Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 04/01/2019
When I was growing up there were several sources from which one learned of values and ethical behavior (although I never recognized them as such until much later in life). Today such issues are part of a polysemy without much consensus on right and wrong. But it wasn’t so vague back then.
There was the family dinner table, where we ate just about every night, and I heard my father talk of the unfair treatment of his boss and the vicissitudes of customers. There were houses of worship, where we learned of the Ten Commandments and Beatitudes. There was journalism, print and broadcast, exposing evil no matter where found without regard to parties. And there were the schools, where in grade school, we learned about civil behavior and, in institutions of higher learning, we were forced to examine morals and ethics and conduct without political propagandizing. Finally, entering business we learned of how to treat customers and employees as assets to be nurtured.
ALL of these sources are, in that capacity, gone or vitiated. There are no more beacons of light illuminating the routes to proper conduct and behavior. It’s all people for themselves, grab a handhold and never let it go, no matter how much the conditions change or the harm that’s done.
My parents weren’t highly educated, my school teachers taught in a former factory building. But I learned right from wrong as sure as I learned to read and write. You don’t need high tech to do that. You just need the high ground.
If you don’t have integrity, you have nothing. You can’t buy it. You can have all the money in the world, but if you are not a moral and ethical person, you really have nothing. — Henry Kravis