This I Believe

Kenji - Manitou Springs, Colorado
Entered on August 22, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

The Moral Compass

After seventeen eclectic and confusing years in my life, hardly a single of my beliefs are without doubt or ambiguity. However, the single belief I know to be true rests upon moral values. I believe that I need durable moral values to guide me throughout the imperative decisions that I face, as do many other individuals. For without morals, we are simply a people lacking an ethical obligation to achieve, aimlessly wandering.

Moral values guide us in every aspect of life, whether helping to make miniscule decisions or navigating our mind through relationship crises. When I stop to reflect, it becomes clear that nearly every decision in life is based upon moral values. Deciding to acknowledge my alarm clock and promptly awaken myself every morning, for instance, comes from an ethical compulsion to be on time. Knowing how far to take an enjoyable joke before someone becomes irritated can only come from considering my moral values. Even the most momentous decision of my life, deciding to attend Palmer High School, was heavily guided by my strong moral values. Considering something as imperative as learning, I felt obligated to achieve the highest quality of education so as to satisfy my moral ambition.

However, it is not enough to blindly rely upon one’s moral values. It is important to also reflect and examine the moral values that you hold to be dear. While adaptation to accommodate specific situations is clearly unjust, evolution is a natural process that is a necessity for survival in all walks of life. I have come to realize that I must be open to gradual change in my moral values as I mature, being more tolerant of inevitable elements of life that I feel to be disturbing or simply wrong. For as much as I would love to live in a flawless world where my moral values were never in danger of compromise, such a blissful society clearly does not exist. As a timid freshman trying out for the high school soccer team for the first time, I found an unappealing situation that strongly tested my moral values. The coaches were neither encouraging nor positive, simply yelling and cursing at terrified soccer players. I immediately disliked the negative aura of the team, knowing morally that a positive environment is necessary for any sort of growth and development. However, as the season painstakingly progressed, I became more understanding of the yelling a screaming, realizing that the immense pressure did stimulate me to give my all at practice.

To this day, as a senior in high school, I still detest the negative coaching style of the soccer team, yet I can understand the intent of the coaches because I opened up my moral values to a slight change. However, my moral values have proven rigid enough for me to still realize that the high school soccer program could use a re-evaluation of the moral values that it abides to.