I recently attended a seminar on ethics and corporate governance. And it started with a prayer which guided people to ingrain certain qualities – such as: not to forget one’s character while being engrossed in any work we carry out. It also pointed out the uselessness of innovation when there is no unity among society. And most importantly, one should not forget culture while being aggressive in business.
While I agree that morals are truly important in all areas of life, I also understand that it is not always possible to be ethical. There are always choices and opportunity costs attached to them – the choice that wins is the one that is valued by the decision maker. I sat in that seminar with people from different cultures and backgrounds and I heard a few snarky remarks. It made me feel bad for the speaker, an old man in his late 60s, but at the same time, it made me think. Somehow at that time, I was partially tuned into my Higher-Self as well.
And these are comments I heard:
“Oh, now we have to learn ethics!”
“Blah, blah, blah.”
“The corporates would never strive in an ethical environment. And when it comes down to making a choice between the ethical way and the profitable way, hands down it will be the profit way. How else does one survive? If we make the ethical choices, we may just get replaced for the ones who choose profits”
I sat there thinking why it is that people do not value ethics and morals?
And the answer came: “because we start too late”. This made me think is ethics a subject to be taught in a Bachelor’s or a Master’s program in the first place?
It is something that should be part of a child’s life. If the child hasn’t learned between right and wrong by the age of 5, it may be too late. How can we expect a person to carve a path in a dark forest when they couldn’t see the road in bright daylight?
And perhaps our approach to ethics makes it seem unimportant, because if it is so important – wouldn’t it be part of our lives for a long time?
Often times, when I sit to meditate or do Reiki, I get transported into an idealistic place. This place does not carry human concerns but instead love and uplifting energies – but even then this place can only truly be accessed following a certain code of ethics. I fail to understand why ethics are not spoken about with children, do we think that they are too young? Or is it that we think they won’t understand?
And if we did talk to our children about morals and their life principles, would it reduce incidents of bullying in schools and later on issues in adulthood? It makes me wonder.