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avalmez's avatar

How are your values and morals different than those espoused by you when you were younger, or the environment in which you were raised?

Asked by avalmez (1614points) July 10th, 2009

All parents believe it’s their obligation and responsibility to instill certain morals and values upon their children. Some of those values and morals are ingrained in each of us for life, while others we discard as not moral or valuable.

How did your values and morals evolve from those of the prior generation? No judgments as to whether your morals and value are better or worse, but how have your decisions affected you and your family’s lives?

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21 Answers

CMaz's avatar

My parents have been there done that. They try to instill in me what they have, in most cases, see repeatedly happen.

Then we experience our own, been there done that.

avalmez's avatar

@ChazMaz that’s basically the premise of the question. can you elaborate? not asking that you judge your experiences versus those of your parents, but how your experiences led you to different conclusions.

CMaz's avatar

My been there and done that were different then theirs.

marinelife's avatar

I think that they are close in terms of how to go on in the world, how to interact with others.

What is different is my concept of my spiritual life.

bea2345's avatar

Some things never leave you. I grew up in the secure belief that God is not mocked; that every infraction, every sin, would have to be paid for. Now, I have lost a lot of my early faith, but the habits ingrained by my family remain: pay one’s debts, perform one’s duties, be honest, etc.

avalmez's avatar

here’s my answer to my own question…

i grew up in an intensely and dogmatically religious home (@Marina). My parents very much believe in heaven and hell, and in eternal damnation if you don’t accept Jesus as your Savior.

I am what i would say is a spiritual person but not necessarily religious in that i do not ascribe to the belief system of any one religion. I think some of my parents religious beliefs are archaic and motivated more by fear than love of God.

A consequence is that i did not raise my own children to be religious. I felt they should be left to make their own decisions later in life. in retrospect, i think some kind of religious training would have been better than none as it would have made them think more about spirituality and made conscious decisions as opposed to never having considered spirituality at all.

Second, i grew up in the conservative environment of the South. race, ethnic background and sexual orientation defined much about you. in this respect, i learned much from my kids about what matters in the makeup as a person as opposed to what distracts from knowing the person.

SuperMouse's avatar

My parents were very devout Catholics and for a long time I was right there with them. I internalized all the rules that were laid out for me. I still follow many of them and am working hard to let go of the more poisonous ones. I like to say you can take the girl out of the Church, but you can’t take the Church out of the girl.

marinelife's avatar

@SuperMouse Excuse me, but I did not see your hand and hear you say ‘ster, ster until you were acknowledged before speaking. ; )

laureth's avatar

I grew up as the only child of a single mom on welfare and food stamps. Back in the day, I totally believed that the rich owed the poor a living, because where would I have been without that money? If the rich have more than they know what to do with, well, by goodness, they ought to feed the people that don’t have any. And clothe and put them through school, too.

And then I grew up and had to earn my own money. ;) I realized that after a long pay period of working my butt off, I wanted to spend that money the way I saw fit – on rent, or school, or, heck, a beer if I wanted to. I didn’t see any reason why I was obligated by my government to hand over a huge chunk of it for people that hadn’t done Thing One to help me earn it.

And then I grew up some more. I think my views now are a sort of mixture of these two polar opposites. I think there absolutely needs to be some kind of safety net for people in need through no fault of their own. I see so much waste in the world, and I know that we could make better use of the excess that is thrown away or squandered every day. However, I also learned about Thomas Malthus and how supporting the chronically poor and starving makes it worse when entitlements run out or go away. What we need is balance – a hand to ease the suffering that doesn’t become a way of life.

Of course, there are other ways I’m different now, too, but that’s probably the big one.

Facade's avatar

They’re very much the same. Thanks Mama :)

Blondesjon's avatar

I will never raise my hand to a woman.

too bad the dickhead that i had to call dad didn’t believe the same.

jamielynn2328's avatar

I too was raised in a very religious environment. My parents were born again Christians and so I was therefore banned from participating in anything secular (which as a child means everything). When I was a teenager, my books and cd’s were burned by my father as a lesson to me to stay out of the world of the flesh. I was kicked out of my home with nothing and have had to since scrape and crawl through life.

I do not believe in organized religion, my children have never seen the inside of a church. I do however believe in honesty, humility, kindness and love. The principles of religion have stayed inside of me, although I have rejected religion as an institution in my life.

I also am not a racist, believe in the equality of all people and do not force my children to eat things they don’t like. I appreciate individuality and buck conformity and encourage my children to do the same. Although my parents were nothing like me, I learned how to be me through what they did and did not do.

JLeslie's avatar

I think I am very similar to my parents on morals and values. The only thing I have tried to change from my upbringing is to be less angry and have less of a temper, I think I have acheived this for the most part, although sometimes I still raise my voice.

YARNLADY's avatar

I was raised in a religious home, with a large loving family, and the only thing that has changed is that I finally came to terms with my absense of what they called “faith”.

My values and goals are the same, but without the religious undertones.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

I was raised by a religious Mother and a drunken Father. Mom was a submissive woman with odd ideas about religion and reality in general oh, don’t even ask, its all so fucked up and Dad was a bigot and a homophobe.

My values as an adult involve not judging people on skin color, ethnic origins, sexual preference, or any of the other things that are so not good descriptors of a person’s identity. I try to judge people by the way they treat me, taking into account, that perhaps they are having a bad day when they are being assholes. Actions really do speak louder than words. in other words, if you want to be my friend, don’t be a dick.

Of course, my tolerances for drunken stupidity, prejudice, religious extremism and stupidity in general are very low. I admire individuality over conformity, and I find herd mentality truly uninspiring.

To be fair, they did to teach me honesty, the value of hard work, and to be appreciative of what I have. Dad also taught me how to hunt and fish, and how to skin an animal the proper way to prepare the meat as food. But a lot of the way I am I learned after leaving home.

kenmc's avatar

If I were to have followed in my parent’s footsteps, I’d be a racist, homophobic, and ignorant bigot.

And to be honest, what made me into the person I am today was television. (dun dun dun!)

I’d watch tv and watch Roots. If you show Roots to any 7 year-old, they are far less likely to become a racist.

And accepting homosexuals is just common sense.

augustlan's avatar

Where to begin? Well, firstly the environment I grew up in was pretty fucked up in more than normal ways, and that had a big impact on how I raise my own children. But putting that aside, it was an environment where everything was practiced casually. That is to say, we went to church… but weren’t very serious about it. The word ‘nigger’ was casually thrown around by my grandfather, but he had black friends. He once told a story involving a “Jew-boy”, but no one protested when I married a Jewish man. Everyone was terrified of him, and no one stood up to him… except me. My mother was a very ‘hands-off’ type of person. I practically raised myself. No one went out of their way to teach me anything about morality – or anything else for that matter… I pretty much did and believed as I pleased. I learned as I lived.

Somehow, I could not be further from this example if I tried. I am an agnostic with atheistic leanings. I have very strong beliefs about what it means to be a moral human being, and actively try to impart that to my children. Bigotry of any kind is not tolerated, and is actively defended against. Questioning authority is a given. Much to my children’s dismay, I am very much involved in their lives and am a tad overprotective, too.

My oldest daughter (15) and I were just talking about that last bit the other day. I told her that it was a direct reaction to the way my mother raised (or failed to raise) me, and that I hoped she would find a middle ground when she becomes a mother someday. I’d hate to think I’m raising her to be my polar opposite!

jeanna's avatar

They didn’t provide me with any means regarding morals and values. As a child, neither parent was around. By the time I was in high school, I had basically raised myself with the help of my oldest sister. My morals and values came from the books I read and the thoughts I had. When my mother finally did try to tell me who I should be, it was too late as I was already who I needed to be. I’m happy to say that my family wonders how I became who I am. I am liberal in a family full of conservatives. I am non-religious. I am not racist. I don’t even have the same Southern accent they do. They joke about me being adopted, though there is no way that I am. I stayed inside my head, inside books and inside my poetry. I’m thankful for the lack of outside influence.

marinelife's avatar

@augustlan And you did an excellent job of raising yourself! I am sorry it had to be so.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I used to believe love could overcome and heal anything which resulted in a lot of lost time on people who weren’t able to even love themselves.

I used to believe if I did all the right and good things then right and good things would be done by me. Wrong. Goodness isn’t automatically rewarded. In fact, it’s often taken advantage of, exploited and badly twisted.

I used to believe in fidelity, prided myself on not being a cheater or with cheaters but I’m such a minority that my mortal time dictates exceptions anymore.

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