Ethics is not a dirty word- Episode 2: Ethics is good for the soul

Angel

A quick look at  the backbone of ethics and whether we are born ethical, and a feel good ethical story.

 

Hello again,

So glad you came back for another dose of ethics.   Thanks for staying subscribed; so far so good. If you missed the last episode, you can jump onto the website and get the previous article.

Being ethical is not easy, but it is worthwhile.  Being ethical in our personal lives helps us make decisions that create positive impacts not only for us as individuals but for those around us.  This episode I want to share a recent experience I has to illustrate how ethics is good for the soul.

 

The backbone of ethics

Telling the truth, keeping promises, and being fair and reasonable or helping someone in need, are all values that help to counteract the bad behaviours in the world, but it takes effort.

Individual ethical failures by employees can diminish the credibility of the whole organisation, both financially and reputationally. Scandals tarnish entire organisations and unethical behaviour in the workplace and can sometimes result in you losing your job.  During our journey, we will look at some great examples of ethical sandals, both individuals and organisations.

We often think of ethical behaviour by individuals or businesses as such things as volunteering with local organisations, donating funds to a chosen cause, or sponsoring a neighbourhood group or sports team.  It doesn’t have to be on a grand scale however and can also be as simple as picking up a piece of rubbish instead of walking past it, or even better, not throwing it away in the first place.  Ethical behaviour not only has a positive impact on the community when we give back, but it also makes us feel good.

Business leaders have a unique role and a great responsibility in shaping the ethical culture of their organisations, thereby influencing their broader communities as well.  Not only do they contribute to the common good, but they also engage with their communities in meaningful ways, build morale among employees, and create a positive respect for the business.

Are we born ethical?

In an article I published (here), I asked the question – whether people were born unethical or just grew up that way.  During the research for this article, I discovered that researchers believe that babies are born with an innate sense of morality.  Before they can even speak, they can judge good from bad, empathy and compassion, and show ‘baby behaviours’ around this.

How we end up ethically, is a whole different story; we are strongly influenced by our environment and our circumstances.  The environment in which people find themselves —either in society or in the workplace — shapes their levels of ethical behaviour. In a family, when a father or mother exhibits ethical behaviour, there is a better chance (usually) that the children will follow.  Similarly, in business when an organisation’s leadership embraces ethical business practices, others follow.  Of course, this doesn’t hold true for everyone, and some people will always choose unethical behaviour over ethical behaviour – ‘bad to the bone!’

The Story

I said I wanted to share with you about an experience I recently had that made me feel good for the whole day to emphasise my point that being ethical is good for the soul.

I was at a petrol (gas station depending on where in the world you are) and noticed the elderly lady next to me was looking quite stressed.  I would normally mind my own business, but the poor lady was so far away from the petrol pump, and her petrol tank was on the other side of the car, she had no hope of filling up her tank.

I asked her if she was alright, and in her shaky reply, she told me that she had just come out of the hospital and normally her son would fill her car up, but he was away.  She indicated that she could not remember how to get the petrol cap open.  We worked that out and I indicated that she needed to move to a different pump so that she could access the petrol tank.  She did, but I sensed that there was still some concern.  When I asked if she was OK now, she said I only can afford $20 of petrol, and I don’t know how to set the pump up to do that.  All worked out well in the end, we put $20 worth of petrol in her car, and she was very grateful for the help.

Sometimes we need to stop and be ready to help because it is an ethical, moral thing to do.  For me it reinforced ethics is good for the soul!

Have you got a story to tell about a good (ethical) deed that made you feel good?

Hope to see you back next time. Don’t miss out. Stay subscribed, and I am interested in your thoughts, or if you have, you have a story to tell about a good (ethical) deed that made you feel good.   So, if you have an opinion, join the conversation and add your thoughts or any comments you have (especially if you have something nice to say!) on the social media links (Linked In or Facebook) under the article.

Till next time,

Calvin

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Calvin London

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.