What is it about ethics, doing the right thing?

What is it about ethics? Ethics represent an individual’s moral principles. It is how we decide what is right and what is not, what is good and what is not. Sometimes we find that the moral principles that guided us in the past were misplaced or even ignorant. Here is an example.

I had not turned out to be the man I had once envisioned myself to be. I thought I would be the kind of man that America could point to and say, “There. That’s the guy. That’s the one who got it right. The whole package. The one I can depend on.”

An Honest Confession by an American Coward is the story of one who learned that there are things with value that he did not recognize in his youth.

It was that same long night, after listening to Al’s story, that I began to make judgments about how I had conducted myself during the Vietnam War. … I began to assess my role as a citizen in the ’60s, when my country called my name and I shot her the bird. … I realized I’d done all this research to better understand my country. I now revere words like democracy, freedom, the right to vote, and the grandeur of the extraordinary vision of the founding fathers. Do I see America’s flaws? Of course. But I now can honor her basic, incorruptible virtues, the ones that let me walk the streets screaming my ass off that my country had no idea what it was doing in South Vietnam.

Whether it is the country at large or just a group of friends, it is ethical and moral principles that provide the glue for effective and meaningful relationships.

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