The inventory questions were an essential eye opener about the things that matter most to me. Most of my answers were reflections of my background, beliefs and values as will be illustrated below.
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- Reflection on the process of completing the inventory questions
As I was completing the inventory questions, I made a point of thinking about my practical life and what the questions really meant to me. In other words, I wanted the results to be a true reflection of my core values, beliefs and norms. It is quite easy to fall into the temptation of playing hero even when one would not naturally behave in the stated manner; a situation that I tried as much as possible to avoid. Throughout the whole inventory, I kept reminding myself that this was not an exam but an assessment of who I really was.
The questionnaire demonstrated to me that ethics is in every aspect of life and that all interactions can be opportunities to either shine ethically or behave dishonorably. I often found that I was attempting to complete the questions; I would result to what I considered as idealized criteria in order to decide what the appropriate response to make was. This was based upon my experience in life and the issues I has been through in the past. However, I found that my ethical concerns where generally in tune with broad understandings of what being moral was. For example, in terms of my classical values, I found that justice and fortitude came naturally to me and these were all derived from general understandings of what ethical values entail.
The inventory also illustrated that I was in no way perfect. Although I believed my actions were generally morally acceptable, I soon came to realize that there were certain dangers in possessing my kind of ethical values. For instance, I had to accept that there were going to be blind spots, risks, temptations, vices or even crises as I was making ethical decisions or enacting those actions. (Ethicalgame.com, par 12, 13, 14)
- My experience of reading the report that is generated
I also released that my background, religion and nationality contributes greatly towards my ethical judgments (Thompson, 46). For example, the inventory stated that my core values are equality and rationality where I have precedence to communal concerns over individual claims. I soon realized that my upbringing may have substantially contributed to this core value because I come from a community in which the whole is always considered greater than its parts hence the tendency to uphold communal goals.
The results also indicate that I ascribe tremendously to normative ethics. In other words, I tend to believe in prescriptive solutions to ethical predicaments. This probably stems from my religious and family background because it is through those avenues where one learns about possible remedies to correct wrongs in society. Religion is founded on the premise that society is basically evil and that certain principles need to be put in place to deal with that evil (Waddey, 151). In other words, one cannot negotiate in normative ethics because moral theories are presumed to be ultimate problem solvers. The inventory demonstrated that my greatest risk was to become self righteous or authoritarian owing to my overemphasis on fortitude and justice. Also, the inventory showed that my biggest temptation was entitlement and exemption. It is easy to see where I could have drawn such assumptions from. Religion probably instilled in me the tendency to overemphasize right and wrong and this may have made me too over reliant on such an ethical system. (Santrock, 27)
The inventory’s results were also surprisingly accurate because they brought out some hidden but painful truths in my life. Furthermore, I got to understand why certain things were happening. A case in point is my lack of friends; I tend to have a tiny circle. The inventory explained that my biggest crisis was guilt, isolation and confusion. My friends were probably running away from me because of my self righteousness and my lack of concern for the individual compared to the communal. My overemphasis on the process of justice could be pushing them away because as the case is, the process always keep changing and one can never place too much confidence in the system. I was also humbled by the realization that sometimes I did not apply the same standards of ethics to everyone. My concern for justice was placing me in danger of believing in exemptions and entitlements. In other words, I was assuming that my role would somehow justify my exemption from the same principles of justice that I expected others to follow. Although my core and classical values revolved around justice, I realized that I was not dispensing that justice in an equitable manner. This implies that I was missing out on as an essential aspect of most ethical systems which is reciprocity. Many individuals tend to believe that it is always proper to do unto others what one would have them do. In this regard, I have now detected a major weakness in my character and am definitely willing to change it.
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The inventory demonstrated to me that although one may hold strong ethical principles it is still possible to generate negative results. Consequently one needs to be sensitive to the inefficiencies of one’s core values. In my case, I learnt that I should place greater emphasis on individual concerns as failure to do so could lead to various vices and crises in my life.
- Santrock, John. Topical approach to life span development. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2007
- Thompson, B. Effect of situation ethics upon moral values. AL: Apologetic press, 2001.
- Ethics Game.com. Ethical lens inventory results. 2007. Web.
- Waddey, J. Christian ethics. Firm foundation, 2007