How does one become a virtuous person? How does one come to have the character and practical wisdom to know what is ethically required in one's communication with others?
In the Navy we have an "Ethos" and part of it states, "integrity is the foundation of our conduct, respect for others is fundamental to our character, decisive leadership is crucial to our success". This mirrors in part with what Neher and Sandin (2007) state, "the person who has integrity or good character relies on his or her good judgment to act ethically in each given situation", (p. 17). I don't believe one is born with the traits of a virtuous person, these are learned through the actions of others particularly the parent. “Set the example and do the right thing even when you think no one is looking”, I can’t tell you how many times I have uttered these words to my Sailors and my boys. But I know it is my actions that both are scrutinizing. For example, I was once offered to have a course marked as complete by a First Class Petty Officer because he commented on how busy he knew I was and was sure I had completed the course several times during my time in the service. I quickly responded with, “that it wasn’t necessary for him to that and I would complete the course like he and the others in my department had done”. Later he told me he was testing me because he was looking for a mentor. Actions speak volumes for your character. As for the second part of the question, I believe character and practical wisdom are developed through those we interact with and experiences we have in life. We gain practical wisdom from every situation we are involved in and how we handle the situation develops our character in the eyes of those who observe our actions. As Aristotle stated, “sound, practical wisdom and sound character must always be the guide in these situations”, (Neher & Sandin, 2007, p. 30). If the speaker or communicator in any circumstance loses his or her credibility as a person of good...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document