My whole family immigrated to Los Angeles from the place I was born and raised–Hong Kong on May 2, 1989.
I finished high school at Lincoln High school. Everything in the US was new and was very interesting to a teenage boy from the Far East. Teachers were formally and highly respected in Hong Kong and the first day of school in Lincoln High gave me a very different view of the American school system, a student rudely argued with the teacher. My cultural values changed drastically ever since I was part of this melting pot or modernly speaking, tossed salad.Each culture had its own uniqueness and that no single culture was ultimate. However, our cultural background determined a lot in how we acted or reacted and I learned a whole new set of culture the longer I lived in America. My cultural values were my inner judgments that determined how I actually behaved but these values might change over time, in different cultures and among different society.
Ethics referred to my principles that defined behavior as right, good and proper.Realizing that personal ethics and cultural values although different were related and affected each other, I had defined my personal ethics as my consistent standard of conduct that guided my decisions and actions and was reflective of my core beliefs and values. As a traditional Chinese male rose in a typical Chinese family.
My culture caused me to believe that as an only and oldest son of the family I must take care of my parents as they aged to retirement, be the dominate voice in the family, which demonstrate to be the head of the household, be the decision maker and the protector of the family.These values also being carried to my professional lives – the male dominated and authoritative management style. I learned that it didn’t work well with Americans who held a different type of values and I stepped onto my people’s toes in my work life. I had immigrated into a society that valued democracy, which led me to a change from authoritative manner to openness, from close mindedness to open door style, from dictatorship to fairness and from my way or no way to willingness to listen to others.I learned to respect opinions, suggestions and comments. Often, the traditional Chinese cultures contradicted dramatically with the American cultural values in many different aspects. I had to decide which kind of values to keep and which to give up as time went by. Once I adapted the values I believed, which would translate into principles so they could guide and determine my ethical conduct.
These principles would lead me in decision making and determine my DOs & DON’Ts in everything.I understood and acknowledged that my cultural and religious values and beliefs had largely determined my core ethical beliefs and therefore my behavior. However, I also acknowledged the fact that my ethical values, like most people, are not really consistent in their manifested behaviors especially when confronted with certain personal ethical dilemmas. Generally, my ethical beliefs supported integrity, harmony, freedom, equality and justice. Ethical conflicts existed when conflicting cultural values and an individual’s personal ethics collided.Ethics was also equal to self-restraint “Not doing what I have the power to do”, “Not doing what I have the right to do” and “Not doing what I want to do”.References Making Ethical Decisions: Making Sense of Ethics Retrieved March 8, 2005 from: