“I don’t know which is more disturbing, that everyone has their price, or that their price is always so low?”
Is there a bench mark, is there a height mark beyond which all our moral values collapse?
Do your principles have a price tag? Is there a point at which you will gladly abandon a belief for the ‘right reward’?
This is the question we must answer in a world of constantly shifting grounds.
Or else, how do you measure progress or regress in a world where there are no absolutes, where everything is moving and we are in a constant struggle? It is for this reason of inconsistency that we need absolutes in our lives. That’s what ethics and principles are – absolutes or benchmarks upon which we measure our lives, whether we progress or regress.
But unfortunately, the human nature can be discussing ethics at one moment and be duplicitous at the same time.
Like the story of a male lecturer and female lecturer of theology who had dinner at a five star restaurant to discuss theology and ethics. They both enjoyed each others company, finishing each others sentence and were looking forward to another meeting like this.
But just as they prepared to leave, the man took the silver ware and slid it into his pocket. The lady, shocked at his actions, gave him a look of disgust and disappointment. But the man without shame responded, “I just teach theology, I need the silver ware”.
That’s why it breaks my heart and the heart of any right thinking person when people use terms such as ‘situational ethics’. You cannot be speaking of ethics and at the same time base it on varying circumstances. Once ethics looses its absoluteness, it ceases to be ethics. It becomes a matter of convenience instead of a matter of character.
C. S. Lewis said.
A ship at sea must answer 3 important questions;
1. How to avoid sinking. (A matter of Personal ethics).
2. How not to bump into other ships. (A matter of Social ethics).
3. And more importantly, why it’s at sea in the first place. (Normative ethics).
How often do we forget to start our day with these questions in mind?
How often do we go adrift not answering the question of ethical living?
And yet we are quick to carry out our frustration on others when the storms of life come crashing in, blaming God or the devil and sometimes our unsuspecting neighbour who has nothing to do with it in the first place. It seems easier to blame others than to take responsibility for the consequence of our actions. We cannot go on violating the very principles that hold our existence and not expect to face devastating obstacles.
Today, I challenge you to start your day with an ethical consciousness. Before you step out that door, ask yourself;
*How can I keep from compromising?
*How can I ensure that I don’t become a stumbling block to others?
*And most importantly, why am I here in the first place?