And why do people who appear similar sometimes have completely different sets of individual ethics? These are because there are five most common factors that can influence a person’s individual ethics. The first factor is family influence. Certainly, family influence is the strongest influence in our lives when we grew up. Our parents characteristics, the behavior of our siblings, our family’s socioeconomic status, their education, the place they lived in will shaped the children’s most vulnerable time. The second factor is peer influence. Peer influenceis the influence applies by an individual or a peer group to encourage other individuals to change their behaviors, values, or attitudes in order to comply with individual or groups norm. The third factor is life experience. From the day we were born till now we must have gone through a lot of life experience which is good, the bad and the ugly which is normal in a person’s life. The person will become wiser through his experience. The forth factor is personal values and morals. Personal values and morals are a standard that we set for ourselves to live by. These values vary by individual and are very personal that may involve culture, tradition and religion. There are no absolute moral values, what is wrong for you may not be wrong for me. And the last factor is situational factors. The influence of situational factors will determine the individual’s ethical situations and can attribute a behavior to factors in the person’s surrounding.
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These factors slowly form a single personality through the process of growing up since childhood time. During this process a person will become good or evil depend on how those factors influence them. In this essay, I am going to talk about three most critical factors that have the most influence on the formation of an individual ethics, which is family influence, peers influence and life experiences. (34%plag) (28%)
Family Influences Personal Ethics
Now let’s see how a family can influence a person ethics. An infant is a piece of blank paper when they are born. They will be learning and gaining experience and information that being sends to them. The first influence would be their parents. My parents were what made me who I am today.
They taught me such as values, love, confidence, communication, culture, beliefs and many other topics that develop the self and how to behave towards society with our culture, tradition and religion. My mother taught me how to grow up with a strong and helpful family members and she was always there for me. She taught me how to care for sick members of a family. I learn from my mother how a grown child cares about their parents, siblings and their in laws the way my mother cares for her elders. She would say that is a family’s voluntary sacrifices and love forever rather than creating debts to be repaid. They taught me laughter is good family medicine. Humor is an escape valve for family tension. They showed me how to pursue a good work ethic, and how to treat others the way I want to be treated.
Next, I learn about being independent. At the age of adolescents, I was taught to do my own laundry and other necessities to my life. I was rebellious at the beginning and that my friends are not being told to do so but I was force to do even though I am their only son! But years later, it was a great advantage for me when I was on my own.
Not all family influence is good for their children. I am an example of this negative influence. I have been a smoker for too many years, started at the age of 17 when I was in Form Five (1983). Smoking all the while then suddenly in the year 2005, I almost burn down my house because the cigarette falls on my sofa and it caught fire. I realize smoking is bad. I quit 22 years after. And the auspicious day was February the 14 – Valentine Day. My wife and family were very happy. But the question is how do I become a smoker? The World Health Organization (WHO) has defined ‘adolescents’ as a persons between 10 to 19 years age group and their research confirms that children whose parents smoke are more likely to pick up the habit themselves between the age of 13 and 21, as reported by Dr Douglas Bettcher, Director of WHO’s Tobacco Free Initiative.
My father was a role model for me. I grow up seeing my father smoked around me. My house was full of ashtrays everywhere. He used to send me to the store to buy his cigarettes or ask me to pick up the packet from his car. My father’s smoking tempts me to smoke behind or in absence of my parents. My father disapproves and warned me of teenage smoking, but he continues to smoke. The evidence is clear from this research, that if parents don’t want their children to start smoking, it is important for them to stop their own smoking. Now, I do not allow any visitors to smoke in my house or car, and if they do smoke, they should not do it, in front of my children. I also do not allow my children to handle smoking materials. In this way, I am taking care of their health and as well as theirs well-being. I don’t want my kids to be smokers. (10% plag) total 17% plag
Peer influence exists for all ages and there are two types, negative and positive influence. Papalia, et.al (1998) argued that as children begin to move away from parental influence, the peer group will open up new perspectives. To be a member of a peer group, an adolescent must accept the values and behavioral norms even though these may be undesirable. Mostly Peer influence harms you in society for example, smoking, drinking, drugs, fighting, vandalism and rebellious against society.
In Malaysia, peer influence has a great impact on gangsterism. In a study on “Gangsterism among Secondary Schools” by the Ministry of Education in collaboration with the Crime Prevention Foundation of Malaysia (2010 Publication), reported that serious misconduct exhibited by secondary schools is primarily influenced by gangsters. Was it a peer influences? Let’s look at a confession by an Ex-gangster.
Thanabal (not the real name), 25 years old, College student. Thanabal was a prominent school hooligan in Sentul area. Gangsterism took over his life at the age of 15, while he was studying in form 3. During form 3, most of his friends became gangsters and his academic achievement was also down the drain. When asked why he joined gangsterism, he replied, “9 out of 10 of my friends are gangsters. I would be left out and feel isolated if I don’t join them and also I couldn’t stand my friends’ persuasion and taunting”. Another reason why he joined gangsterism is to gain popularity and recognition in school. Thanabal identify himself with school hooligans and thug gangs. (0% plag)
Positive peer influence.
Adopting Good Ethics: Peer influence is not always bad. It can help you reflect on yourself. Peers may teach you good things and encourage you to follow them. My organization is big and being part of a larger group of peers, I am exposed to the variety in human behavior. These make and reflect my behavior and where I stand. I am fortunate enough to get a good peer group. My peers influence me into shaping my personality in a positive way. It’s not influence every time, sometimes its inspiration, which makes you change for good. Most of my peers are doing degree programs and they would always encourage me to follow them. They would always motivate me and one of them used to say, “You have a key in your hand and you don’t know how to open a door with it. Your field is so important, you just don’t know. With a degree, you can ace the field. You will have so many people around you; you won’t know whom to choose from to just “hang out” with. Go and enroll at Open University of Malaysia (OUM), study hard, get your degree and the rest you are missing now will come around itself”. I told him I am already 46 years old, but he said age is only a number. The influence and inspiration he gave was a challenged to me, if he can do it why not me. I am attached with Customs Department since 1991. My experience and knowledge is not enough for my promotion to senior officer, and it’s time for me to attain a university degree and improve my standard of living. The path I chose was a reputable university and that’s how I end up with OUM. (7%plag)
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Life is about experience.
On 26th February 2013, I attended a funeral of a teenager who died in an accident in Penang. What caught my attention was the action of the family members that had consented to donating his organs. Although the young boy had not pledged to donate his organs, his family members gave the green light. The Star had reported the parent’s noble action and a check at National Transplant Resource Centre website showed their latest statistic until 31st July 2012 stated that there are 378 organ donation cases recorded and 200,796 registered organ donor pledgers. There are 16,000 people currently on a waiting for organ transplants.
At the funeral I learned a very valuable lesson in my life about organ donation. Without wasting any time, on 28th February, my wife and I registered as an organ donor at Pusat Sumber Pendermaan Organ, Manjung Hospital.
According to Dr. FRANK RIDDICK (American Medical Association): “These are organs which will be buried or cremated unless they are transplanted. There is an ethical obligation to do everything possible to improve the health of the public and to meet the needs of the patient population.”
But not many people agree that taking organs from the dead person is a justifiable practice within certain ethical boundaries. In Malaysia, the main restriction came from religious objections, lack of publicity and awareness education to the public.
Every year hundreds of people have their lives saved as a result of organ transplants. However, every year thousands of people die who would have lived had they received a transplant. Indeed, the majority of people waiting for a transplant never receive one; they die first. (Written by Professor Michael Reiss, Institute of Education, University of London.)
Now, I am a proud organ donor and had done my part to the community. Ethical organ donation may help change the lives of others who are suffering from organ failure and someone in desperate need and one day my organ may help change the lives of others. Give them the priceless gift of life! (27% plag)
My life embarrassments experience is alcoholism. This incident happen on August 2007 after a night out in a local pub, I couldn’t find my way home and I was hovering and that was when I was caught by the police after a chase and accident. Big arguments happen between me (I am totally drunk) and the policemen, they arrested and took me to a hospital for a urine and blood test to charge me for drink and drive. The doctor who performed the procedure recognized me by my wife who is a radiographer at same hospital and he called my wife, which was at 5am! My wife came and rescued me. This has become a big embarrassments moment my family and me and I become fully aware of the negative effect of alcoholic drinks. That was the last day I tasted the beer.
“Sometimes it’s the mistakes that turn out to be the best parts of life,”