Ethics, Smethics

Playground.4Do ethics still matter or are they something to be set aside when we feel like it.  Are they ethics or ethics smethics?  I think they do matter.  I also think they are important to teach to children.  Yet, many adults no longer seem to feel they are important.  And, that is troubling.

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines ethics as:

  • a set of moral principles :  a theory or system of moral values
  • the principles of conduct governing an individual or a group
  • a guiding philosophy
  • a consciousness of moral importance

Wow, some big concepts about how to act, how to treat others, and how to live our lives.  Yet who and what determines our ethics?  I feel that our faiths, morals, and values are a large factor, as well as what we were taught growing up.  Our experiences and our own internal values also are a part.

Treating others as we want to be treated used to be a good gauge of our ethics and morals.  Yet today, we seem to hate, to distrust, and lie to each other without thought or question.  We have leaders who are doing the same.  We seem to not think twice about cutting someone’s feelings to the bone and causing them pain.

We seem to think we are better than each other.  And, some even think they are above the law, above reproach, and above questioning.  Yet, should anyone be exempt from treating someone kindly and fairly and with respect?  Should anyone be above reproach or questioning? I don’t think so.

Is it right and ethical of a political party to not investigate something just because it was allegedly done by the same party?  I think not.  Saying so is turning a blind eye to something that could be very wrong and harmful.

Is it right to hate someone who believes a different religion than we do, or looks different than we do, or has less money than we do, or loves in a way that we don’t understand?  I think not to this as well.

Hate crimes have been going on for years.  I don’t like them and often don’t understand them and I want them to stop.  Unless we can replace this hate and distrust with love and learning to trust, I don’t know how we can change.

Children love without question and without prejudice.  They are taught how to hate, how to distrust, and often how to lie.  They can and should instead be taught how to love, how to trust, and how to know and tell the truth.

A few things I want for us to do:

  • May we learn to be kind to each other
  • May we discern what is right and what is wrong
  • May we not listen to people trying to convince us that lies are the truth
  • May we stand up for what we believe without tearing each other down
  • May we ask questions and seek the truth
  • May we discern what we are being told to believe
  • May we live ethical lives
  • May we teach our children to love
  • May we always love

I wonder if we can be ethical and live with love and respect?  My earnest prayer is that we can.  I know that we can; I just hope that we will.

Try a Little Kindness

Playground.4When I was growing up, I was taught to be kind to others and to be loving and respectful.  I was taught that differences are okay and that all people have value. My husband and I are now teaching that to our son.  It truly concerns me how far away from that we now are.  Nowadays, so many people seem to think it’s okay to be mean to others and treat them badly.

We have a person running for president of our country who in my opinion is a bully.  He has insulted people of a different race, religion, sex, and views than his own.  Rather than building up others, he tears them down every chance he gets.  He treats others with disdain or worse, outright insults and hateful rhetoric.  The scary thing is that he has quite a few followers who seem to be going along with him.

Is that really what we have become — a nation of hate, skepticism, doubt, racism, sexism, and intolerance?  I sure hope not.  And, I pray not with every fiber of my being. I know we have always had all of these things and probably always will.  But with many civil rights movements over the years, it seemed things had been changing.

I hope we aren’t going backwards.  And, I hope and pray that we have learned from mistakes and travesties that have happened.  There is always more work to be done and I hope that we will continue to do this work.  After all, we do have much in common, despite the differences.

America is an amazing melting pot and my prayer is that it will continue to be just that.

Here are some things I want us to remember:

  • May we continue to teach others how to love.
  • May we forgive and learn from others.
  • May we try a little kindness.
  • May we be helpful to others.
  • May we remember to build one another up, rather than tearing each other down.
  • May we not have a leader who will teach our children that it is okay to be rude and belittle those who you don’t agree with.
  • May we not let hate take over.
  • May we remember that we are more alike than we are different.
  • May we never repeat certain things in our history and truly learn from those who have gone before us.
  • May we have hearts of love and forgiveness.
  • May we have healthy and civil debates.
  • May we stand up for what we believe without insult and harm to others.
  • May we think before we speak.
  • May we teach our children love and kindness, not hate and rudeness.

May we also remember the words from the Love Chapter from the Bible (1st Corinthians 13:4-8).  This is how we should love:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

I wonder if we as a people can love like this?  My prayer is that we can and will.

“You’ve Got To Be Taught” – Tuesday Tunes

musicHi and Happy Tuesday!  Hope you have had a great weekend.  Mine was nice but I didn’t feel good so it could have been a lot better.  I went to the doctor yesterday afternoon and found out I have a sinus infection.  Needless to say, a lot of rest was on the agenda for me over the weekend.  I read, watched some shows and movies, and had a nap or two.

One movie that I watched part of was South Pacific, released in 1958.  The movie starred Mitzi Gaynor as Nurse Nellie, Rossano Brazzi as Emile DeBecque, John Kerr as Lt. Joseph Cable, Ray Walston as Luther Billis, Juanita Hall as Bloody Mary, and France Nuyen as Liat.

The movie Web site IMDB states this about it, “On a South Pacific island during World War II, love blooms between a young nurse (Nellie) and a secretive Frenchman (Emile) who’s being courted for a dangerous military mission.”  There is another storyline regarding young and lovely Liat, the daughter of Bloody Mary, and the very handsome Lt. Cable.

I had the pleasure of playing Liat while in college.  I learned to do the hula for this part and had a  great experience and such fun.  Lt. Cable sings “Younger Than Springtime” to Liat during the show and they start falling in love.  This was fun to play and I can still remember the words to that song.

I love the songs in this movie in addition to that one: “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair,” “Some Enchanted Evening,” “Happy Talk,” “Bali Hai,” and “Bloody Mary.” I imagine that I have left out a few.  I know the words to each and every one and sang along with them while watching the movie.

My mother starred in a production in our home town more than 20 years ago as Bloody Mary.  She did a beautiful rendition of Bali Hai that my grandparents loved hearing her sing.  I like her version better than the one in the movie.  I guess I partial to my mom’s singing.

I think that the most profound song in the show is called, “You’ve Got To Be Taught.”  Lt. Cable sings it after not being sure about Liat since she is different.  He has major doubts about loving her.  The words are:

You’ve got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You’ve got to be taught
From year to year,
It’s got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff’rent shade,
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You’ve got to be carefully taught!”

He sings about the fact that we are often taught to not like people who are different from us.  By the time he finishes the song, he realizes how that he does love this young woman and that he should follow his heart.   These words really spoke me to over the weekend.  They reminded me again of how important it is what we teach our children — both through words and how we treat others.

Have you seen young children of different races play together nicely?  I have.  They don’t know that it’s not okay to do this — until someone tells them it’s not.  My son has friends of all kinds — including different races and religions, and many other differences as well as some of the same — a nice variety. I love that he knows that just because someone is different, that he can still be friends with this girl or boy.  I too have a variety of friends and family and feel blessed that all of them are in our life.

My husband and I are teaching him that all people have value and all are loved by God.  We are teaching him also to be kind to all people and love others.  May we remember to treat others with respect, kindness, and love.  After all, we truly have more similarities than differences.

I wonder if I can truly remember to love others and treat them with respect and kindness.  I do my best each day to do just that.