We have looked at the motto, mission statement, and personal philosophy in making an improved person. That is just the start, what about ethics, and our personal code? The first time I had many principles I mirrored from TWIWC II’s Wolf Mentality with no real idea on how to make it applicable. Which pretty much made it rhetoric, pretty words with no weight.
Instead of principles, the hard and fast basic rules that explain things, I looked into virtue ethics and making them applicable. I have written before about wanting to be a good man, yet a virtuous person embodies the characteristics to be that. To cultivate that I read how to put them in action by thinking of them as duties, using deontology’s ethical method to make something that does not come naturally anymore. Making them applicable by defining them with “Do” or “Do Not” so you have a code.
There are twelve virtues I want to cultivate some new, some old, all pointing towards the motto and mission statement. In no particular order:
- Altruism: Do Good Deeds for Others
- Politeness: Do Be Nice to Others
- Independence: Do Not Rely on Others to Take Care of You
- Preparation: Do Prepare So You Can Always Act Instead of React
- Objectivity: Do Look At All Sides of an Issue with Little Emotion
- Courage: Do Move Forward When Your Scared, Take a Stand When You Know You’re Right
- Self-Control: Do Act In Accordance to Who You Want to Be
- Respect: Do Respect People, All Have Potential Value.
- Humility: Do Acknowledge Other’s Strengths
- Self-Respect: Do Not Be Someone That You Would not Like.
- Honesty: Do Not Lie to Protect Yourself or Hurt Others
- Accountability: Do Acknowledge the Results of Your Actions
All of this to keep me from returning to a self-centered asshole. Now, the reality is that these are not set in stone; the world is a crazy place, not all the virtues are equal nor rules rigid. In the book Virtues of Captain America, the author wrote of two Executive Virtues and the principles that make them work. Judgment and Perseverance think of them as the President and CEO of a company, the former has the vision the latter carries it out.
Judgment makes sure the decisions I make are consistent on a ‘whole’, asking the questions; ‘is this who I am’, ‘would I like this decision’, and ‘how does it affect others?’ The perseverance sticks to the decision until new information gives me a better option. Just be sure to be open-minded enough to weigh the new information that is one part I will have to watch carefully. I can be blindly bullheaded until I realize it did not work.