13
Mar
11

Changing Capitalism — (Unintended) Part 3

The OWM checked in from his den.

 

The OWM Himself!

“You made some very good points last week and I agree with most of what you wrote.” He said. “I’m just not sure what I should be doing. What must I do to be saved?”

Here are three ideas:

  • ·         Help yourself – set high standards;
  • ·         Help fellow life travelers aim high; and
  • ·         Help a kid and show them the way.

Help yourself and set a high standard. I was talking with a friend last week about a man I work with and his extraordinary high standard of ethics. My friend commented that it was much easier to maintain a high standard of ethics than a lower one. “It takes away more of the gray areas.” He said. I thought about it for awhile and tend to agree.  

That makes the case for setting an impractically high ethical standard that stretches us to new levels. Set a clear standard for yourself. Two possible standards are the “New York Times” and the “If everyone…” standards. The “New York Times” standard calls for you to act in a way that you would be proud to see it on the front page of the “New York Times.” The other standard asks “If everyone acted the same as you, would the world be a better place?” Both of them are high standards and provide a way to measure and reflect on our actions. Aim high with your ethics. It’s much easier. 

Second, help your fellow travelers in life aim high with their standards. The first step is to set a good example by your own actions. It’s a necessary, but not a sufficient condition to helping others aim high. Next, engage and encourage your friends and peers to reach for their own high standards. Make sure you understand their perspective. Gary Cohen modifies the Golden Rule a bit in order to put this into a bit of perspective. We all know the “Do unto others…” part of the rule, but Gary changes the second half to read “…as others would do unto themselves.” That change forces us into their shoes. We need to understand their position, but refuse to accept anything but the highest ethical behavior from people in our personal circles. You can show other people that ethics do matter. 

Finally, help a kid and show them the way that ethics can make a huge difference in their lives. First, provide practical help. Be a tutor. Join a reading program. Serve as a mentor. Use these times to show them the high road and teach them how to make good choices. Then, encourage those good choices. Grow where you are planted – make a difference where you are. Move and get into the game! 

OK OWM, there are three ideas to put the ideas into action. The irony is that you taught them to me!

 

 

 

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2 Responses to “Changing Capitalism — (Unintended) Part 3”


  1. March 13, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    Aren’t we all responsible for ourselves? Without blame, without circumstance? Don’t we all Answer to a higher power for what we have done, do And will doairegardless of our situation?


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