My Core Values
I believe in the virtues of integrity and honesty. From an early age, I was taught that being a dignified person was worthier than being materially rich. I even read in the Biblical scripture that it would be much easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to go to heaven. These teachings made little sense to me. Furthermore, the reason why schools exist, I thought, is to equip young learners with an education that will later give them a job with a sustainable income. I hardly questioned my seniors but I always believed that the ultimate goal in life is to thrive financially, seek comfort, and salvage a future for my kids.
This would, however, change when I grew up and observed a pattern in my community – deviance was rewarded with jail time and sometimes death. I learned that deviance stemmed from the habit of denying that the fact that virtues are rewarded while vices are duly punished. However, it is not until one of my closest friends was incarcerated that I had a deep rethink of my value systems and opted to choose the path of honesty and integrity.
While I know that I still have a lot to learn in life, I understand that taking shortcuts brings about unwanted compromises. I learned this when one of my best friends chose a path of dishonesty and fraud. What began as a habit of lying and hiding while engaging in the habits that his parents rebuked led evolved to a lifestyle of dishonesty and fraudulence. He learned the trade of selling illegal substances and associated himself with criminal gangs before being arrested and eventually, incarcerated. I would later learn that the same set of behaviors he was exhibiting were responsible for some of the vices I despise the most, including corruption and impunity. I decided to live a dignified life and to learn from the mistakes of others, rather than making the wrong choices and living with the consequences for the rest of my life.
The chief reason I value honesty and integrity is that they give me a sense of liberation. As long as I am living a truthful life, I feel no guilt whatsoever and I feel like an integral part of my community. Having this sense of liberation gives me a sense of belonging in my community as I feel I can make a valuable contribution without feelings of guilt. I also feel that I can hold a position of leadership in the future because I only make the promises I can keep and would never lie for personal gain.
Having learned the lessons that I have learned so far, I have a newfound understanding of life. I understand that the reason for attaining an education goes beyond helping the person to secure a career. Education is particularly beneficial in equipping me with the skills of navigating life. I am using this newfound meaning to create good relationships with the people I come across and to impact their lives positively. I believe that, as long as I uphold the values of integrity and honesty, I can play my role as a responsible citizen. I will also be in a good position to assume a leadership position and to be the best kind of leader I can be.
“This I Believe Essay-Writing Guidelines” n.d. Available at: https://thisibelieve.org/guidelines/