Monday, May 14, 2007

The Decision

Recently I was faced with a chance to do something unethical which would profit me, I would profit financially from it and there was no chance that my action would be discovered. I didn't hesitate. I said "no". The vast majority of people may say I was stupid. I brought suffering upon myself because I wouldn't "cheat." It was a win-win situation if I said "yes." So why did I say "no"?

It is popular in today's world to believe that the ends justify the means. We are taught that we have "to play the game" to get ahead. One must have a positive mental attitude. Look at the bookstores, brimming with self-help tomes. You could fill your house with words on how to achieve success.

Unfortunately, when people get that success, they find it is hollow. An astonishing number of million dollar lottery winners are broke within a few years.

So, what can we do to make our lives meaningful? I am not going to tell you to volunteer to help Africa, get religion or join a 12 step program. Those are noble. But no. I am going to tell you to behave everyday with integrity. Be patient. Treat everyone as you want to be treated. (Where have you heard that before?) I may lose financially today. But I am at peace. I'll gain riches tomorrow.

1 comment:

kester said...

I stumbled on this searching for double barreled shotguns but I thought it was a wonderful post. I don't know how many times I have said that the definition of integrity is to do something because it is right even though you derive no benefit from it or it even causes you harm. I'm 51 and I work with a lot of young people. I don't see that kind of ethic in my young co-workers.