I grew up in a Hispanic household, which I believe had the most impact on my current values and ethics. Honesty, respect, and as my mother used to say, “doing the right thing” have been resonating in my mind since the beginning of my conscious self. However, when my family and I moved to the United States, my values and ethics had a minor switch, as these are quite different here in the States. Teenagers leave their homes at the young age of eighteen to go to college, or even if they don’t go to college, most American kids are taught that independence and freedom come with leaving the family nucleus.
This idea to me was insane at first because in Mexico, the family stays under the same roof for way longer, but as I spent my teenage years in Texas, I realized how the cultural clash was the best thing that happened to me.
I realized how impermanent life is, having my dad move back and forth Mexico and Texas, I realized that humans are on their personal journey through life, which in Mexico is all about sacrifice and staying rain or shine with what you chose and are given. Here, the concept of divorce and detachment is quite the unspoken social norm. If you don’t like something, you can change it. Therefore, my own personal ethics and morals developed into what I believe are a mixture between scientific realism, and Buddhism.
After reading Lama Yeshe’s When the Chocolate Runs Out, I came to terms with the fact that no one is ever good or bad, right or wrong, but instead everyone is a teacher or friend, as long as you “know the nature of your own mind.” This explains why to me tolerance is the most important value I cherish. Having the capacity of understanding where people are coming from is crucial in staying diplomatic when tensions arise. Buddhism speaks most of my personal values, while my morals align more with the liberty that comes from processing scientific reality.
MD Robert Lanza’s book called Biocentrism drastically changed my perception of what it means to be alive. It explains reality in a way that is purely perceptive; therefore, all social inhibitions turn meaningless when in that mindset. Without having that perception of the negative and uncomfortable aspects of society, I can then concentrate on the positive ways of expanding the human perceptions in the room. In other words, having a holistic awareness of what is happening around me, I’m then able to create my own morals.
Because I focus so much on human capital rather than economic capital, most of my morals are emotion-based. I am all about the human soul and empathy towards others. My morals are all about trustworthiness (constantly giving people the benefit of the doubt), forgiving someone when they wronged me (yet I still learn from the mistakes and avoid similar situations), and being kind to those who seem to be negatively clever. Back to my Buddhist beliefs, as long as I am making people’s lives easier and not affecting them negatively, whenever people take advantage of that, instead of me being infuriated, I become tolerant and understanding. Again, like Yeshe said, “as long as you know the nature of your own mind” then it is easier to accept and navigate around people’s diverse standings on their own morals and values.