“If you want to feel proud of yourself, you’ve got to DO things you can be proud of. Feelings follow actions.” ~ Oseola McCarty
Journalists are talking about the lack of it — almost everywhere you turn, it’s front page news. The “it” is ethics…and it quickly has become one of today’s most critical concerns. My friend just had an intruder walk into his home office and demand the keys to my friend’s new car. When my friend refused, the intruded hit him, shoved him to the floor and then pulled him up demanding the keys…
‘Hero’ Dad gets pulled over by the police for speeding and ‘hero’ Dad denies it, but the kid in the back seat saw the speedometer. The kid just learned it is okay to tell a “white lie”. Because ethics are missing, families, communities and society begin crumbling. That’s why Ethics, is just that — for everyone and should be modelled by us all.
“Living as your word – let your word be your bond – do what’s right – walk the talk – be the example” is something Steven Covey presents in his books “7 Habits of Highly Successful People” and “The Speed of Trust”. Dr. Covey says “it is to behave in accordance with your stated beliefs”. And when it comes to ethics, everyone is responsible — everything counts — everyone must “walk the talk for trust to be present”. It is doing what’s right, fair, honest, and, of course, legal – consistently – not just when it is convenient and no one is looking.
When I talk about “ethics” or “living as your word”, it seems to be a foreign concept to many. We say to our kids, “Do that again and you will be in trouble.” or we say, “Do as I say, not as I do.” Then the kid can’t wait until he is an adult so he can do what he wants without discipline. Therefore, we have neglected to teach the concept of actions, consequences and ethics. Ethical behaviour has a positive and lasting impact on the culture of our family, our home, and, ultimately, society. Children are looking to us as parents to be a model of doing what is right – the example – by living what we say. They want parents to be their heroes.
“Ethics” as a foundation are lived first in our personal life and home and then extend out to our business life. We want to be treated and paid fairly by our employer. When we spend our hard-earned money, we naturally have an expectation that what we buy will be quality goods or services — that what is on the label is what we get. We want others to keep their commitments. We expect our partner to be honest, faithful and loyal. Our desire is to be treated with integrity, honour, dignity and decency. We all have these expectations and more. And naturally your family, friends, neighbours and co-workers expect the very same of you!
Self respect comes from first living what you expect to get from others and is called ‘integrity”. Not walking the talk is called ‘hypocrisy’. The world will be a better place if we all choose to live on a higher plane. If we all choose to be role models of ethical behaviour and commit to living in “ethics.” – Self esteem comes when you walk the talk and your entire world will benefit.