According to the Kohlberg theory, the post-conventional level is when a person develops social contract orientation and becomes principled. I believe I felt that I owed society an obligation to work and try to make it better, so I sought public welfare work (Fowler, p. 56).
Eventually, a better job opportunity came to me in the form of a state job in the Department of Youth and Family Services, so I decided to leave the school system. I transferred from my city job and was able work in my chosen field. Between working there and at Families Matter, New Jersey, I learned quite a bit. I would spend hours with parents who did not have the skills to help themselves and children who were in crisis. This motivated me even more to finish my bachelor's degree. This experience made me realize how lucky I was to have supportive family and friends, and the opportunities given to me.
The next big event in my life was when my father passed away (3 years ago) from lung cancer. We found out he was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. My father was born on Christmas Eve and passed away on Easter, just like Jesus. My father's name was Jesus. His dying was hard on me. I had just gotten married the year before to my beautiful wife and a year later he died. I felt very depressed and took time off from work, but I took off a whole year from school, then started back.
I was following along with what Erik Erikson predicted for the years leading up to the age of 35. I was affiliating with my wife and family and felt love for my father when he passed away. However, I felt my work was very important to me and did not take off long from work.
I hope I pass through the next stages of life as I have passed through the first stages, learning and growing. From middle adulthood, 35 to 55 or 65, according to Erikson, humans are supposed to have ego development in the areas of generativity. Generativity, Self-absorption or Stagnation are the choices, according to Erik Erikson. I think I am developing generativity, or the ability to generate life and care for others. Work is important to us in middle age, work and family life.
Now that my wife and I have children I want to be just like my father, who was so close to my brother and me when we were small. I want my children to be proud of our race, as well, as I always have been, and maybe they can advance the status of Spanish-speaking people in the world and in the U.S. Cuban people are very proud, and that is why we are only one million strong; yet when it comes to political power and influence, we surpass other Hispanic races.
When I reach late adulthood, ages 55 or 65 to death, ego development outcome is supposed to reach Integrity or Despair, according to Erikson. Wisdom is one's strong point at this age, rather than physical or other kinds of strengths. Integrity is also a point of pride, as we have contributed a lot to life. The alternative is despair, and that means that one has not accomplished anything in life. I do not want to be afraid of death because I have not accomplished anything in life. Kohlberg says that one reaches a level of universal ethical principles, and has a "principled conscience." I suppose when I reach old age, I will have developed this ability to see the world and imagine being in anyone else's shoes. To act in every way as if one is doing the right thing must be wonderful indeed. I suppose one must have developed a great deal of confidence to feel this way (Fowler, p. 99).
In Urie Bronfenbrenner's ecological theory of development, he emphasized that the developing person is embedded in a series of environmental systems that interact with one another and with the individual to influence development. There are many ways I am able to connect this theory with my own life, my growth and development, and the place where I find myself today. My life has been a series of interconnected systems. My mother and father immigrated to the United States from Cuba. An unusual couple, my mother had been a teacher in Cuba, while my father was functionally illiterate. My father immigrated to America and once he had found a job and a place to live, he sent for my mother to join him. They lived in Yonkers, New York. My mother and father represent my first environmental system.
I am now a father and I bring to my parenting many of the skills my parents taught me, and many of the skills I learned as a bachelor's prepared counselor. My parents taught me the importance of consistency and I do not let my children take the easy way out, the way so many of my friends' parents did. My children have a clear understanding of my expectations and my love, just as I did with my parents. The knowledge I bring to my practice and my life are all a cumulative of my life experience and the systems of which I have been a part. This is one of the main reasons I have chosen to return to school again. When my father passed away three years ago, I made him a promise. That promise was to be the best at whatever I did in my life. I know that I can give so much more to my clients, and that is why I seek to further my education. I am the one making this decision, despite and because of my parents' guidance (Marcia, p. 551).
I know that if I continue in my education, I can be the best I can possibly be. In my current position as a bachelor's prepared counselor, I am limited in the level of service that I can provide for my clients. I sincerely desire to become my own boss, and exert a measure of control over my own scheduled and my client list. I want to become a licensed professional counselor and I would find the opportunity to run my own practice to be very personally satisfying. Sometimes, in my practice now I experience stress because of client or supervisory stressors. I essentially work in an entry-level position and do not have the opportunity to open my own practice. If I am accepted into the program, then I will be able to start my own business or perhaps even move into a supervisory position at some point. I will bring to my new practice a life full of experience that will benefit the clients I serve.
Entering into a program will allow me to continue the series of environmental systems that have brought me to where I am today. I am excited about sharing my skills with my clients and excited about sharing the enthusiasm I have for life and for my career with my friends and my children and my co-workers. I am excited about the prospect of become a better and more educated counselor and wanting to give to others in the way I have received. I believe I can do this by furthering my education, and I hope that I will have the opportunity to do so.
Colby, a and Kohlberg, L. (1987). The Measurement of Moral Judgment, Vol 2. Standard Issue Scoring Manual. Cambridge University Press.
Fowler, J.T., Hennesey, T. (ed.) (1976) "Stages in faith: the structural developmental approach," Values and Moral Development. New York: Paulist Press.
Harder, a.F. (2002). The developmental stages of Erik Erikson. Learning Place Online.com. Retrieved August 8, 2007 at http://www.learningplaceonline.com/stages/organize/Erikson.htm.
Kohlberg, Lawrence (1973). "The claim to moral adequacy of a highest stage of moral judgment." Journal of Philosophy. 70: 630-646.
Marcia, J.E. (1966). "Development and validation of ego identity status."…