The End Does NOT Justify the Means
The End Does NOT Justify the Means
A house built on quicksand will not stand for long.
A few thoughts I’m having this morning…People have been conditioned to believe that corruption in politics, business, public service and even relationships is part of life. There is a degree of acceptance today that I find really disconcerting.
So often people tell me that this is actually how its always been; well if so then we ought not be surprised at all by our current eroded society.
We clearly expect it. Why the outrage when it happens in any area, but mainly only if it affects us personally?
The idea that we can expect corruption, manipulation, lies, cheating in these aspects of life and not be outraged tells me that we have eroded our values. Many people say that winning is what matters most. But what do we win when we employ methods such as those?
Relationships built on such low values cannot last, cannot produce the goodness we say we want. It seems the one area that we as a society will not tolerate corruption, cheating and unfair advantages is with our athletes.
No fan wants their team or athlete to win by cheating. Its the only area of life that we hold people to a high standard, high enough that we’ll strip them of their medals, or fire them from their job, or prevent them from participating in future competitions.
Its so bizarre to me to see this, while the majority of people say they want healthy relationships, want people to keep their word, want transparency, honesty, integrity and respectful societies. We say it yet we expect the opposite and accept such low moral values in so many areas of life. We say we want honesty in business and express great screams of victim mentality when someone treats us unfairly or cheats us through any perceived dishonesty; but someone is clearly doing it. It is happening and in the end when it is not affecting us personally we often say, ‘well some people are just not trustworthy’. People cheat on spouses and we say its human nature. People lie and manipulate in personal relationships and we complain about it, but surely these happenings are not being done by just a few. Surely we are not the exception to these patterns; because if we are then why do we see so much of it in so many areas of life?
We express such outrage when someone cheats us in business, yet at the same time we say its often the cost of doing business, or some lies are acceptable. We say we want government that works for people and our environment but we accept that they often do not. When our preferred team or person wins by less than fair or just means we are not outraged at all; only when our team or preferred person loses are we horrified that the other team cheated, manipulated or lied! Why are we not holding people to the standards we say we want? We all know we have to protect the environment we live in or perish, but if it means a job for us or a close friend or relative in that area, we seem willing to accept harm to our environment as a cost of doing business.
We seem to be unable to connect the dots and realize that one thing by itself does not contaminate a whole society, but many things, many areas of corruption do. The big picture is a mirror of the individual levels of beliefs and ideals. We are a collective. Our combined acceptance of corruption, manipulation, lies and cheating has infested our entire society and we are seeing the out picturing of it in a crumbling world. One lie here and there doesn’t seem to be important, one person getting that position or job doesn’t seem to be too big a deal, but if that job happens to be poisoning our ecosystem then its a very big deal.
I think our collective turning a blind eye to what’s happening in our world is the key behind addressing the global dis-ease. We can teach our children to play fair, but when they see what’s happening in reality that is what they will learn. They don’t do what we tell them to do; they do what we do. Just as we have learned to play by the twisted rules to survive short term, so will they.
We say we want peace but we justify war. While athletes provide us with amazing entertainment and challenge the physical bodies limits, they are the area that least impacts our societies functioning compared to governance, business and personal relationships and yet its the only area that people across the board seem to agree that cheating in any way will not be tolerated.
‘Its not whether we win or lose its how we play the game’ is the motto we say we want to install in our children; yet winning at all cost is really how we play the game.
We expect athletes to show respect for their opponents, to push themselves to be the very best in their field and we applaud the striping of reputations, medals, financial rewards for anything less than the best, for any hint of cheating, manipulation of the system, game or unfair advantage taken they can be ruined. We are more than willing to make an example of an athlete for not playing fair. But in real life, real politics, real relationships, real business we are not very convincing that fairness or truth, justice or equality is our goal.
I am perplexed and saddened by the very low standards we have for society as a whole. If we really were playing the game of life as we say we think it ought to be played, we wouldn’t have the society we do. Until we each individually raise our standards, I don’t have much hope for a better world for our children. We need to own our part in this current low moral decay; but many will suggest that they didn’t play a part at all.
As we each point our finger out into that crazy world, we have to know that we consent to it when we do not speak up, when we accept that corruption is just a cost of doing business, that some people have to die in order for the rest to be safe, free and healthy. We consent by our actions and inactions because we are all part of the whole. My apologies if my post makes people uncomfortable, but perhaps it is our comfort in the status quo that has allowed it to spread.
And no I’m not saying YOU individually, have done anything wrong; ‘when we know better we do better’ and at this point in our history I think we all know that denying we have any influence on this world is naive. Many will never speak out and that is fine, but when some people do take a stand against corruption, lets not condemn them for it. That in itself is a positive way to contribute to a better tomorrow. (thanks for listening)
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