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.

Followup to Our Freedoms, New President

FlagsHi and happy Monday.  I had an amazing response to my blog that I posted on Friday — On Freedoms and Our New President . Thanks so much to all that read it.  For those who gave comments, I thank you as well.

I have had responses from people I don’t know, acquaintances, and from my friends and family.  Only two were posted at the end of that blog and I responded to them.  Another one I have been reviewing and others were on Facebook.  I like that people are willing to discuss what they think, calmly and rationally.

I did notice that one of my friends from high school has totally opposite views on a few subjects than I do.  I thought that was very interesting and realize that it is a time to start a dialogue and learn about what each other thinks.  If we can’t do this, I don’t know how we can come together.

She thought that the media was the one twisting the facts and slanting things and trying to tell people what to think.  My view is that the administration is doing that and the media is reporting on it and often asking questions that the administration seems to not like to answer.

So, what do we do with this?  How do we reconcile opinions when they are so totally different?  I am not saying that she is wrong and I am right.  I don’t think that.  I just realize how different our viewpoints are.  And, I want to find a way to learn from one another and respect where each other is coming from.

I have known this friend for most of my life, lost touch for a while, and am recently back in touch with her.  I have many fond memories of our younger years and a lot of fun more recently with her.  I don’t want that to change.  So, I do want this to work.

Calmly talking to each other is a great first start.  Taking the time to listen and not telling each other to shut up would also be good.  Listening to learn about another side of an issue is extremely important to learn about issues and figure out a way to solve them.

On both the right and the left, there are certainly bends and leanings of all media.  Each news channel and newspaper seem to have opinions these days.  We often like to listen to the ones we agree with and often don’t understand or like what the other side has to say.

My major in college was journalism and my first job after that was as a reporter with a beat of county government, the county commission, the jail, the sheriff’s department, the courts, the school board, and other items as well.  I learned so much on this beat and was fascinated at how it all worked.  I will write another blog on that experience soon.

Back then, fact and opinion were always separate and not allowed to be co-mingled. Things have changed so very much since then.   As we all know now, opinion and commentary now are regular parts of the discussion.   Now anyone can create a blog and write his or her opinion.  We also have Facebook and Twitter to spread our message, whatever it may be.

My sincere hope and prayer is that we all can find a way to be more civil with one another, stop lying (from the top down), stop being so hateful, and instead respect each other.  All sides of issues are screaming and yelling and I really don’t like that.  If we keep yelling, we cannot listen to one another.  And, I think there are many people with ideas to contribute and make things better, if only we can stop all of the noise.