The moral compass each Marine chooses to use is a personal decision. However, often individuals are unaware of some of the factors that influence their decisions. Not all influences are beneficial to your well-being. It is wise for every person to evaluate the factors that influence their perspective of what is right and wrong and how decisions are made. We are often heavily influenced by the environment we grew up in and by those people we surround ourselves by. It is important that you identify the moral influences in your life and determine whether you have negative moral influences that are interfering with your moral compass which need to be discarded.
A strong moral compass is calibrated through regular contemplation of the personal faith and foundational values which power it. The moral path is followed by consciously living according to a personal code of conduct which may include behaviors and attitudes that should be avoided, as well as regular spiritual rituals or efforts which are designed to keep one’s life connected to the greater meaning.
Below is a list of some of the common sources of personal moral compass:
Family and Friends- The strongest influence (for bad or good) on your moral compass generally comes from those closest to you. Think of loved ones whom you really respect and admire and ask yourself what they would think about the decisions you are making in your life. Are you honoring your family name with your life? Relying on family and/or good friends to help you make difficult moral decisions and to keep you on track in life can be a great blessing.
Personal Hero or Example- Perhaps you have somebody in your life that you would like to be like. Using the life of another as an example to guide your decisions can be an incredibly powerful moral compass.
Mentors and Leaders- There are many others who have gone through similar circumstances to you in life that are willing to help. Relying on others who are well-respected can be a great way to get make good decisions and live the kind of life that you want.
Religious Beliefs- For many, religious beliefs strongly influence their understanding of what is right and wrong. Most religious groups offer some sort of moral code of living, such as the Ten Commandments or the Eight Fold Path. These religious codes of conduct can have a powerful influence on daily decisions.
Cultural Influences- In addition to the above influences, each culture may have other expectations for acceptable behavior.
There are many more sources of moral values that can lead to moral living. The important thing is that you identify what is important to you, and then seek to live your life according to your moral compass.