Personal Ethical Action Plan
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Ethical Action Plan
Ethical Action Plan: Introduction
Ethics is the base of everyone’s life. Or is it? Are ethics and moral of actions are the same for everyone? Or do these rely on experiences, personality, and benefits of individuals? And are these concepts absolute or relative?
First of all, it is important to clarify what concepts we are talking about and from what perspective we see the things. Nothing on earth and in science is exact, so are values. Let us explain the logic of the previous statement with an example. Killing is bad. Ending a person’s life out of personal will and choice is bad, and it should be so for everyone. However, “Killing is bad” is too short of a sentence to decide on the correctness actually. Killing whom is bad? Killing an innocent is sure bad. Killing Adolf Hitler, however, is good for humanity. However, it is still bad since a person is killed in the end.
Everyone's values are different, and even the values of the same person are different at different times in different situations. Relativeness itself is relative. What should be done is searching for the best and chasing the good. In the next chapters of this paper, a brief explanation of my values, and the way I chase them will be given.
My Core Values
The concept of value is defined by Gentile (2010) as “finally, the word ‘value’ refers to the inherent worth and quality of a thing or an idea, and we often talk about valuing a challenging job, a comfortable lifestyle, or even a well-made piece of clothing. However, the ‘values’ we are discussing here are, in fact, the values that most people would agree to have a moral or ethical aspect to them.” In the light of the Gentile’s definition and just as stated in the introduction part, in search of the best for people, my core values are loyalty, honesty, dependability, and open-mindedness in personal and professional life. Without putting myself in the first row, value for me is trying to do or search for the best for the greatest number of living creatures possible. The origin of my values mostly depends on empathy. Acting in a way that I would like to be acted towards is the starting point. Loyalty is a very important value since it means consistency. Life with no change would be boring and far from development. However, as a part of human nature, we tend to prefer gradual change that is in our control, and loyalty is kind of a definition for temporary sameness. One other core value of mine is honest, which is a bit more related to empathy. No good could be achieved by hiding information.
Although there is no absolute truth or good for anyone, access to unchanged information of what happened and freedom of interpreting it is a basic human right. This brings up the dependability value as it is the base of most of the relationships of people, including me. Dependability, for me, is the matter of knowing if someone will be there when I look for. However, it does not mean that someone I assign in my mind to be there has to be there. It means the feeling and reality of dependability that builds up in relationships among people over time. The fourth core value of mine is open-mindedness. As stated earlier in this part of the paper, change is in human nature. Although we prefer it to be slow and in control, it is a fact that exists, and it is not a choice for anyone to accept or deny. Therefore, the best thing to do is to accept change, welcoming it, and canalizing it in the best way possible. These four core values have always helped me in any problems that I faced, and I am sure that I will be able to get use of them in any future dilemmas as well. Let us see the details of what I have done and have not in the next part of the paper, which is a tale of two stories.
A Tale of Two Stories
We all would like to avoid a work accident and put an effort altogether to minimize it. However, it is a sad truth. Once I encountered a minor work accident. It was not a life or death situation. However, it required attention since a worker was lightly injured. The shift supervisor did not pay enough attention to the incident according to the occupational health and safety procedures. Besides conflicting with the work ethics and moral of being a human, this behavior was against my “values.” This is the point where I gave voice to my values. I acted up and warned the supervisor in accordance with common sense. Things did not straighten out at this point. The injured worker faced disloyalty. The supervisor did not show the expected reaction to the incident. The supervisor was more loyal to work than his workmate. The supervisor was not honest with himself, as well. Although he behaved like he completed the necessary procedure, he unintendedly revealed that he was obviously aware of the incomplete procedure.
Dependability was another issue in this situation. The injured worker did not spend hours every day in the workplace without any reason. He had spent a considerable time of his life there and shared it with his workmates. Briefly, he had worked there since he basically expected his workmates to be dependable. However, it was not the case. Lastly, open-mindedness was a quality that the supervisor lacked, and he revealed it during our discussion. The supervisor thought that he knew the best, and that is the reason that he was the supervisor. He was not open-minded, at all, about the fact that he might have made a mistake or skipped a step in the procedure. Since these facts were against my values. I stuck with my values and the procedure until the worker was fine and healthy. One other story was when I was a student in high school. It was stated in the introduction that nothing is absolute according to science, and change is a fact of life, just like evolution. However, birds did not start flying on day one. It takes a lot and a long time for drastic changes, and people do not change much in their lifetime. Maybe it was not exact me, but I was roughly the person who I am today. That means the core values, loyalty, honesty, dependability, and open-mindedness were important for me then as well. This story that I learned much about was about a disagreement I experienced. I had a deep trust in a friend and thought that the four core values were established in our friendship.
However, it came out that I was wrong. I expected loyalty, which means although we had a disagreement, I thought real friends would come over issues like this. But loyalty was not the feedback I got. Honesty was the second point of a disappointment since I thought that the friendship of us was stronger. Dependability was a lack as well since the image of the friendship in my thoughts was not met. The last point, open-mindedness, was the one that is the most related to myself. I was not open-minded brave enough back then, apparently that I did not act up and put more effort into solving the issue. However, everyone makes mistakes. The important thing is to learn from the mistakes. If I did not make this mistake, I might not have acted up for the worker in the first story.
My professional purpose is to be a fair manager in a firm that produces value, in terms of the physical or mental needs of society, in order to make life better for people. Although it seems easy, it is actually a challenging purpose to make real in today’s world. My personal goal is to be a good person without digging too much into it. Because as you dig into something too much, it gets complicated and distractive. Thus, what is “being good”? For me, being good is more of a continuous process than a stable state. For example, not voting for a president that favors sending troops overseas in order to “bring democracy” is being good, so is participating in protests against this evil idea. However, protesting or not voting for does not make anyone, including myself, good for a whole lifetime. Being a good person does not stop. Rescuing animals is my purpose of being good. Putting effort to stop child-labor is my purpose of being good.
My personal purpose of being good is not just one goal, nor is it a stationary one. My professional goal is to be creative and productive. However, not in a large company that operates in the weapon production and trade sector. Similarly, not in the economy sector that lives and dies, therefore kills, with money. I would like to create, produce and supply homes, food, and education for the ones in need, and “the ones” is not just limited to people. It also includes animals. Animal and child cruelty are the top two things that I want to be successful against. Combining these two, being a good person in a sector that creates value. I want to be a manager in my job since I believe that I have what it takes to coordinate people and workflow.,
I am a good analyst and would like to use my talent to fight against bad. Since good is more relative than bad, and bad is closer to be absolute for everyone, it would be better and easier to explain this using bad rather than good. Killing is bad; labor exploitation is bad; child and animal cruelty is bad. I want to be successful against these. I want to be in a managerial position to coordinate the intellectual or physical production against hatred.
My current impact in the sector that I would like to contribute is being a prospect. The impact on the future in the sector is helping it to level up. Any idea on possession of means of production or the economic theory to be applied could be adopted in the company I work for; I hope to achieve helping more. For me, the more children smile, and the more animals live in peace, the more worthwhile my professional career is. As discussed earlier in this paper, worth and value depend on how one defines them. In my opinion, it means that I add worth to my personal life and professional career as I am able to go after my passion. One animal saved from animal experimentation means that my career is worth one life more. I do not want to be in a race to have a higher title or make more money. As I am doing my job, my aim is to feel content, knowing that I give my maximum for the good, and being able to sleep peacefully at night. My wish for the time after I ended my professional career is being able to see that the company or the sector that I entered as a prospect is above the level that I entered. The thing that would make me feel fulfilled is knowing to have contributed.
Having my purpose in professional career told, it is a good time to give an example of a conflicting issue along with a story. I was raised up by a family that had no economic problems. My parents have never been millionaires, but they did not fail to establish a content life. As a family, we even had some minor luxuries. After I reached the age that I could legally drive, I was always after my dad’s car as a young boy. It was exciting, cool, and fun.
Soon after, I asked my parents to have my own car. They were not against it. However, they thought it was unnecessary. Feeling upset, I kept on asking for it, bringing them formulas to own my own car, and trying to bribe them with some sacrifices until the day that I had adopted my first pet from a shelter. This taught me the feeling of responsibility and the urge to care for life.
As I established the emotional bond, I realized that personal luxuries are much less important than the lives of others that are in need. Finally, I let my passion for a car out and started to spend my time and money on animals in shelters. This formed the base of my career goals. The main goal of mine for my career is not to make a lot of money and have a life of luxury. Therefore, after I advanced in my career if I were in a position to choose between a better income and saving more lives. The choice is clear. Long story short, the moral of the story is, “no one needs a Ferrari to survive. It would be just an amusement if everyone has a chance to experience it.”
Self-Assessment Regarding Voice
My core values obligate me to stand up for the oppressed, aggrieved, and suffering. I take a stand after I decide what is wrong. Once again, the right is more relative, but wrong is more common. I put effort into the solution for the issue of the worker that was not taken good care of. The reason I choose my professional goal is that I think that staying silent against cruelty and rage should not feel right to anyone. I speak up in such situations after a good observation and a complete analysis of what happened and why it did happen. Logical arguments are my first step into a discussion. Independent of the setting of the moment and the person I am trying to persuade. I keep calm and try my best to explain the correct logic of peace.
Being confrontational is an important reason that I am successful at what I wish to do, and my core values, along with logical argumentation, are my path to follow. If I have the chance, I face with people since I believe that it is the most effective way to get your point across and stand your ground. Keeping calm and thinking about a way to make things better is always a reason for the choice. However, if I am clear enough of the wrong, and I feel that I have completely decided what would be better, solving issues at the moment is a better idea. After creating a path in my own mind for the correct thing to do about the issue, I find it more efficient to ask correct questions in a friendly manner and try to make my opponent see his mistake. This strategy does not only helps me to rationalize the solution to the problem, but it also helps the one I try to convince.
Reasons and Rationalizations
The most powerful tool I use to decide whether to speak up or not is my conscience. Factors like social proof, false consensus effect, overoptimism, self-serving bias, cognitive dissonance, and sunk costs and loss aversion are just effects to delay the solution for me. Whatsmore, obedience to authority is only a factor that would put me in a self-contradictory state. Ethics and moral are relative; do what you believe is correct (Camacho, Higgins, & Luge, 2003). Even if I were to follow the bias or other factors that would prevent me from telling the truth, I believe, than all the words in this paper would be of no importance, and the four core values I placed in the center of my aim would not actually be the core values that I live up to. Therefore, as long as I believe that there is something wrong, I observe it, and I have solid proof, I do not hesitate to speak up. Political correctness has never been the path that I follow.
In this paper, the core values of my personal and professional life were listed, along with my personal ethical action plan and examples. Loyalty, honesty, dependability, and open-mindedness are the core values that I live up to, and I totally agree with the thought that political correctness is the illness of this century. Although the absolute good or correct is not scientifically reachable, it should be our duty as humankind to try going after it as much as we can.
Camacho, C. J., Higgins, E. T., & Luger, L. (2003). Moral value transfer from regulatory fit: what feels right is right and what feels wrong is wrong. Journal of personality and social psychology, 84(3), 498.
Gentile, M. (2010). Giving Voice to Values: How to Speak Your Mind When You Know What’s Right. New Haven; London: Yale University Press. Retrieved November 3, 2020
Morris, S. (2001). Political correctness. Journal of political Economy, 109(2), 231-265.
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