Archive for February, 2011

Relativity applies to physics, not ethics” [Albert Einstein].

In many areas of the country, integrity has become a fairly cheap commodity. If you read the headlines, you’ll notice that organizations and politicians and leaders and parents and students and athletes seem to think that acting in an ethical manner is optional.

Did I miss the news flash? Did we amend the Constitution? Is it now acceptable to lie, cheat, steal, misrepresent, abandon our obligations, laugh at the law, and penalize the honest?

  • We applaud our favorite sports heroes, regardless of their lawlessness, as long as our team is winning.
  • We reelect politicians, even those who refuse to take responsibility for moral failures, because they are affiliated with “our party.”
  • We continue to support actors and musicians who destroy marriages and abuse drugs because they entertain us.
  • We reward colleagues, even as they skirt corporate compliance standards, because they achieve organizational objectives.
  • We overlook “creative accounting” and unscrupulous investments because the return on our money is amazing.

Closer to home, we make a minor concession here, and step over the line there, assuring ourselves that we’re not as bad as the neighbor (or at the very least, no worse than the next person). We convince ourselves that we deserve it, or it’s not that big of a deal, or that being honest and playing by the rules is too costly; all too often acting with integrity appears to place us at an unfair disadvantage.

Here’s something to think about: Tom Peters said, “There is no such thing as a minor lapse in integrity.”

Ethical is not a title you can earn at the local charity, order online, or purchase at the store. Integrity isn’t a shirt you put on in the morning — it’s a lifestyle. Ethical people are known as such because of their actions. It’s doing the right thing, even if no one is watching. Even when it is uncomfortable or difficult or requires additional work. Even when it costs more — especially when it costs more.

John Maxwell was asked what he thought about business ethics. His response went something like this, “There is no such thing as business ethics.  If you’re an ethical person, you’ll be ethical in business.  If you’re not, you won’t be.” I believe this same principle applies to every area of our lives!

It matters not how much money you donate or where you volunteer or which church you visit on Sunday. If you’re not ethical in business or education or finance or with your insurance company or the unemloyment agency or your employer or your family, the bottom line is that you’re not an ethical person.

Ethical people won’t sell their principles for position or promotion or power. They maintain their moral character regardless of the pressure or payoff or promise. They refuse to compromise integrity for comfort.

The highest courage is to dare to be yourself in the face of adversity.
Choosing right over wrong, ethics over convenience,
and truth over popularity . . .
these are the choices that measure your life.
Travel the path of integrity without looking back,
for there is never a wrong time to do the right thing.
Successories ~

“It is curious — curious that physical courage should be so common in the world, and moral courage so rare” [Mark Twain].

Whatever you are, be a good one!


*Another one of my favorites that I thought we should revisit!


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