Sour Grapes and Saddle Sores

George Hirst

Do No Harm October 26, 2006

We are getting close to the mid-term election, and as we do so electioneering has taken on what to me is a war of words intended to do harm to opponents rather than present the candidate in light of qualifications that make that person qualified for a position. The battle has come down to accusations of unethical behaviors and practices. This is confuslng to me.

I came across an article that quoted Bruce Weinstein, the TV ethics analyst known as "The Ethics Guy," who made this statement: "The word (ethics) is a turn off, it seems like, on the face of it, ethics is about something we ought to do rather than that we would rather not do. It is a bitter pill to swallow. I want people to actually feel inspired to take this stuff seriously. It is in our own interest." One of the most prevelant ethical dilemmas is watching someone doing something wrong, Weinstein said. This issue spans all professions. It is the most common problem and also the one probably in which most people take the easy path and do nothing.

This helps me with my upset. We hear and read about candidates who accuse their oppenents of wrong doing. We know that it is wrong but we do nothing.

Lets first understand what ethics is according to Weinstein. He writes that there are five life principles of ethics that everyone already knows. They
are: Do no harm. Make things better. Respect others. Be fair. Be compassionate. This applies to all of us. It is our ethical behavior and not the unethical behavior of others that matters. Ethics is the standard of behavior. If we are critical of others, find fault in other's behavior, or throw dirt at others, it is unethical. The standards of behavior should control all that we do. We should tell others that their behavior is wrong, but we just complain.

Secondly, the published accusations are a tool used by a candidates support group to gain votes. Why do they do it? Simple, it gets our attention and it works. A sign of hope here is that there are turn offs and comments on this practice to the extent that candidates tell us they will stop doing them, but they haven't.

Again: Do no harm. Make things better. Respect others. Be fair. Be compassionate.

The whole matter of negative campaign practices is very old, it has been around a long time. The whole matter of our comunications, the media and our conversations, all use negative comments, sex and violence. We talk about ethics but we do not practice what we preach. All of this comes down to one
thing: Who needs to follow the five principles of ethics? If things are going to change, we, the general public,need to put our money where our mouths are and be positive, receptive and compassionate We need to put others first.

Not just our friends and associates but everybody else. The five principles must be primary in our lives.

Robert Louis Stevenson wrote, "There is so much good in the worst of us and so much bad in the best of us, that it behooves us all not to talk about the rest of us.

Do no harm. Make things better. Respect others. Be fair. Be compassionate.


Created by KKris. Last Modification: Saturday 28 of October, 2006 14:28:30 EDT by KKris.