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Cultural Values and Personal Ethics Paper

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Cultural Values and Personal Ethics Paper

Cultural Values and Personal Ethics Paper

Almost every individual in the US believes that he or she is part of the majority. Almost every citizen believes that his or her choices are the right one. If we all believe that we are correct and the majority, why is their so much conflict in this country? The answer is simple but the solution is not. We all base our beliefs on different racial, religious, and cultural backgrounds and each one of us has been raised differently from the next.

Personal Values

Every one leads and lives a different life with different ambitions, motivators and causes. These personal values, while crucial to our survival and growth, makes it difficult to obtain progress smoothly. Milton Constance explains that our lives can be summarized as a fable or short story. “Personal reality is giving meaning to imaged multidimensional experiences” (Constance, 2006). This may sound simple or foolish but it is the foundation of our learning. For centuries, we have been taught by fables, folklore and myths. The fables stay the same but the storyteller and listener changes can explain why the story is spoken and received differently.

In 1989, Luther Campbell of 2 Live Crew made nationwide news with a censorship issue. Some believed that their album should be censored and/or banned. The media frenzy not only helped his band become a top selling national act; it made people aware of the fact that we have varying tolerances on what should and should not be made available to the public and minors. This was not the first or last legal battle that involved a band and its rowdy lyrics, but it did cause us to discuss policies in the US.

One can easily see how personal values play into ethics and decisions in today’s world. Racial profiling, while illegal and sometimes disturbing, is happening every day. Are there more people fitting a certain racial profile caught because they are guilty or are people fitting a racial profile caught because they are being focused on allowing others to get away with crimes? This is just one of many examples that consider personal values. “Persons are travelers who are journeying with many paths, situations, ideas, notions, and projects in the multidimensional human-universe process” (Constance, 2006)

Cultural Values

We do not understand each other. Christians do not understand Muslims, Americans do not understand Mexicans. People from Arkansas do not understand people from San Francisco. The question is, do we not understand or do not want to understand each other? Cultural values have played a role with us since the beginning of time. Currently, we are dealing with an immigration problem that has many people up in arms. This reminds me of the Elian Gonzalez incident in 2000.

The US had a moral dilemma on its hands and was faced with two opposing policies. In 1964, the Cuban Adjustment Act had been passed allowing Cubans political asylum. A contradictory act passed in 1994 that stated that Cubans be returned to Cuba should they be found on the high seas. Although this was not the issue, it played a major role that caused a huge misunderstanding in the nation. The local Cubans in Miami did not want the little boy brought back to his father because they new that the boy was being used as a political tool by Fidel Castro. The rest of the country, mostly unaware of Cuba’s political state, thought that the boy should be returned to his father. Whatever the position, the fact remains that those with close ties to Cuba were extremely moved by the nation’s unwillingness to understand their concerns. This example of cultural differences explains how easy it is for small disagreements to arise.

Organizational Values

Organizations rely on people, people with different personal values and cultural differences. After reading the above, we should know that chaos is inevitable! Employers must contend with varied thoughts and ideas. However, these differences allow organizations to evolve into uncharted territories.

The same way that we use fables to learn about our behaviors and conduct in our personal lives can be applied to the corporate world. An article titled Teaching Timeless Truths Through Classic Literature explains how students are having a difficult time grasping philosophies and practices in the corporate world. Because of that, teachers are linking corporate culture to fables and tales. The Ass and the Grasshopper becomes The Problem of Resource Immobility. The Ass Loaded with Salt becomes, Interpreting Environmental Change. (Ketchen, 2006)

Knowing that we have difficulty

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