Zeely Bridge to Teribithia Consider the context of these brief sentences.
The answers to several questions that will help us make a well thought out decision are outlined below. The questions overlap and reinforce each other. People usually intuitively answer these questions.
There is no particular order in which the questions are addressed. The mind often skips several questions, especially when the answer to one clearly shows that a course of conduct leads to results we cannot accept.
What Do We Value in Life? People value many different things. These "values" are not listed in any particular order Values involve how we deal with others.
Some people value nurturing for example teachers, social workers, ministers.
Some value being a leader while others want to intimidate people. Still others want to be respected. To one extent or another, everyone values acting ethically towards people, animals and the environment for example, The Six Pillars of Character.
Often, the values that we ignore in our haste to satisfy some short term need are ethical values. Values are often in conflict and everyone has a way in which they rank what they value. The rankings are often intuitive and not necessarily logical or well thought out. They are personal and unpredictable.
For example, without thinking much about it, a professional thief may risk his life by diving into a river to save another person from drowning. An honest man may not be able to make himself take the risk of jumping into the water. We must be honest with ourselves and perceptive about how we will feel about the consequences of our actions, now and in the future.
Why is Acting Ethically an Important Value? People live together on one planet with other people and animals. Our most important focus in life is the people we associate with, our families, friends, fellow students or workers, and our larger community.
Any action we take, like a stone thrown into a pool of water, has effects which ripple out in many directions, affecting others and sometimes the Earth itself. Every person or animal affected by a decision that we make, including ourselves, is called a "stakeholder".
To be able to determine if we really want to do something, we need to think about how it will affect the stakeholders and what they value in their lives. Acting ethically involves how we view our fundamental relationship with the Universe.
Many people believe that a Supreme Being has prescribed ethical rules of conduct. Others believe that the Supreme Being has supplied some general principles and left the rest for us to work out.
Some, both religious and non-religious, have come to believe that personal relationships, work and professional relationships, and society as a whole, all work better when people act ethically.
We have come to believe that true morality always has a spiritual component. This spiritual component does not have to be religious in the sense of belief in a Supreme Being, but it must contain a sense of the relation of the person to others and to the Universe.
Interestingly enough, the ethical principles in most cultures have many similarities. These "consensus" values have several formulations.
Associating ourselves with people who act ethically will lead to a better and more fulfilling life. Who wants to live with people who are dishonest and think only about themselves?
Can selfish people who have no principles establish strong and loving relationships with others? Experience shows that they cannot. In the long run, people who are nurturing and who act in loving, responsible and trustworthy ways, will sever or restrict their associations with people who are deceptive or selfish.Once students are warmed up, ask questions requiring students to explain relationships among the units of information and to form general concepts.
Let the discussion peak by asking questions that require students to apply concepts and principles they have .
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