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Savannah Lindley
Mrs. Henry
Service Learning
Period 4
21 April 2015
Code of Ethics
A Code of Ethics can be defined as a set of moral codes or a value system that any given
person believes in and lives by.Ethical standards are important in governing the decisions people
make throughout their lives. My goal in creating a personal Code of Ethics is to explore myself
and to have a hard copy of what I stand for. I have high standards for myself so there are many
important ethical standards that govern how I make decisions. One important standard I have is
self-respect. To me, self respect means to love yourself enough to know when you need to put
yourself first. From a young age, I was taught to respect myself and to not let others walk all
over me.Self respect is important because you can not show respect to others if you do not
respect yourself from the start. Another ethical standard that governs the decisions I make is
honesty. In my opinion, honesty is to tell the truth no matter the circumstance. In addition, love is
an important standard in my life. Love, in my own definition, is the choice to show compassion
to everyone all the time. Faith is also an important value to me. Faith in my own opinion means
to believe in something strongly and have reasons to back it up.I want people to have faith in me
and trust that I will be there to help them when needed. Along with faith comes forgiveness,
which is one of my most important ethical standards. Often times it is hard to show and give
forgiveness because we have a difficult time forgetting how we were wronged.. To me,
forgiveness means to pardon someones wrongs and to continue living life with them as done

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before. In summary, my most important ethical values are self respect,honesty,love, faith and
forgiveness. These are important standards that I will live by forever.
The biggest influence in my life growing was my pastor, also known as my dad. He had
such a great outlook on life and taught me many different lessons. From a young age he was my
role model and someone I looked up to. The best thing he ever did to me was make me go to
church every Sunday. In my house,going to church was a requirement unless you were absolutely
dying. At times it was frustrating, but the discipline helped shape me into who I am today. Going
to church taught me how to respect others and myself. From a young age I knew how to speak to
adults and I always called them maam or sir. This was something important in my family
because respect should be the foundation in every relationship. Attending church taught me how
to love others unconditionally because that is what God does for everyone. Although I often
complained about going to church, it was the best thing my dad ever did for me because it taught
me my ethical standards. Religion and society have recently shaped my morality due to the fact
that I never cared about either of those until I got older. Kohlberg has a great theory of moral
reasoning that explains the different levels of morality and thinking. After doing some research, I
have come to the conclusion that I am on Level 2: Conventional. In this level there are two
different stages. One of the stages explains how individuals want to be perceived as a good
person by their peers therefore they will do anything to be a good person. Another trait in this
stage is maintaining social order and following all rules set. According to Kohlberg, people in
this stage are aware of the rules in society, but want to please others. I believe that I am in this
stage because I look out for others and make my decisions based on what other people need.
Although I help others, I still make sure I follow the law. In the end, I think Kohlberg's theory is
accurate to where I am in life and how I think.

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Not only can having a set of standards help an individual, it can potentially help a whole
society. Civic virtue can be defined as citizens using their resources and knowledge in order to
help benefit a community. A good citizen is someone who follows all the rules and looks out for
the best of the community, while contributing to the society. It is good to have this kind of person
in a community because without them, people will not care, and the community will go downhill
fast. Good citizens should do what they can by using their skills to better the community because
it will make help everyone in the long run. I have witnessed my mom being a good citizen by
voting, going to church, and working in order to make the community a better place. I have also
seen other examples of good citizenship with the students at Buckingham. Each student at
Buckingham learns to use their knowledge to better others in Service Learning. Many students
chose to help children, the elderly, teachers and churches. Overall, it doesn't matter what they are
doing to better the community, as long as they are involved and giving it their best effort.
Everyone,including myself, goes through many ethical dilemmas throughout their life. I
have had to make many different choices and the outcomes have affected who I am today. The
biggest ethical dilemma I have experienced was at the beginning of my junior year. I had a closeknit group of friends who seemed more like family than just classmates. We always had fun and
had each others back, or so I thought. I was experiencing difficult times at home, and needed
something, or someone, to save me from myself. One day I stumbled back into church and
everything seemed right again. I made the decision to become a Christian and follow Jesus. I
jumped in headfirst and did not even think about looking back. I knew all of my friends were
non-believers, and in fact they were strong Atheists. Now is where the hard decision set in. Do I
tell my friends I am a Christian and could not be happier? Or do I keep quiet in order to keep my
friends? I knew telling them would upset them because everyday they made degrading comments

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about Christians. I assumed they would make the same comments about me and my choice.
Despite the conflicting beliefs, I hoped they would be able to look past the differences and accept
me for who I was. I made the choice to tell them because I did not want to hide who I was. To
my surprise, they all walked away and still do not talk to me. Its funny how what seems like
minor decision can have such a strong impact on your life. That experience taught me to be
independent and stand for something I believe in.
It is essential for each individual to have a personal Code of Ethics because one must
know what one stands for in order to make a wise decision. Having a code to live by enables
people to have a mind of their own and encourages them to do great things in life.Although not
everyone has different ideas of what is important, it is good to have a strong idea of what you
believe. For instance,Rosa Parks had a different Code of Ethics during her time than most.She
believed in black peoples rights. Respect was a value that meant a lot to her. Parks believed that
everyone should be respected and treated the same regardless of race and gender. She expressed
her beliefs of respect by refusing to move on the bus because she wanted respect and to be
treated the same. Another example could be Martin Luther King Jr. He had a strong code of
ethics against racism and violence. King valued peace and expressed this value by using non
violent tactics to get his point across to others. For example, instead of starting riots, he would
have sit ins that were peaceful. Both of these people used their code of ethics to change society
during their era.To conclude, having a Code of Ethics enables a citizen to prosper throughout
their life and change society. Now that I have a written code of ethics and values, I plan to be the
light for others who have list their way. I plan to help others in the community when they are in
need in hopes that they will also strive to be better and help others.

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After doing this assignment, I realized I have set high standards and expectations for
myself. I also realized that I have different standards than most people my age because they
focus on having fun and living in the moment, but I think about the future and how I can help
others. The most important thing I learned is that you will never please everyone with the way
you are and it is a waste of time to try. Now that I have a hard copy of my personal Code of
Ethics, I plan to live by it and refer back to it in tough situations. My code of ethics will act as
my backbone and will be a constant reminder of who I am and what I stand for.