TINA MEMARIAN’S THIRD PLACE ESSAY

What does being ethical mean to you?

According to Merriam Webster the word ethical comes from ethics and means a set of moral principles : a theory or system of moral values. This definition can describe anything that happens in society. When people make decisions, the actions that come in to play are directed by ethics. Many respond that the term ethical means doing what is right, however, what people consider right is different from everyone. Doing what is right can be based off emotions and intuition, however, it can sometimes be misleading. In society people listen to their conscience and believe in the concept of ethics when making a decision. People should not lie or cheat but should always be truthful and genuine in their actions. The term not only means doing what is right, but doing what is right in terms of morality, justice, and duties. When deciding to do what is ethical, it should be done by deciding on doing the right thing not only for yourself but for those around you. 

Ethics is introduced to people from the very beginning in school and in the form of books. In stories, the moral of the book is taught to teach people a lesson. A common topic regards being ethical. To kids, ethical means being honest and not deceiving someone else. Ethics helps people make decisions and is a crucial way for people to do what is right. It was shown through picture books and taught kids to be kind. It helped kids make friends .with one another and always be sympathetic. As people grew up, the meaning of being ethical has been modified by peoples thoughts. 

In the book Fahrenheit 451, author Ray Bradbury takes his readers through an uphill battle of ethics. The main character has a battle between himself and authorities. He is constantly wavering over doing what he believes he needed to do and listening to the law. Books were illegal in society, but the main character believed they were important, and he decided to fight for them. To him, ethics came to play when deciding what actions to take. He did not want to fight authority, but he wanted to read books. As the end he came to his own terms and did what he thought was right. Ethics came to play when he wanted to expose the truth and help the people. To him he thought he was doing something right, but in the end was it right for just him or the people? 

In the television series Smallville, a young boy Clark Kent risks his life to save everyone around him. He gains super hero abilities as a young boy and only uses them for good. He had multiple chances to use his powers for personal gain, however, he knew the difference between right and wrong. He could have gotten ahead in any situation, but he decided on going the ethical way. When he played football, he did not use super speed to become the star quart back, instead he worked hard and earned his way to become a good player. Throughout the series, he sacrificed himself multiple times. To him, being ethical was using his powers to save everyone: was that ethical? 

The concept of ethics comes into play when people do what is right for the common good of the people. Everyone has their own definition of doing what is right, but ethical actions become clear with selfless acts of humility and truth. I have seen countless examples of what being ethical means. I have seen it through people, film, and books, and they have all helped me form a definition of my own. Being ethical to me means committing moral principles which are founded on the idea of doing good for individuals and a community: to treat everything with civility.