Ethics - Ensure That Your Efforts Make A Difference

Ethics is another element of human nature. Much has been written about this subject to it is difficult to either add anything or to be original about it. Yet I believe it to be important so I will try.

What is this all about?

This is related to

  • our beliefs
  • our conduct
  • our values
  • our standards
  • our principles
  • our morals
  • our ideals
  • our integrity

A heavy list indeed. For any thinking person interested in life and how to get the most out of life and how to contribute, then it seems ethics has much to offer.

What do I have to do to be ethical?

We talk about being ethical but what does it mean? The following give a good introduction to the meaning of being ethical:

  • to be just in our affairs
  • to be above board, honest and open
  • to be conscientious - not just act but put one's heart into it
  • to be equitable and fair in our affairs
  • to adopt a moral stance, but to live this out, too
  • to be virtuous - elsewhere we discuss virtues, here we want to put them into practice
  • to be honorable, loyal and supporting
  • to live a life of sharing and contribution

Is there a code I should follow?

Life is full of rules. Life is full of standards. Life is full of values. You need to find your own. Elsewhere we discuss having a value system. To be ethical is to live this value system out in our day to day lives. Not only when the going is easy, but also when the chips are down.

For what is any code or guidance if it only means something when life is a downhill joyride. Codes and guidance really come into their own when the going gets tough, when life is an uphill struggle. Then we find whether our code is real for us.

It is a bit like driving a car. We learn and with practice driving seems pretty easy - most of the time. The difference is illustrated when something unexpected happens and we are forced to react instinctively and with trust.

The inexperienced driver may panic and make a small mistake which might have serious consequences. The experienced driver may not feel too happy about the situation either, but the 'remote-control' nature of experience takes over, the knowledge that they have been here or somewhere 'like' here before and they drive 'through' the problem situation and out the other side - their experience and skill saving the day.

Similarly, with being ethical and following an ethical code - when put to the test those who have taken their code to heart, it really does mean something to them, those will be supported by and act from this code. Their code will guide them and give them strength.

Added to their own strength and resilience they are able to continue where the person, who, thought they are no less able, find that their foundations are rocked. And with this their support system shudders and fractures appear. And this is not what one need's when concerted, focused and determined action is needed to avert unwanted consequences.

Can I live like that experienced driver drives?

This is a challenge, but a challenge that is not insurmountable. But it will take effort and commitment. It will take as much as you are willing to give. It will take your determination. It will require your motivation to last the course. It will require you to be real about your effort. You must want this to happen, and then happen it will.

It will take a bit of you - that is what is needed to make this work. But don't worry; this is in a great cause. You and your life. What greater cause do you have?

And are there consequences . . . ?

There normally are consequences in response to actions. Newton's law of motion says that in response to an action there is an equal but opposite reaction - I remember that from my school days. And is it not true in life in general. Just like a pebble in a lake causes ripples, then so do we make our won ripples.Whatever we do has consequences, will affect other things, both that we are doing and those of others, too.

If we could see all the action and reaction lines drawn in the air we would get giddy. Rest assured this is not what happens. Nevertheless, though we act with the best of intentions we set off a chain reaction, and cannot always see the final end product of our efforts. So a certain amount of care is required in all that we do.

We could easily get paranoid but that would not help a lot, would it? All we can do is act from the heart as much as we can. That is, act with feeling and consideration, thought and care. Act from a good place inside. Act in noble and good causes whenever we can. That way we minimize harmful ripples, but, as we are not infallible, how will we be able to eliminate them?

But our efforts will enable ...

So we need take care, but then we should be doing that anyway. But if we put the effort into developing a strong and resilient, well thought out and supportive ethical code, and follow that, we will be doing our level best to ensure that good comes from our actions.

Our code will have enabled us to have developed something that we can be proud of and something we are willing to follow in our daily life. And it will support us We are not in limbo or in a vacuum. Life is real. Our life is real. And our ethical code needs to be real, too.

And if our code is real it will be there when we most need it. And help us through our life. What more could we ask?