It seems that one of the newest fads going around is this consideration of ethics.
As in, what should I do when I am confronted with some circumstance or another and I don’t know what my decision should be’
This subject is now the topic of books, classes and newspaper columns. Perhaps I’ m wrong, but I find it both amusing and discouraging at the same time to think that some folks actually have to write to someone for advice on what they should do in a given situation.
A few examples:
You apply for a job and you know that your current resume won’t make it, so you decide to ‘ enhance’ your qualifications. Do you see anything wrong in this’
The clerk at the supermarket (caf’ gives you too much money back after you pay your bill. You notice the error several minutes later, what do you do’ Go back and hand them the money or go on home, after all they make a lot of money’
Your son could go to a better school if he lived in the district where your sister lives. Do you think there is anything wrong with listing your address as that of your sisters so your son can change schools’
Your health insurance application asks about a previous injury, if you admit to having one, your premiums will be higher. Do you ‘ forget’ about it and let it slide or give out the information’
Now the answers to these are fairly obvious to me, but as I said, I might just be the odd duck and out of touch with the realities of today’s modern world.
So, while I can answer the above with no real problem, it makes me wonder if real people actually write these kinds of questions seeking advice and answers. This leads me to think that I could have a real career as a sort of ethics ‘ guru’ and make a lot of moola just giving out advice. So here goes:
‘dear Mr. Ethics Man— The other day I was standing in the crosswalk, just outside the bank when a little old lady on a walker dropped her purse and several $100 bills fell out along with a nasty looking 357 Mangum. Should I have helped her pick everything up or should I have pointed her out to the cops who were arriving at the bank for some kind of an emergency signed Confused.
Dear Confused- my advice would be to run back to the bank and see if there was a reward. Their answer will be the determining factor. You might want to kick the pistol out of her immediate reach if you are taking my advice.
‘dear Mr. Ethics Man- my roommate is dating this very hot woman. I am secretly in love with her, but am in a quandary. If I tell her how I feel, she will tell him. Then he will get mad at me and want to move out and I’ll have to pay all of the rent, which I cannot afford.’signed Casanova.
Dear Casanova- does she have a job and could she afford to pick up the slack if he moved out’ How does her furniture look, is it better than yours’ Is her place closer to where you work than where you currently live’
‘dear Mr. Ethics Man- I wear a helmet made of foil to keep my brain waves from being read by the government. People look at me as if I’ m weird, which I feel I am not. I do feel that my professional life (I am an attorney) has been affected by my decision, but the results are well worth the criticism. Since I have been doing this I have avoided any investigations by the FBI, CIA, NSA and the IRS. Also, both the Republican and Democratic parties have stopped sending me requests for donations. Do you think I should tell the people I work with along with my neighbors how much danger they are in by not being as careful as I am’ Or should I just let it go and laugh at their stupidity and recklessness for being pawns in an oppressive society which values the rich but not the poor I am not using my real name’ just refer to me as SRC1105.AA, thanks, and have a nice day.
Dear SRC1105.AA- Thank you for writing, I’ll have to think about your question and get back you at a later date, if you don’t mind. Please don’t take offense to this answer, I’ m on your side, but need a little more time to formulate my response.
Well, as you can see Mr. Ethics Man can get very busy in a short time. He’s going to sign off for now and take a few months off, perhaps a year.