Which actions are right and which are wrong? In practice, ethics seeks to resolve questions of human morality by defining concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong. But how do we determine what is ethical or right?
You are at a store and the cashier gives you back too much change… What’s the right thing to do?
You are walking down the street or standing in a queue and someone drops a £20 note on the floor without realising it… What’s the right thing to do?
You find a wallet or a purse with cash, credit cards, and the owner’s ID… What’s the right thing to do?
These are character revealing moments. I think we all know what is the ‘right thing to do’ but why do so many people do the wrong thing?
Doing the right thing is a soul building exercise. It keeps your heart tender towards others and allows you to have a clear conscience and sleep at night. It brings peace of mind.
Call it whatever you want: ‘reaping what you sow’ – ‘good and bad karma’ – or ‘what goes around comes around.’ The things you do today will build who you are in the future.
I have found that after being in business for over 35 years that the only way to run your business is to do what is right 100% of the time. You may ask, ‘how do you know what is the right thing to do?’
It is actually a very simple process: When you are confronted with any situation, just stop and ask yourself, ‘If I were the other person, what would I want done to me or for me?’
The carpenter from Galilee summed it all up when he said, ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ Many people operate under the philosophy of ‘Do it to others before they do it to you.’
Doing the right thing is taking the long-term view of life whereas doing something ‘on the edge’ or questionable is most likely taking a shortcut for the short-term benefit.
I think if you listen to your heart and seek counsel from reputable sources, you will easily figure out what you should do in your life. Doing the right thing is nothing more than practising ‘love your neighbour as yourself.’
You see, you would never hurt or do anything to harm yourself. You would never cheat or lie to yourself. No one knows our true intentions, but life and the world would be a much better place if we would all just stop and ponder the question, ‘what is the right thing to do?’
Being ethical really is quite simple. What would you want done for you or for your loved ones? Treat people with that same respect and you will be loved, respected and have an incredible reputation. Learn to serve others and you will in return be loved and served by others.
Living a life guided by ethics will always pay off: If you are in business, you will prosper because you will reap what you sow. In your relationships, you will have more friends than ever. Best of all, in your heart you will know you did the right thing. This will give you a deep peace that is worth everything.