As a Druid I am always trying so very hard to live a life that is sustainable and renewable. As a human I fear what is happening on the planet around me because of our species. The following video is terrifying. It is not a "what if" video it is a "what is happening" video. Everyone needs to watch this. Ever single human. Share this video as I am sharing it. Know that we only have a limited time to save our species.
The planet will live on without the human race. It will find balance and recover once we are gone. We however can not live without the planet. We are poisoning and destroying our life support system. This has to stop and stop NOW. Do everything you can in your home to make the change. Do it NOW... not tomorrow. Not when it becomes cheaper, NOW! If each and everyone of us don't then we do NOT deserve to continue on.
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
A discussion of how an individual learns to determine right from wrong and explain the factors that influence this determination.
In my Human Growth and Development class in college we talked a great deal about how we learn the difference between right and wrong. A psychologist by the name of Jean Piaget put forth a theory that between the ages of 5 and 10 years old, children are directed by a “heteronomous” morality or what was termed by Piaget as “Concrete Operational” stage (Berk 16; Table 1.4). This means that they see things in a very black and white point of view, seeing rules as absolutes. Children learn these “rules” from their parents, family members, and religious or educational teachers who they see as godlike authority figures.
From age 10 on through into adolescence, children start seeing things through the perspective of other people. They begin to develop a more self-directed sense of morality. Though children still want to follow the rules to a degree, they begin to see that rules sometimes are not absolute. According to Piaget this was the “Formal Operational” stage (Berk 16; Table 1.4).
A Developmental psychologist by the name of Lawrence Kohlberg expanded on this theory to develop “stages” in which these lessons were learned. Kohlberg felt that “… moral understanding is promoted by the same factors Piaget thought were important for cognitive development…” (Berk 319) He believed that there were three levels of development with various stages in between.
Level 1 (Pre-Conventional)
1. Obedience and punishment orientation – how can punishment be avoided?
2. Self-interest orientation – what’s in it for me and what do I have to do to get it?
Level 2 (Conventional)
3. Interpersonal accord and conformity – what is socially accepted or the good boy/girl attitude
4. Authority and social-order maintaining orientation – based on law and order morality
Level 3 (Post- Conventional)
5. Social contract orientation
6. Universal ethical principles – this is the principled sense of right and wrong
There are many theories and ideas on when or how we develop our sense of right and wrong. There are just as many on where we learn them. What is obvious is that as a species we are extremely complex in our behaviors and each of us is responsible for our sense of right and wrong. We are each responsible for acting upon them to have a more fulfilled and meaningful life.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Self-awareness is key to the implementation of professional ethics. A discuss on how my personal morals, values, bias and ability to maintain adequate boundaries, confidentiality and determine right from wrong might both positively and negatively impact my professional relationships.
All my life I was taught that we should treat others how we would want to be treated. My grandmother who raised me most of my life believed that even without religion people can be good, moral, virtuous beings by following that simple rule. I cannot tell you how many times as a child she forced me to suffer through what I had done to someone else. But as I grew older I realized what she was trying to teach me, empathy. She wanted me to see, to feel, to ‘know’ what my actions did to others, both human and animal alike. As an adult I strive very hard to live by that very simple principle. It is my guiding moral that all others are weighed against.
When I found ADF many years ago I feel in love with the Nine Virtues. They seemed to speak as loudly to me as what I was raised with. I saw that when weighed against the moral of treating others as I would want to be treated, there was no conflict. I saw that they actually enhanced what I already believed. So it is that I now strive to first treat everyone around as I would want to be treated. I strive to hold onto my integrity and piety moderated with the wisdom I gain over the years. I strive to have the courage to do what is needed and to persevere when there is nothing I can do to change events or others viewpoints. And I strive to achieve my vision of equality so that everyone I come in contact with can have fertile opportunity to grow. And I temper all of this with the logical difference between that I see as right and wrong even when it might not be the most popular action.
Striving to this has been both positive and negative in my professional life. I have built a trust and image of being dependable. I have created an image of someone that will always do what he thinks is right. Much of what I would call right is personal bias; it is “my” outlook on things, which has been shaped throughout my life. I have never seen much difference between personal and professional life because I am the same person in both so my ethic in those situations should be the same. It is nice to know that people see me this way but I also know that it has hurt me in many ways as well. I am not willing to take shortcuts that might profit the majority if I know it will cripple a few or an individual. When I was working for my former company it was their policy to lie to our vendors giving them false information and system service tags to get services or parts which were not covered under warranty. I refused to be part of those activities as they were in direct conflict with my beliefs and values as a person. I was seen as not being shrewd enough to succeed by IT management because I do not believe it is right to short change the “little folk” who are the back bone of the business so that the owners can benefit. Because of that I was never hired on as a full time employee. My contract was dragged out for two years until I just became tired of dealing with their unethical behaviors. And despite this treatment I continued to work giving 100% until I landed my current job.
Much of my professional career has been in IT. The major of the IT work I have been involved with has centered on medical software and hardware. As a data administrator I was held to the highest levels of confidential requirements by federal laws. I had complete and total access to medical records of every single patient which was in our clients’ databases. So I have a vast understanding of confidentiality on a professional level for just that reason alone. How has it been a negative? I cannot say that it ever has been one in the work place. However as the leader of a former ADF Grove that professional confidentiality was challenged several times about events that surrounded the Regional Druid at the time. That became a negative when had a real need to talk with someone outside the situation but knew to do so would be breaching the individuals involved confidentiality.
When it comes to professional boundaries I still struggle with finding a good middle ground. Though I would like very much to make friends with those I work with, I have learned over the years it is best to keep them separate from my personal life. Several times events in my personal found their way into the view of my professional life because of those who crossed over into both areas. Because of that, even though I apply the same principles to both personal and professional, I keep them as separate as possible. It can be a struggle at times because I spend so much time at work. This also reflects back to the fact I also will not break my personal values to further my professional career. That to me is a professional boundary and it will not be crossed no matter the cost.
Appropriate definition, understanding, and illustrative examples for each of the following seven terms: morals, values, personal bias, professional boundaries, confidentiality, right and wrong
As defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary – (Merriam-Webster, Incorporated)
a. of or relating to principles of right and wrong in a behavior
b. Expressing or teaching a conception of right behavior
c. Conforming to a standard of right behavior
d. Sanctioned by or operative on one’s conscience or ethical judgment
e. Capable of right and wrong action
For me I see morals as action. They are the actions we take when faced with a situation that requires us as individuals to act in accordance with our beliefs of right and wrong. A prime example of this can be seen when we are presented with a situation where we could gain more money in a position at work, but doing so would have us act in a way that was against what we know to be right. So we are then faced with the choice of what we know to be right ethically and what we need. I bring this up because I have been put in this situation recently. In the end I knew that I couldn’t act upon the situation to gain more pay because to do so would violated my sense of integrity over though having the extra money per paycheck would have been very helpful.
As defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary - (Merriam-Webster, Incorporated)
a. something (as a principle or quality) intrinsically valuable or desirable
For me, I see values as the desired quality in one’s personal, social, and professional life. Values are also rather subjective and based on personal, social, and culturally desired behaviors. A lot times values are what we look at when we are seeking a partner or friends. We want qualities in these individuals that we see as desirable to us. What I look for in any relationship is honesty, dependable, caring, driven, hardworking, generous, and willingness to be open minded to learning new things. I spent 11 years with the same partner believing that he held similar values as me. I am very loyal and honest in my day to day life. When it was revealed that he had been lying and cheating on me, as well as stealing from my bank account, I decided he was someone that did not hold the same values as myself. I ended the relationship so I could seek out someone who did hold the same values.
To understand personal bias let us first define what a bias is.
According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary - (Merriam-Webster, Incorporation)
a. an inclination of temperament or outlook; especially : a personal and sometimes unreasoned judgment
b. an instance of such prejudice
c. deviation of the expected value
Personal bias can be seen then as a bias that one has which favors the individual’s gains or prejudged perspective.
I see personal bias as ways of thinking that have been shaped by our perspectives of past experiences or events. For years I hated cats. I believed that all cats were evil creatures that loved nothing more than to torment other animals. I grew up with a mother who raised Blue Tipped Himalayan cats. These cats were always toying with smaller animals. They would wound them to the point of fatal injuries, then leave them to die slow painful deaths. I developed the personal bias that all cats must be that way since these were. Just last year a young male orange tabby kitten showed up on our patio. My partner called me outside because the little guy was begging for attention. He was starving. I fed him some chicken and gave him fresh water because I can’t stand to see animals suffering. The kitten followed me inside the house and has been there ever since. Because of Humphrey I realized I was judging all cats based on the actions of a few. I learned that because of this I had been denying myself the loving companionship of animals just because I personally had bad experiences in the past.
As defined by the University of California’s Professional Boundaries Group - (University of California)
a. “… effective and appropriate interaction between professionals and the public. Boundaries exist to protect both the professional and the client.”
For me, professional boundaries are a way of limiting how my personal values and views affect my working life. They are there to protect me and those I interact with on a professional level. In the modern world of social media the lines between professional and private life have begun to blur. I personally believe this is an unavoidable situation to a certain degree. One way I set professional boundaries is that I limit talking about my personal life and views with co-workers and bosses. I also refuse to add these individuals on my social media because some of my views and beliefs could be used against me in my work place. Though that would be a violation of professional boundaries on their part it is my responsibility to ensure that those boundaries are in place and observed on my part.
As defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary - (Merriam- Webster, Incorporated)
1. Marked by intimacy or willingness to confide
2. Private, secret
3. Entrusted with confidences
4. Containing information whose unauthorized disclosure could be prejudicial to the national interest
Confidentiality means to me “keep your mouth shut about what you are entrusted with.” I know that is a rather flippant personal definition but it is how I have always viewed it. When someone comes to you in confidence they do so because they trust you, they value your insight, and they know that you will keep whatever they talk with you about between the two of you. Confidentiality is a major topic in most human cultures. It is something that can exist between any persons or groups of persons. As a Seer I have many people who come to me as a guide and as someone who can help them divine the will of the Kindred. They know that any reading is confidential just as it is between them and a clergyperson. I will not even talk with their partners and loved ones about any readings without their written confirmed consent. Some of what I learn and what they share is of a personal nature and should be kept between the two of us. I have a friend who is in the health care industry who always wants to talk about his clients with me. I refuse to let him because it is a breach of the confidentiality he has with his employer and with his clients. It’s something I harp about all the time with people I know.
Right and Wrong
As defined by Dictionary.com - (Princeton University)
· Motivation deriving logically from ethical or moral principles that govern a person’s thoughts and actions
A sense of right and wrong can be a most confusing concept for people when they stop to think about it in a technical manner. I personally have always believed a sense of right and wrong is the resulting worldview we as individuals and as a society develop despite our religious or ethical upbringing. They tend to be concepts that we logically understand outside of these learned beliefs. A prime example is theft. In most cultures it is considered unethical to steal from another person or business. There are major penalties that can be used against those that do it. But just because it is socially or culturally unethical does not make it wrong. If a person steals food from a farmer or grocery store to feed him or herself or family it might be viewed as unethical according to the social standards of the culture. But is it actually wrong? Is the act of self-preservation wrong? Or is the culture or establishment wrong for allowing members of its society to go without food? Another example is murder. Again, in most cultures murder is considered one of the worst acts a person can commit against another person. Yet we actively war with other nations resulting in hundreds if not millions of deaths. Morally the warring nation sees this as a necessary event to force their values or ethics onto the offending nation. But does that make it right? It is still murder, no matter how you look at it. When the soldiers come home many are treated poorly because of the actions they took. But what if the deaths were to defend you, your family, or your nation’s freedom? Logically, killing another person is wrong. Death is death no matter the reason. A dead person cannot be reasoned with. Even most religious beliefs state that one should not kill. But we as humans know there are times when we have to, when the wrong logically becomes the right. I believe that the sense of right and wrong, or lack thereof, is what holds our species back. The wolf does not see it as wrong to kill and eat the deer, nor the spider that eats the fly. It is logical for them to do what is needed to preserve themselves and their species. Yet most animals have an innate sense that one should not kill simply to kill or because they disagree on perspective. Of course this extends beyond life and death. This is just one of the easiest subjects that we can see the ethical dilemma that right and wrong can create.