Ethics is not a dirty word- Episode 1: In the Beginning

 An introduction to ethics, how it began and what it has become today.  Ethics is one of society’s  fundamental pillars.


Hi there!

Welcome to the first episode of ‘Ethics is not a dirty word.’  I have always wanted to write a blog for like-minded people where I can share my experiences and what I have learned in the hope that it might inspire others.  Regardless of what you do for a living, where you live, how you live, or how old you are, there is one thing that we all need to know more about – Ethics.

I invite you to tag along on my journey which will provide you with food for thought on this topic.  Motivational stories and sayings, examples of good and bad ethical behaviour, are things that I explore all the time.  So, I thought why not share these with people who have a similar interest, and ‘Ethics is not a dirty word’ was born.

My baseline stance is that the world is going down the toilet because, as a society, we have lost the art of being ethical.  You don’t have to look very far to find examples to support this, they are everywhere.  Some are born out of ignorance, some out of stupidity, and way too many because individuals have become too obsessed with their self-importance at the expense of others (unethical behaviour).

In the beginning ..

What is ethics and where did it come from?

Most people would credit the introduction of ethics to Socrates, the great Greek philosopher, but different forms of ethics were around long before him.  There is evidence of ethical training of elites in Ancient Egypt, the Vedic scriptures of India, and the classical Chinese philosophers such as Confucius and Mozi.  Sumerian and Egyptian farmers were both advised to make sure to leave some corn for the poor people to gain favour with the gods.

Ethics is also fundamental to the Indian philosophy of Hinduism.  Confucius was especially interested in how to create a harmonious society, which he believed was based on two human qualities: humaneness and the need to follow tradition, rituals, and other conventional norms.

Despite these examples of early ethical teachings, Socrates is still crowned as ‘the father of ethics.’  He aimed to establish moral truths by questioning the beliefs of others, rather than by explaining them directly.

Modern ethics, as we know it today, is attributed to the German philosopher, Immanuel Kant.  Back in the 18th century, he argued that right and wrong are founded on duty.  He believed that an action is only truly moral if done from a sense of duty, and the most valuable thing is a human will that has decided to act rightly.


Ethics is …

Wherever it came from ethics is a fundamental pillar of modern society.  But is ethics different from morals and morality?

The heavy definition:  Ethics is ‘the way individuals behave in society.’  The term is derived from the Greek word ‘ethos’ which means ‘way of living’.  It is about morals, human conduct, decency, and respect.

The simple definition:  Ethics is ‘doing the right thing’.  It is about human decency and how we treat others.  It is about what you do when others aren’t looking.

In my mind, ethics are a set of guidelines or beliefs that shape our behaviour.  Morals, or moral behaviour, are more about how we execute those ethical standards.

We all have personal ethics that identify our beliefs and personal values. Your core ethical values will define you as an individual and may include integrity, selflessness, honesty, loyalty, equality, fairness, empathy, respect, and self-respect.  Some people hold ethics very high in their day-to-day agenda.  Others are at the other end of the scale.  We talk about one’s moral compass and which way it points.

Ethics has a lot to do with compliance.  The resulting consequences and contributions that each of us make to our family, our work, others around us, or life in general, shape our whole lives.

Over this journey, I will look at examples of ethical and unethical behaviour, and the reasons for each.  We will explore why people do the right thing and the wrong thing.

We will also look at some great motivational sayings in the second category, which is called ’52 Guiding Lights’.  These are based on morals, ethics, life, and the ‘whole damn thing!’

If you like the sound of all this, you can subscribe to the blogs on the website or follow my posts on Linked In or Facebook.

What are your views, do you think we are an ethical society?  -leave a comment under the post or on Linked in.  If you really enjoyed it, tell your colleagues to subscribe.

Hope to see you back. Don’t miss out. Stay subscribed.

Till next time,


©Copyright The Compliance Concierge February 2024

1 thought on “Ethics is not a dirty word- Episode 1: In the Beginning”

  1. Ethical behaviour is sadly diminished in the 21st century. The breaking down of the family unit , the indifferent education of our youth, and the rise of the internet have all contributed to the loss of ethics in the community.
    The poor example of many people in public life and the media s and their shallow and selfish behaviour is another factor.

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Calvin London

Calvin runs a boutique consulting company. He is an established author of over 50 publications but started this site to explore the lighter side of life and all the curious things it has to offer. He is developing a career as a freelance writer.