Apply awareness of self and the multi-faceted perspectives of others locally and globally

Mindfulness Final Paper  m-final-paper-scorpuz-030616
Professional Assessment Assignment on Toxic Leadership  pa-paper-toxic-leadership
Piff, P. (2013). Ted Talk Video. Does Money Make you Mean? Retrieved from:

I have written about the question of ethics in terms of active and passive euthanasia in my Professional Assessment course and have referred to this experience several times in my mindfulness course discussion posts. The materials introduced to me in this mindfulness course have been nothing but helpful in my processing of this experience and of grief. For example, mindfulness practice has given me tools to stop toiling and spinning and to be aware of life in the moment. It has helped me to become aware of my own self, my own emotions and how emotions behave and affect me physically and mentally. Mindfulness practice and readings surrounding mindfulness such as regulating emotion, understanding how the brain processes emotion, how I can cope with negative emotions by distracting myself with music or other tasks, meditating, praying, engaging in physical activity; have improved my life and my mind in a way I never dreamed possible.

At the time my mother passed in October 2015, I would have said the priority challenge was the family’s; facing a difficult situation and being forced to quickly make a decision to passively euthanize their loved one. I viewed this challenge as the most important because it was my challenge, my family’s challenge and I wasn’t thinking about the challenges the doctors and nurses may have been facing.  After being exposed to mindfulness and group dynamics, I can see that the other people involved have difficult challenges as well and I can now see their situations, where as I could not before.  I even feel compassion towards them, knowing that they too, face challenges. I believe this the mindfulness course has given me the ability to better understand mindfulness within groups and to be aware of others’ situations, not just my own when experiencing a human trial. I’ve said many times before in my discussion posts that I wish I would have known about mindfulness during this time of my life and I wish I would have had some mindfulness tools to help me to face and cope with the death of my mother.

Included in this proof of mastery is a slide show on Toxic Leadership. I added this topic as an artifact because it is important for leaders to be self-aware, but also very aware of the shadow sides of leadership. People can be affected psychologically, and not always for the better. Understanding the many phenomenon that have the potential to change people and their way of thinking and behaving is vital. With this knowlege, as leaders, we must ask ourselves, what we can do to make a difference… and then do it.

The youtube video of Paul Piff, regarding the effects money can have on people is enlightening. This resource was introduced in the Shadow Sides course.  It is disturbing but enlightening. Again, understanding more about people and the good and the bad can only make us more educated, better leaders. Realizing that money and power does have a psychological effect on people and that it makes them less empathetic towards others, is a main reason our world lacks compassion today. Our focus on materialism and status is damaging to our hearts, minds and souls. If we can shift the focus from things to shared values and ethics, we can create a values renaissance which is long overdue.

Personally: Mindfulness as a practice has become to be an important part of my daily life. Dr. Kabat-Zinn’s book: “Mindfulness for Beginners” has intrigued me with its simplicity and various ideas for using Mindfulness in everyday life.  Dr. Kabat-Zinn understands how, in our demanding culture, the business and stress, that we all create for ourselves and internalize, will inevitably harm us. With his practice methods, I can practice it while doing just about anything, not just sitting.  This is key, for most of us lead very active, lives.

Professionally: As I am an active part of Western culture today, I don’t only need mindfulness, I hunger for it. I am now engaging in meditation at work and mindful running each work day at lunchtime. Also, as the Human Resources Director, I have enhanced our employee wellness program with mindfulness meditation every Tuesday and Yoga. Dr. Kabat-Zinn’s experience with Eastern religions, philosophy and culture, combined with his indigenous knowledge of the West, his scientific intellect, his Godly compassion and his desire to serve others has impacted our world in a way, few people have.  He used what he knew (Buddhism, Judaism, Transcendentalism, just to name a few) despite many differences, and put the common thread of these practices all together to create change; health and well-being for others. I have only even known about mindfulness for a short time, and already it has helped me to begin to be.

In me as a person: I have become much more aware of myself and of others. I choose to believe people are inherently good, but I now understand how situations can change that innate goodness into something terrible. I now understand that people are products of their unique acculturation and what I can do, is to learn more about that and understand where and why people feel the way they do. The better I can understand, the better I can respond positively. I get it now. I cannot control others but I can educate myself and I can be the change I want to see in the world.

One of the most important discoveries in this Master’s Program is the understanding that there is no widely-agreed upon definition for what it means to act morally. There is no master rule book or litmus test in which one can refer in difficult situations. One has to be guided by one’s own values, principles and code of conduct, which, are only acquired through trial and error, the advice of experts, and through a deeper understanding. All of this is influenced by one’s culture or social world. Understanding that there is not one moral rule book and that my decisions will be influenced greatly by the components of the individual circumstance and those impacted, is somewhat liberating and realistic. I no longer feel such pressure to have the perfect answer every time. I now understand that ethical pluralism is a valid concept and as long as I use my core values, and sound moral reasoning when making difficult ethical decisions, and take action accordingly, then I will land well.

Shafer-Landau discusses that moral understanding can only be gained through training, experience and practice. Aristotle shares this thought, discussing that virtue is not inborn and it takes time to acquire. In addition, a wisdom must be built, over time, and one must be able to use this wisdom to direct ethical decisions and actions. We can be the most kind and generous people alive, “but without wisdom, these traits will only lead to appropriate action occasionally” (Shafer-Landau 2014 pp. 259). The Code of Ethics I have developed with the help of my coursework will serve as a true north guide when I am faced with difficult decisions. I need core values, sound moral reasoning, and the guidance of wisdom in my actions, to make the appropriate decisions and do the right thing. “Wisdom is at the precipice of every decision.” -author unknown


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