Morals and Ethics Decisions of Character or Social Behavior

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How Inborn Character Traits Interact in Social Settings

When was the last time you went to the store in your pajamas? What? You wouldn't dream of doing such a thing. Why not? Oh, of course, you sleep naked. You don't even own any pajamas, but if you did, you certainly wouldn't wear them to the store. Have you ever picked your nose in public? Why not? Are you afraid of what people might think if you do? Ah yes, the amazing peer pressure factor that questions your morals and ethics. Or does it?

You are who you are, regardless of how you behave in public. While you may not wear pajamas to the store, your daring personality will be revealed in other ways, and it won't change your thoughts about right and wrong in the depths of your being. You were born to be you, and even you don't have the ability to change that, regardless of whether you'd like to or not.

Oh, you can change your appearance. You can learn new things. You can even rebel against things just for the sake of rebelling. But in the depths of your being, you will know that you're not being true to yourself. The fact is you were born with your character and personality, and while social behavior interacts with these traits, it does not altar them.

That is not to say that social behavior won't magnify certain character traits. It may even have an impact on dormant traits that you didn't know existed. Different situations bring out the best or the worst in you, testing your character all the time. These situations don't change who you are, they merely challenge you to live up to yourself.

Take for example a battered wife. Her personality traits determine how she will respond to an abusive spouse. If she has a strong survival instinct, she will do whatever it takes to stay alive, even if it means putting herself in more danger. If she is super intelligent, she may try to outsmart her attacker, making strategic moves to defeat his brutality. On the other hand, if she is soft and tender, or even timid and fearful, she may cower and try to understand or excuse his behavior, even if it means the abuse must continue.

The abuser, for his part, has a powerful, dominant personality. Society has heightened his sense of awareness, without channeling his energy into useful service. He has been written off as a man with anger issues, when deep down he probably has the potential to be a great leader. He was born with a take charge personality, but he uses it in a harmful way. He knows hitting his wife is wrong, yet he refuses to control his behavior, even when society won't justify it. Instead, he hides what he does, in an effort to deny his rebellious spirit against himself.

Moral and ethical choices present themselves to you every day. You handle them according to your belief system, making judgments accordingly. Sometimes bad habits interfere with your decisions, and you feel guilty. That guilt is your inborn personality making an appearance and challenging your bad habits. Your social behavior has the ability to make you rebel, even against yourself, but it will never be able to change who you really are deep down inside.

More about this author: M. J. Joachim

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