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According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, ethos is the character, sentiment, moral nature, or guiding beliefs that distinguish a person, group, or institution. Ethos encompasses everything that defines me: my life experiences, habits, mistakes, and successes. It’s the discipline and mindset I cultivate and how I treat, mentor, love, and lead others. Ethos is the definition of who I am.
Welcome to Dose of Ethos. My name is Jarrett Morris, and as a law enforcement officer in Southern California, I’ve started this Dose of Ethos to encourage officers to adopt a resilient lifestyle of overall wellness, fitness, nutrition, discipline, and mindset. I plan to share various ideas, experiences, and real-life stories from my perspective to achieve this goal.
You might wonder what qualifies me to give my opinion on these topics. Throughout my life, I’ve had various experiences with relationships with friends and family, some of which have failed miserably. I’ve made mistakes and had some excellent decisions. As a law enforcement officer, I’ve been involved in numerous critical incidents, allowing me to see the world differently.
I want people from all backgrounds, races, ages, and genders to benefit from my experiences, helping them become one degree better every day.
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I was born and raised in Lompoc, California, in a quintessential middle-class family with a mom, dad, sister, and a couple of dogs. I thought I had a good childhood, only realizing later in life that it was fractured, leading me to struggle with a few issues later.
My grandfather, Jerry Ledbetter, was the most influential person in my life growing up. I spent most summers with him, and he was the first person to teach me about work ethic, integrity, and confidence, leading me to become a law enforcement officer and leader.
After attending Cabrillo Senior High School, I went to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where I prioritized working for American General Media and later Clear Channel Radio over attending classes, leading to me failing miserably. I was forced to move back home and find a job.
As a young boy, I always wanted to be a police officer. I remember always playing cops and robbers, and yes, I was always the cop. I was also known as the boy who perfected the siren sound in my neighborhood. I would ride my bike while constantly whaling that perfected sound—sorry, neighbors.
After looking at several law enforcement agencies, I applied to the local sheriff’s office, and they hired me six months later. My life’s dream had come true.
I have had – and continue to have — a great career, but not without struggles that took me down a dark path. However, I overcame those struggles with support from my wonderful wife, some key colleagues, and my therapist.
As a law enforcement officer, I was involved in many significant, critical incidents, including a domestic violence call where my partners and I had to shoot and kill the suspect, responding to a mass shooting where six people were killed and 14 others injured, being targeted, stalked, and harassed by a suspect’s wife and her private investigator after working on a case with the ATF, and responding to a debris flow incident where 23 people died.
These events and many others caused various emotions that I was uncomfortable processing. Growing up, I was taught to suck it up and move on, never learning how to deal with my emotions until I was well into my 30s.
I couldn’t correctly process these events, burying the memories and feelings, making me angry and unpleasant. Through Dose of Ethos, I hope to inspire and encourage law enforcement officers and people from all walks of life to prioritize their physical, mental, and emotional well-being, build discipline and develop a growth mindset.
My ethos is the culmination of all my life experiences, beliefs, and values that have shaped me into who I am today. Through my blog, I hope to share my story and experiences to inspire and motivate others to cultivate a resilient mindset and lifestyle. Remember, it only takes one degree of change daily to make a significant difference in your life.