steal from another person in any capacity. What is theft anyhow? It is the taking from someone else something that is not yours to take and depriving them of something that is rightfully theirs. If you make an effort in your life to never steal from anyone, in my opinion you will be doing a pretty good job at abiding moral code. When you lie, you steal the truth, and if you kill someone you steal a life. This philosophy can be extended to nearly any situation where a crime is committed on humanity and rights are denied or stolen. It can be as basic as stealing someone’s opportunity to speak their mind and increase to the extent of stealing the innocence of a child through abuse and molestation. The takeaway point from my wisdom tradition is the golden rule that says ‘do unto others as you would have them do to you’ in other words treat your neighbor as you would like to be treated. This is something I strive for and remind myself of everyday.

Moral Vision: Social and Economic Justice

My moral vision is the achievement of social and economic justice for all the people of the world. This vision is heavily rooted in my wisdom tradition and aligns with my moral code. There are countless stories to choose from that have shaped this belief in me and have made me a better person. From my wisdom tradition, Satya Sai Baba is one of the most inspiring humanitarians of modern times. He exemplifies the values of charity, social justice and respect for all life. He was true to himself, lived out his life’s mission to serve others and improve the quality of life through charity missions. Despite criticisms for his philosophies on suffering and contraception (Hindu principles) he stayed true to his beliefs and was an ambassador of peace and humanitarianism. I do agree with his thought on suffering brings people closer to each other. He is one of many from my wisdom tradition who I admire most and has inspired my moral vision of social and economic justice.

My moral vision is the anchor of my identity and inspiration. The world is constantly searching for the meaning of life and there are countless philosophies and explanations out there. As I believe in an afterlife, I think it has come easy for me to be comfortable with the fleeting nature of life and spend more time focusing on how I can enrich it. There are many levels of complexities of my interpretation of the meaning of life that are difficult for me to articulate and I will not be able to accomplish that in this essay. In very simplified terms, I believe that I am here to make a positive difference and leave a positive impression. If we are all working toward this goal collectively it is not so difficult to fathom that it could actually happen. My parents told me a story that is plays a large component of my moral vision. A man was walking across a beach at low tide, and as the tide receded it left thousands and thousands of starfish beached on the shore. If starfish are left out of water, they will dry up and die. So, thousands and thousands of starfish were lying dead or on the verge of dying on the beach. On his walk, the man came across a young boy who was picking up starfish one by one and throwing them back into the ocean. The man approached the boy and asked him: “Why are you bothering to throw the starfish back into the ocean? There are so many on the beach, you will never make a difference.” The young boy looked at the man and threw another starfish back into the ocean and said: “I made a huge difference to that one.” I liked this story because it makes my vision of social and economic justice for all the people of the world seem less overwhelming. It thought me that I might not be able to impact everyone and ease everyone’s suffering, but I can make a small difference and hopefully spur some sort of trickle-down effect that expands my reach. Any one person or small group has the potential to change the world.

My Moral Character

My moral fitness regime is possibly the most difficult part of my moral compass to define and if I’m honest it is relatively weak. I am guilty of not dedicating enough time for self-reflection and considering my behavior on a daily basis to reflect my behavior in comparison to my moral code and vision. But still I try to take some time out towards the end of my busy schedule to reflex back on my behavior. I find that the busier I am and the less time I have to reflect back on myself. I try to reflect on what I have done positively or negatively and try to correct my wrongdoing. I motivated myself to make a conscious effort the next day to stay on track. I do say short personal prayers regular that bring me peace and help me realign myself with my moral code and vision. I have positive mantras I like to recite each morning that motivate me to do my best. I don’t always live up to these mantras, but once I observe that I am doing something wrong, I make a conscious effort to rectify it next time. I try to be thoughtful in my speech on regular bases and think about the way I can impact others. I answer few questions to myself such as: Am I being empathetic? Am I being honest, humble? These questions help me improve myself and my moral fitness is an area I could need some improvement. Finally, I set out more clearly structured behavior that helps me center myself each day and remain on my moral path.

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Conclusion

I feel that I have had many defining moments that have required moral performance, and I believe that if I am straying from my path I will be presented with a challenge or decision that will ultimately lead me back and help me shape my moral character. There’s an old story about a man stuck in a rushing river, who rejects assistance from firefighters, Boy Scouts, and the Coast Guard because he believes God will save him. The man dies, and when he complains to St. Peter, the angel notes, 'Well, He sent all that help – why didn't you take it?' For me, that story was an epiphany. I had been lamenting what I saw as roadblocks in my life – unexpected lower grades, illness, misfortune – keeping me from achieving my goals. Yet each of these so-called roadblocks were really just God in my life saying, 'No – go this way. This is where you're meant to be.' I was the guy in the river, refusing His excellent direction and stubbornly waiting for life to go as I expected it. I can't pretend to be an expert at adversity today, but when it does happen, I try to look for the new direction it may end up taking me.    

References

  1. Kant, Immanuel. 'Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals.' Cambridge University Press, 1997.
  2. Nietzsche, Friedrich. 'Beyond Good and Evil.' Vintage, 2019.
  3. Aristotle. 'Nicomachean Ethics.' Penguin Classics, 2004.
  4. Sai Baba, Satya. 'Sathya Sai Speaks.' Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust, 1995.
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Exploring How Can Moral Character Be Developed. (2023, August 31). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 23, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/exploring-how-can-moral-character-be-developed/
“Exploring How Can Moral Character Be Developed.” GradesFixer, 31 Aug. 2023, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/exploring-how-can-moral-character-be-developed/
Exploring How Can Moral Character Be Developed. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/exploring-how-can-moral-character-be-developed/> [Accessed 23 Jun. 2024].
Exploring How Can Moral Character Be Developed [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2023 Aug 31 [cited 2024 Jun 23]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/exploring-how-can-moral-character-be-developed/
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