A code of ethics defines a person or organization’s values and helps to deter them from wrongdoing. Some of the guidelines for forming a sound formal code are “make clear which statements are ideal goals and which are minimal conditions, the code should not require heroic virtue, language in the code should be clear and specific, code provisions should be logically coherent, protect the general public interest, and make clear the general moral principles on which it is founded” (Johannesen, 181). While constructing my code of ethics, it was important to include the words “myself”, and “others” in each statement so I could ensure that it is for the good of everyone. I did work backwards as I developed it because I did not identify my core values until after I wrote each guideline. The values discovered were devotion, respect, consistency, dependability, persistence and balance. My code of ethics is a moral guide that will guide me in my personal life as well as my professional life. I have found that it is the key to unlocking success in both. Boundaries were once described to me as a beautiful white picket fence surrounding me and protecting me from everything that does not serve me. There was a house nearby my childhood home that had massive lion statutes in front of it. It was nicely done and I remember riding by this house a lot as a child. These lions stick out in my mind because they were the perfect emblems of protection. Where the white picket fence stood for boundaries, the Lions stand for my code of ethics. Heather Should:
Devote herself to God and love others as God loves. My first guideline values devotion and spirituality. It values my belief in Jesus Christ and my belief that “I will seek God and find God when I seek God with all of my heart” (Jeremiah 9:13). I believe that God is taking care of me and that I should trust God at all times and in all circumstances. God is everything I could possibly need for this life and the next. “And so I am giving a new commandment to you now- Love each other just as much as I love you. Your strong love for each other will prove to the world that you are my disciples” (John 13:34-35). So this guideline is also very much valuing love. Love is a powerful force with God, yourself and with others. Through meditation, prayer, and practice, I can experience love and devotion. This is how my cup will overflow and I will be able to pour into others.
Respect self. Respect others. Do unto others, as I would have others do unto me. This guideline values respect, honesty, truthfulness, and responsibility. I promise to be polite, courteous and not to lie and expect others to treat me the same. I am responsible for my choices and the words I say. While taking the “Jung Typology Test”, (similar to Myers-Briggs), one of the questions was “do you think and say things off of the top of your head or do you tend to think more before you speak”. Having thought-provoking conversations personally and professionally is important to me. One shows respect for themselves and others when they communicate thoughtfully. Just like there are different levels of proximity, I think there are different levels of respect. For example, the civil respect we use in our day-to-day interactions with others is different than the respect we show to our loved ones or close counterparts. Respect for others includes not interrupting, knowledge about the topic at hand or situation, using eye contact, no harm, following through, compassion and understanding, and attentiveness. Respect for myself (body, mind, and soul) includes boundaries, self-knowledge, nutrition, exercise, proper sleep, and healthy relationships.
Use consistency to frame the reputation desired and to achieve your goals. I will be dependable to others and myself. This guideline is very similar to a habit tracker. It values consistency, dependability, and achievement. Washington Irving once said, “little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune, but great minds rise above them”. Today, I have been sober for 72 days and I look forward to quotes like these every single day. Every single day, I am using an application on my phone to track my sobriety, my mood, my activities, and my reflections. Sobriety has created a starting point for me and I am excited for this consistency to spread into other areas of my life. The scary part is feeling like others will not embrace me. However, I am going to put my best foot forward and try. Every single blog post will be a “try”. Every time I get dressed will be a “try”. Creating a morning, daily and evening routine for myself will be a “try”. My hope is that through trying, I will absolutely become that person thus having that desired reputation and thus, achieving my goals. I would also like to encourage others and inform others that it is not what you do every once and a while that gives you results, it’s what you do every single day. I want to foster an experience of grace and experience of resilience. I give this to myself and I give this to others.
Never give up. “A millimeter of progress is progress,” I promise to keep striving for improvement and I will encourage others to do the same. This guideline values persistence. I consider this to be my core guideline because it has been a belief that I have always had. This concept defines my journey- my past, present, and future. This guideline reminds me of the amazing people on my path that have inspired me and instilled this belief in my heart and mind. There are days when I have (and we may all have days like this) felt like a complete failure and nothing has worked out according to plan. This might sound normal but feeling like a fool or a joke shouldn’t. When you begin to feel that way, it’s as if carrying on would just humiliate you even more. Because I have been this low, I take this guideline seriously and celebrate it hugely. Life will always have ups and downs, highs and lows, valleys and peaks, 6:00’s and 12:00’s. There are so many names for this because the ebb and flow of life is a natural process and it is only through persistence that one can overcome and push through those ebbs and flows.
Foster a healthy and loving oasis at home and work. I will be good to myself so that I can be good to others. This guideline values balance. I could brainstorm so many other wonderful values on this topic but I chose to focus on balance. If I can hone in on balance, it helps me to let go of everything I cannot control. It helps me to get centered and align myself with what is best for me at this moment. Understanding that I cannot point my sails in different directions if there is only one place I am trying to go. So, this guideline also values focus. I am aware of how highly effected I am by my environment. My work environment and my home environment are a reflection of what is going on inside of me. As I evolve, they too evolve. For me, a healthy and loving oasis at home is having organization, cooking, baking, lighting candles, cleaning, reading by the fireplace, being in a creative zone, relaxing with loved ones or working on a project or playing a game with a loved one. Ultimately, I want to feel like I am in my element and I also need a place that feels like a sanctuary. It is a consistent effort to find my place. A healthy oasis at work is also feeling like I am in my element. I am at a desk for eight hours so it is important to me to have water nearby, my calendar, healthy snacks, and the tools I need to perform my job. A healthy oasis at work is enjoying what I do and working with a team. The lifecycle of this guideline is always being aware of it and working to create those experiences.
The implications this code has on my decision-making and career choice is that it ignites action and provides standards. It sets the stage for acceptance and vision. I will accept the decisions and career choices I have made in the past. I am newly aware of how much control I have over my choices and how all decisions have natural consequences. I want those consequences to be more on the good spectrum and less on the bad. This code has locked in what some of those choices look like. Making the decision to love, respect, keep going, and take care of myself will serve me well personally and professionally. It will serve my conglomerates and me- if I can’t make good decisions for myself or take care of myself, I can’t make good decisions or take care of business. This code celebrates who I am and is the foundation of my actions and my dreams. One of my dreams is to make my life’s work count and this code is the lion roaring that it will.