Ethics crisis affects everyoneWritten by Traci Curth | | firstname.lastname@example.org
You can almost imagine the report on the nightly news: There is an epidemic sweeping the country. The symptoms include lying, cheating and stealing. There appears to be no cure in sight. The experts are saying this illness stems from an ethical deficiency. The epidemic is affecting students, professionals and politicians alike. It does not discriminate when choosing its victims and once infected, the victims have no problem taking unethical actions without a second thought as to the consequences.
OK, so maybe that’s a little drastic. But I’ve been giving the whole ethics thing a lot of thought lately and I am amazed by the seemingly constant and blatant disregard for ethics in general. Politicians at every level are being charged with unethical and corrupt practices, members of the media are doing anything to get the story and college students are turning in plagiarized work as their own.
It’s all enough to make one’s head spin. And it’s enough to make many people wary of anyone in a leadership position. How can we trust what our leaders say if we can’t trust them as a person? How can we trust the media as a whole if some of its members will do whatever it takes to get the one big story? And don’t even get me started on plagiarism in college classrooms.
Yes, there is a lot of bad stuff going on in the world and there are a lot of unethical people. But, I have to believe that there are some good guys still out there. People who are willing to stand up for what they believe in and do the right thing, even if the ”right” thing isn’t the ”popular” thing. And yet, even if we do find a few people who represent the good, we are going to find a cynic or two who just can’t believe.
Case in point: recently, a local candidate issued an ethics challenge to his opponent. Several comments on one local blog about the challenge were cynical at best. Some called it a publicity stunt, others called it pathetic, and a select few chose to see it as a positive thing, regardless of their political affiliation.
Now, I understand this type of rampant cynicism, after all most of the news about local politics has not been very positive as of late. And sure, politics and ethics appear to go together as well as oil and water and the term ”ethical politician” is about as good of an oxymoron as jumbo shrimp, but those negative comments beg the question: Is it really so hard for us to believe that there are still people out there who will to strive to be ethical and do the right thing?
Ethics is not a blue state/red state issue. It is an issue that affects each and every one of us, every day. If we can’t believe that there are still ethical people out there in every profession who are willing to do the right thing, even if it means doing it alone, then we all lose in the end.