TRUST and the ETHICAL NORM
Whom do you trust? Your neighbor, your mechanic, your doctor, your attorney, your hairdresser? Maybe government? Politicians? The media? How about yourself? Think about it. And think about lying. Can you trust politicians who say one thing and do another (a government that lies)? Or those who promise one thing yet do another—in other words, out-and-out lie to you? Or media that slant their message in favor of their agenda, report only one side of the story, ignore important news that ought to be reported, and yes—outright lie both in print and to your face on television? If you need examples of these (bipartisan) failings, you’re seriously out of touch—they happen every day, over and over again, in plain sight, and you know it. Lying is rampant to the point that it seems almost acceptable, like there’s no end to it, and that it’s getting worse.
Here’s hoping that you trust those with whom you’re in close personal contact. Don’t you do business with people you trust? And if not your friends, who can you trust? Isn’t trust one reason they’re your friends in the first place? And how about yourself? Do you mean what you say? Say what you mean? Can your friends trust you? It’s worth thinking about.
The fact is that we’ve become comfortable with denying the very idea of truth. We studiously avoid the use of the word lie, replacing it with any number of excuses to cover up the general lack of honesty in our society. We embrace political correctness (PC), finding other words to avoid making someone uncomfortable by stating the facts as they are.
Lack of honesty is literally killing us. The lie of PC is largely responsible for the deaths of thousands. The 9/11 disaster and others less spectacular were accomplished by those who were suspect for years at many levels, from immigration records to flight training to their own words that, because of PC, went largely unreported as they prepared for their acts of war.
These problems won’t be solved until they are faced squarely–until anything less than the truth is not tolerated. Lying cannot be tolerated. (GoTo: www.extremeethics.org/?p=906 )
Truth, the linchpin of ethics, is absolute. If something isn’t true, it is false and, needless to say, unethical. The ethical person is nothing if not truthful and trustworthy [both words share their etymology—both imply reliability, fidelity and consistency with fact]. Be ethical.
The first thing to do is to be honest with yourself. It starts on the individual level, and that’s you. Then insist on the truth from others. Don’t settle for less.
Truth, the first of First Principles, is integral to the natural law to which we and all other laws are subject, and the basis of ethics. Truth is square one. Without truth nothing that follows, including our civilization itself, has a sound basis.
The author George Orwell put it this way: “In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act.” Revolute. It’s the thing to do, and high time to do it.
And when is that? NOW. That’s the only time that matters. THEN was. WHEN is yet to come. There is only NOW. How do you go on an effective diet? How do you stop smoking or drinking? In short, YOU DO IT AND IT’S DONE. Tom Peters (One-Minute Excellence) agrees. You can achieve your goals in a nanosecond. Just DO it. Never look back.
Anything less says that you’re satisfied with the status quo. If you are, stop complaining and live with the lies. If not, DO something about it. You can, and you matter, so it’s really up to you.
Yes. We really need ethics. Truth is what to do. So do it.
You need help? That’s what we’re here for! Just ask.