Principles To Live By
Groucho Marx quipped, "Those are my principles, and if you don't
like them... well, I have others." Though he is joking, I wonder if
he is actually hitting close to home. I need to regularly check in
with myself and ask questions like, "Is the thing I'm doing now
guided by sound principles?
Principled people are the heart and soul of a society. But who
teaches our young people about character? Who teaches them how
important it is to be honest and to do what is right?
Even ETHICS classes might not touch on matters of character. They
discuss the medical ethics of cloning, stem cell research and
genetic engineering. They consider euthanasia, abortion and capital
punishment. And they even look at the ethics of governments and
But one college professor recently made a disturbing discovery: she
assumed her students shared her principles of honesty, honor,
integrity, and the like. She taught ethics, but assumed that her
students shared her personal ethical standards.
Then one day she dropped an armful of final exams on her desk in
disgust and complained that over 50% of her students CHEATED on
their social justice exam. (Do you think they caught the irony
here?) They'd spent months learning about ethical issues most
societies face, but they never discussed personal morality. They
could talk convincingly about good and bad behaviors of
corporations, governments and societies, but they cheated on their
exams. They just didn't get it: cheating is wrong. And can we expect
societies, governments and businesses to do better than the people
who run them and live in them?
Principled people are the heart and soul of our lives together.
Church leader John Wesley simplifies it for us. In regards to what
is right and wrong, he says simply this:
Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.
I think those are principles I want to live by.
~ Steve Goodier ~
[ by: Steve Goodier -- Copyright © 2009 -- from Steve Goodier (LifeSupport@yahoogroups.com) ]
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