I have been accused of being “by the book” in many aspects of my life. I follow the rules of society, I obey laws, and I try my best to make sure others do too. To some, this is an example of being “by the book”. I like being “by the book”. I don’t think what I am doing is weird, and in fact, I feel that the world would be a better place if everyone lived ethically. Ethics is basically moral philosophy that help people guide themselves by standardizing “right and wrong”. Religion and politics aside, ethics is the basic framework for every society’s rules. According to ethical principles, there are three basic questions we should ask ourselves when determining if something is ethical. If all three answers cannot be “yes”, then the action is deemed unethical. The questions are:
Is it legal? In other words, will you be violating any criminal laws, civil laws or company policies by engaging in this activity?
Is it balanced? Is this fair to the parties involved both short and long term?
Is it right? At the basic level, this is like asking yourself: “What would my grandma think of me doing this?”, meaning, is this something of which friends, family, coworkers, would approve ?
I ask myself these questions in just about everything I do. It only takes a split second to answer them, and I use it as my personal compass in decision making. To some, it may mean a boring life, but I’d be willing to bet that if we all lived our lives asking these same questions, the world would be a better place. Think about it:
Robbery: Wouldn’t pass a single one.
Murder: Wouldn’t pass a single one.
War: May pass one or two, but not all.
Politicians: May pass one..maybe..
This doesn’t take into account religious or political views, so sex/drinking/lifestyle choices are answered at their most basic level. I believe if we all lived by these guidelines, we’d help each other more, we’d work harder, we’d seek to reason with each other and we’d strive to better educate ourselves (without war, knowledge and reasoning would be power). I’d like you to try it for a week or so. Whenever you need to make a decision, ask and answer those three questions. See how your life changes and email me your results.