Personal Values Development Essay

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Persian Values

My Personal Values

Personal and cultural values have an enormous impact on an individual's perceptions and ways of interacting with the world and society around them. Meaning is essentially arrived at through interpretation, and it is the lens of an individual's values that largely determines how information being received will be interpreted. In this way, two people with different sets of personal and cultural values could see the same incident or situation in two markedly different ways, depending on the particular values that each held. Even more importantly, the choices individuals make can be seen as a direct result of the values and beliefs that they hold, and this in a very real and comprehensive ways values actually help to define identity. Without our values, in other words we simply wouldn't be who we are.

In a homogenous society, where the basic cultural values are largely the same, personal values would also probably far along similar lines. When the same sets of beliefs an attitudes are encountered day in and day out in such a society, the individual cannot help but have their own perspective and values influenced by those found in the society around them. This does not mean that everyone in a homogenous society will have the exact same perspectives and values, of course, but the individual differences in values and perspectives that can be identified are likely to be smaller in number and in magnitude than those in other heterogeneous cultures and societies. This latter type of society is far more common in the modern world than societies that do not have a mix of cultures, and this increasing cultural diversity increases the complexity of the formation and effects of cultural and personal values.

My Culture: Persian, Muslim, American

The standard "American" perspective is summed up in the now-derogatory acronym WASP -- a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant. This term supposedly denotes the most common type of person in the United States' culture and society, but although this is accepted as a traditional truth it is not nearly as representative as it purports to be. In fact, the "WASP" demographic is no longer even the majority of the country, and many specific immigrant populations have numbers that are approaching those of the "traditional American." This has led to changes in what can be considered American cultural values.

I myself am a member of a minority group of Americans. Specifically, I am a Persian-American, and also a Muslim. As such, my own personal and cultural values are at times very different from traditional American values. At the same time, having grown up in this country and being surrounded by the diversity of attitudes, beliefs, and values that make up this society has had a large influence on my own personal values, to the extent that I am personally as much an amalgam of different values and perspectives as the country itself is. Not only are there the values and traditions of the Persian culture that are strong in my family and thus in me, but there are also the traditions of the Muslim religion (which are related to Persian values, but separate), and American values and traditions as well.

My Values: Sources and Definitions

The primary source of most of my values are undoubtedly my parents. The family has been the basic elements of society in Persian culture throughout the centuries of its existence, and continues to be a much stronger institution in Iran today than it seems to be for many American families (Kwintessential 2009). Everything from day-to-day activities to major life decisions are made by consulting the family; the individual is seen primarily as a piece of the whole family, which makes sense in the Persian perspective as the decisions of the individual will necessarily lead to practical concerns and differences in perspective and the perception of the family (PANA 2009). Persians also have fairly conservative values, largely due to this familial influence which tends to resist radical changes. This is also a feature of the Islamic religion and the cultural values that it imparts to the members of this faith, which the majority of Persians are (Kwintessential 2009).

It is important to note a distinction between the actual beliefs of the Islamic religion and… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Personal Values Development.  (2009, October 14).  Retrieved January 18, 2020, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/personal-values-development/894385

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