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Being A Balanced Moral Example

Updated on September 22, 2014
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What is difficult about setting moral examples?

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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?

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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.

But....

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.

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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.

D. Conclusion

We are all great, though imperfect moral beacons who simply do our earnest best to become balanced moral foundations for others.

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    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 2 years ago from Singapore

      We need to set good examples with a little balance.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good food for thought. I find consistency to be the hardest for me...I am, after all, only human. :)

    • Paula Atwell profile image

      Paula Atwell 2 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      Really well-written. It is tough to talk about morals without getting into religion, yet though they are related, they are not the same. I have to admit that I am very proud of my own two daughters and how they view treating other people.

    • Sandra Eastman profile image

      Sandra Joy Eastman 2 years ago from Robbinsdale MN

      I've heard about ministers in certain faith areas never drinking water from a goblet lest it be mistaken for alcohol or never getting in an elevator alone with a single woman lest they be a accused of compromising her but I often wonder it that's taking things too far. If course it today's society and media looks are most often deceiving.

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 2 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Bill. No one is perfect, indeed. No need to be...we just do our best.

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 2 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Paula!! You are a beacon indeed!

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 2 years ago from Singapore

      Yup, sounds a bit stalwartian, Sandra. We just do our best. There's no need to carry it that far.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 2 years ago

      Pretty academic. We should not be judgmental of our friends and family. But when correcting children, I think of the old maxim "do as I say, don't do as I do." Anyway, it used to get a laugh when one of my kids would say "but Mama, you do (blank)."

    • profile image

      manatita44 2 years ago

      Awesome and yet lovingly beautiful! That kid video was short and extremely touching! Excellent and inspirational article and for me yet another great one.

      Any news on our past communication? Let me know. Cheers.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 2 years ago

      I have been fortunate and blessed to have excellent mentors role model life for me. They demonstrated much of what you list here for character traits. This is a great message and I hope it inspires others to set good examples for others.

    • WriterJanis profile image

      Janis 2 years ago from California

      Lots of good insight here.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 2 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Voted up and interesting. Great thought provoking hub. Well done and passing this on.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Hi midget38 thank you for another brilliantly written hub. You always make the best points in the many different topics that you have produced.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Wonderful hub, very inspirational!

      As we grow older, we become more balanced and are in a position to set balanced moral examples for our children.

      Great thought provoking hub! Voted up!

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 2 years ago from Singapore

      Yup, Ms Bejabbers! We tend to do this. The greatest difficulty we have is being inconsistent!

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 2 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Manatita. I have not seen any vids of the show with English subs yet. Will let you know.

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 2 years ago from Singapore

      I hope so too, Dianna!

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 2 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Janis.

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 2 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Rasma.

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 2 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Devika.

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 2 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Chitra!!

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      This is an interesting concept. When I took on full-time employment for the first time, I found myself being accused of being "too honest." This caused me a great deal of introspection, and I had to find a balance for myself between being impeccably honest and being practical. It took some time, but now, I think I understand what you mean by being a beacon, but not blinding others with the light!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 2 years ago from Singapore

      All is balance! It's hard to achieve it, which contributes to the misunderstandings, Denise.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Integrity is serious, as many have a price on things, like politicians. Need I say more?

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