Her philosophy was “This was how I was raised, so this is how I am going to raise you. ” There was no thought put into her actions, they were only reactions. Although I get along with her fine now she still has to Justify her behavior from the past. At the age of eight I was doing my own laundry, cooking meals for the entire family twice a week. And extreme cleaning every weekend; not much time to be a kid. On my 12th birthday I was grounded for not dusting behind a picture In the corner of my desk. I have many stories like this, but the greatest thing about these experiences is that I learned from them.
These memories are what motivated me to be different when It comes to parenting and how I treat people. My step father was the opposite. He was the strong, silent type. When he spoke every one listened. He and my mom had a very large Impact on my life. They owned a restaurant/bar and a log home building company for over 25 years, In Montana. In the summers I would work for them. They taught me strong work ethic and what It meant to earn a dollar. During my teen years I was not sure who I was and desperately trying to figure It out. At the time, I thought I had it all figured out, but looking back I was clueless.
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I used derogatory remarks towards different ethnic groups not realizing how wrong it was and I was very homophobic. I knew it was wrong and no one else in my family acted like that. This type of behavior is still very common in the south, but I was determined to change my school, I was given the opportunity to learn the true meaning of diversity and how important it is to our society. The stereotypes I was surrounded by growing up were cruel, unfair, and untrue. My time in the Navy taught me that everyone is different and that everyone’s culture is what makes them who they are.
I love learning about efferent cultures and what makes each person diverse. Another event that shaped my principles and values is when my step father passed in 2006. This changed mine and my family’s life forever. It motivated me to love and be the best person I can be. At the time I was in a bad marriage and had to make the decision that my happiness and my children’s future depended on our surroundings. I do not have time for resentment, anger, hatred, and negative behavior. We only live this life once and I want my legacy to live on after I’m gone. I had to make the toughest decision of my life and this was the beginning of the new me.
My ethical system comes from every experience and interaction I have ever had. Whether I remember them all, it still branded an emotion at the time and I learned from it. My ethical system is filled with the idea to always have respect, strength, integrity, honor, courage, and will power to do what is right even if it is the harder decision. Respect is a very strong fiber of my being. My childhood made me realize that treating people the way you would like to be treated is not Just something we heard in school, it should be lived by.
Everyone starts off with the same level of respect from me. It does not matter one’s title, sex, race, religion, or sexual preference. If you are a living, breathing, human being I will treat you as I would like to be treated. Everyone starts off with 100% respect and then how much respect I give you in the future depends on your actions. My upbringing and personal experiences are what shaped my character of who I am today. I cannot compare the inequality I faced to others, but it was enough for me to realize that fair treatment and respect is very important to who I am and my character.
When I see others being mistreated I eave a deep seated urge to stand beside them and show them they are not alone. It does not matter to me if I am the only one that feels this way; I will stand up for what I believe in. I was the only straight male that Joined the Pride Affinity Group where I work. This group was started at the beginning of the equal rights movement for the LIGHT community a couple years ago. I was accused of being gay and I was asked why I was part of the group if I was not gay. This only motivated me more to show others that equal rights are not a privilege.