A person is defined as the sum total of his or her distinguishing and unique attributes, beliefs, attitudes, and values. However, these aspects of an individual are attained through various processes, experiences and perceptions. In order to define oneself, a person must critically evaluate his or her core values that influence key choices and decisions in life. In this respect, I believe that my self-perception is a factor of my values that have been acquired in the course of my life. While self-perception is a factor of assumed and integrated core values, they cannot be attained without the input and intervention of benefactors. This essay will critically evaluate my core values that include respect and kindness with regard to their impacts on my self-perception. In addition, the impacts of benefactors on the development of my self-perception will be emphasized.
Respect is a social value that has been emphasized in numerous contexts and ideologies. Religion, ethics and culture reiterate the significance of respect for oneself and the other members of society. According to the popular adage, one must give respect for it to be reciprocated. This is a value that I have integrated as part of being; hence, it is a contributing factor in defining who I am as a person. Society is inherently complex and requires people to co-exist, interact and care for one another. However, this cannot be attained without respect. My parents took the initiative of teaching me how to be responsible through respecting my elders, peers and the other members of society.
As such, I learnt that respect enhances human dignity and honor as well as reinforces cohesion in society. I believe that conflicts that cause social disharmony can be avoided through respect. In addition, respect creates a society where every person is recognized as a human being and is treated accordingly. Respect is not an inborn trait, but it is learned through a process that integrates self-discipline and control. The recognition and appreciation of others are essential for a progressive society. For instance, it is critical that a student respects his/her teacher, because a student devoid of respect will only participate in a lesson, but will not derive anything from it. I believe that through respect people become loyal, appreciative, thoughtful, faithful, and cooperative.
Meanwhile, there are those who do not share these values and perceive being respectful as being placed beneath the others. Those that disrespect others have no regard for how they are perceived in society. In addition, they desire to appear superior, threatening, and powerful, but the opposite is true. Young people who disrespect their parents, elders and peers consider themselves as social rebels. These perceive themselves as self-sufficient persons who do not need their families, friends, and the other members of the society to succeed in life. I believe, such individuals are fundamentally wrong, because without respect for others no one will be willing to associate or help such a person.
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Through experience, I have understood that kindness is among the values that can have lasting impacts on a person’s life. It is evident that the world today needs kindness for the survival of the human race. I consider myself as a kind and considerate person on the basis that I do not find pleasure in the suffering of others. I always take the initiative to help and assist those who are incapacitated or in need in some ways. It is through kindness that a hungry person finds food or a sick person gets access to medicine. Kindness is the core value that defines humanity. Without kindness the world would be filled with unending suffering.
As a person who adheres to religious and social ethics, I believe, humanity should not be selfish, but people should help one another in times of need to overcome various challenges. Kindness has the capacity to save a life, nurture health, and create harmony. It is through kindness that I can contribute towards creating a society that believes in humanity. I believe that acts of kindness can have far-reaching impacts in modern societies that are increasingly becoming focused on individualistic goals at the expense of social morals and ethics. I perceive myself as a kind person who is intolerant to human suffering and seeks to offer kindness to people in need in the best way I can.
While I consider kindness as a critical value in a person, there are those who consider being kind as being wasteful. Such selfish individuals do not appreciate the significance of preserving humanity. I believe that unkind people deserve kindness in time of need. Though they may perceive being wasteful when a hungry child is fed or a homeless person is given clothes and shelter, it is not prudent to give up on such unkind individuals. Kindness brings hope to those feeling abandoned and helpless.
In addition, by showing that you care, a selfish person may reconsider his/her position and choose to change. I believe that everyone who has received kindness in any form is grateful and given the opportunity they would reciprocate in a similar vein, if not more. The difference between kindness and selfishness is that kindness is a component of love, which is a core value that defines humanity. In addition, kindness is premised on sharing with others hence creating an inter-dependent society where each person is responsible for the other.
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My values that define who I am as a person were not acquired through genetic inheritance, but they are the outcomes of factors that have aided in priming me toward their attainment. Through the assistance and guidance of benefactors, an individual is capable of learning critical life lessons while acquiring key values that define them.