Being A Balanced Moral Example
What is difficult about setting moral examples?
Reading the news about how two school teachers from a secondary school in Bramsche, Germany passed out after drinking binge sparked some thought.
The two young, male teachers were probably news fodder because they had vowed noblesse oblige. Members of the noble profession, they have the responsibility of being upstanding and propagating sound moral values.
It is tempting, then, to judge these two young men and say that they have not quite done their jobs. But who can blame them for having a little fun?
The incident brings to mind the necessity of setting a moral example, albeit with balance. Everyone finds the neighing of a moral high horse too prescriptive, regimented and ultimately, annoying.
If you shine too brightly as a beacon, the light is too bright for you to function properly.
How, then, do we set balanced moral examples?
Why set a balanced moral example?
1. Integrity is the foundation for life
2. It is part of being a whole person
3. It is wrongly perceived in education
4. Balance is needed when setting a moral example
5. It is part of being a whole person
A. Why Setting A Balanced Moral Example is a Concern
Promoting sound moral values, whether to children or simply to those around you, is a concern.
Integrity, after all, is the foundation for life, whether personal or professional. It is the basis of all relationships, for we need to communicate with honesty and responsibility. We need to tell people the truth for them to trust us. Professionally, we need to conduct ourselves with the same sincerity. No one can trust a colleague or employee who fails to do this.
It is part of being a whole person. Society places a lot on emphasis on the academics, concerned about how well children do in languages, mathematics and science, sometimes neglecting the development of character and moral values.
That being said, there is a definite need for balance. Moral values, when over-prescribed, are tight straight jackets. When imparting them, we sometimes forget that there are grey areas that are difficult to address. We may forget the difficulties of addressing morals, slapping others with judgments without considering their circumstances.
A well-balanced, moral beacon guides themselves, then others, on stable ground without blinding others with its light.
Be A Good Example
What Being A Balanced Moral Example Means
1. Being a balanced moral example is giving guidance in issues of right and wrong
2. It means imparting sound philosophies and perspectives.
3. It means teaching sound values.
4. A balanced moral example is consistent.
5. It also means highlighting life's grey areas
6. It means not being on a moral high horse.
B. What Being A Balanced Moral Example Means
Being a balanced moral example, or beacon, definitely means giving guidance in issues of right and wrong. A person definitely has to help children and even adults around them develop a clear moral conscience.
It also means imparting sound philosophies and values. A balanced moral example delivers perspectives that are not disordered or skewed. We all know what some of these are.
It means teaching sound values, whether religious or personal. A balanced moral example attunes others with their faith and conscience.
But being one also entails, highlighting life’s grey areas without placing judgement on anyone who finds it difficult to decide how to behave in difficult situations. It means being on moral ground without being too prescriptive, lofty or notions of perfection.
How to set a balanced moral example
1. Point out indisrcretions.
2. Hold a positive outlook.
3. Give your emotional support.
4. Practice consistency.
5. Allow freedom of choice.
6. Avoid being judgemental.
7. Do not avoid responsibility.
8. Remember kindness.
9. Remember patience.
10. Have fun.
C.How to set a balanced moral example: Being a Beacon
Any parent or teacher will tell you that the responsibility is onerous. It is also why raising a child takes a lifetime.
To achieve balance when imparting moral values, point out indiscretions without shining a blazing torch. There is a way to tell a person off without making him feel belittled.
Always hold a positive outlook. The more positive you are, the better a beacon you are too. It is hard to keep your balance if you are constantly negative. No child, or no one, sees a negative, cynical person as a brilliant example.
Give your emotional support when necessary. Again, no one regards someone who is not empathetic and refuses to listen as a beacon of any sort. A balanced beacon does not avoid the responsibilities of guidance; it simply does so with discretion.
We are all probably guilty of not being consistent. Often, we prescribe moral standards to others without practicing them ourselves. We have double standards and expect others to do what is right while, unconsciously or blatantly, doing what raises eyebrows. We all have imperfections, so why not acknowledge our own while not being over-critical of others?
A balanced moral beacon allows others choices. It allows others, within reason and thoughtful discretion, to learn from their mistakes. Every ship has to steer into rough waters before it navigates itself properly.
Remember kindness and patience. Again, who is perfect? A balanced beacon knows that it, too, makes the occasional, embarrassing mistake. Forgiving ourselves and learning from it moves us on.
Above all this, have fun. Light always shines better in an atmosphere of laughter and less pressure. I always drew to teachers who know how to mix in a joke or two with their heavy didactics, though I do not profess to being an expert at this myself.
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We are all great, though imperfect moral beacons who simply do our earnest best to become balanced moral foundations for others.