American Moral Values
Ethics and morality are inseparable. Moral values are universally acceptable principles that govern the lives of persons each day. The values are significant in every life of a person as it enables them to be respectful while maintaining the unity. Values have intrinsic importance to the one who possesses them. When one possesses values that are self-enhancing, or that are respectful in dual life, the values are said to be moral. Moral values function to protect life. On the other hand, ethics are moral values in action (McNamara, 2017).
A person who chooses to do the right thing having had knowledge of what is right and wrong but decided to distance himself/herself from wrong is moral. When such morality is reflected in a person even if doing the right thing is hard or dangerous, the person is ethical. Being ethical is a lifestyle consistent the universal values that are connected with humanity’s values attributed to our founding fathers. In America, moral values are coherent with the norms the citizens ought to follow (Press.uchicago.edu, 2017). Being one of the most diverse countries, the values that the people ought to observe and uphold must be substantial. As a result, it is the responsibility of each person to uphold the universal values such as truth, equality, freedom, self-determination or autonomy, and dignity.
Americans cherish equality value highly. Equality requires minimally that each person is to be respected and valued. The dignity of any American is so essential for Americans that it has gained a religious fundamental component principle. Religiously, all persons are “created equal and beautifully made.” Most people in this country have the belief that God views all people alike without consideration of knowledge, physical abilities, or economic status. In other words, equality on a secular basis is translated into having the belief that all people do have an equal opportunity of succeeding in life. This notion differs from this principle as making such an ideal situation to reality is a tall order. Thus, most Americans believe that egalitarianism is an essential civic duty as well as and social duty of every person (Borgman, 2010).
However, the concept of equality often makes the American citizens seem strange to the foreign visitors since the majority of the world feels differently to equality. These visitors value power, status, and authority more even if they individually find themselves not at the top of the social order. They argue that having class, power, and authority gives them a sense of security and self-assurance. On the other hand, a vast majority of the world’s population considers it reassuring when they know from birth their social statuses and where they fit in the society. Many foreign visitors to the United States of America are insulted by the way the Native American people treat them. Conversely, Americans do not treat people by their royalty. They treat those in a high position in the same manner they treat those in the lower class. Every person is important to them. Therefore, any foreign visitor should be aware of this notion (Verba &Nie, 1987).
Individualism and Privacy
Individualism is where every person is unique and very different from all other individuals. The person is complete, precious, and excellent in his/her brilliant way. Americans regard themselves as being more individualistic in thoughts and actions. Most of them do not view themselves as representatives of a singular group, or any other team. However, they may, and do, join groups but somehow believe they are still unique and distinctive from the rest of others. Nonetheless, they tend to choose to leave teams as quickly as joining them (Marsden, 2006).
Privacy is conditioned on individualism and is more difficult for the foreign visitor to understand. In other cultures, privacy does not exist, but if it does, it tends to have a negative connotation. This can be seen as they are always lonely and isolated from the groups. In the United States, privacy is seen as a very positive condition that is a requirement, which all humankind find to be desirable and satisfying. Statements which are negative on oneself and deemed to be self-inflicting that tend to minimize self-esteems of individuals are not common among Americans. In short, the Americans are believers in themselves.
The spirit of individualism that exists among the American people gives every person a chance of expressing himself/herself in a variety of ways. The people have the right to expressing themselves anytime and anywhere. Differing opinions are allowed more in this country, unlike other states. While in Arabic states and African countries where women are given limited chances of expressions and participation, here in America such practices are being oblivion. This can be seen in the difference in the democracies and development. Thus, Americans credit themselves as being more individualistic than other states (Kashima, Yamaguchi, Kim, Choi, Gelfand, & Yuki, 1995).
Competition and Free Enterprise
Competition brings out the best in individuals. The Americans believe that by continuously promoting competition, the people can combat the challenges they face in day-to-day life. This forces them to change their moral thinking and results into everyone having a winning mentality. Developing such a competitive environment requires the effort of every person and should be incorporated in the moral development of the children. However, a foreign visitor in this country may disagree with the competitive spirit within. Those that originate from states that promote cooperation rather than competition may find it even more challenging to stay in America as they see it very distressing. The competitive spirit further helps in devising an economic system that goes with it (Bevis, 2013). The system fosters free enterprise among its citizens. As a result, Americans value and feels that having a competitive economy brings out the best in its people. This is noted on the ultimate rapid progress of a country having a competitive economy.
Bevis, H. W. (2013). Corporate Financial Accounting in a Competitive Economy (RLE Accounting). Routledge.
Borgmann, A. (2010). Real American ethics: Taking responsibility for our country. University of Chicago Press.
Kashima, Y., Yamaguchi, S., Kim, U., Choi, S. C., Gelfand, M. J., & Yuki, M. (1995). Culture, gender, and self: a perspective from individualism-collectivism research. Journal of personality and social psychology, 69(5), 925.
Marsden, G. M. (2006). Fundamentalism and American culture. Oxford University Press.
Verba, S., & Nie, N. H. (1987). Participation in America: Political democracy and social equality. University of Chicago Press.