Tuesday, October 21, 2014
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.