1. (used with a singular or plural verb) a system of moral principles: the ethics of a culture.
2. the rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc.: medical ethics; Christian ethics.
3. moral principles, as of an individual: His ethics forbade betrayal of a confidence.
4. (usually used with a singular verb) that branch of philosophy dealing with values relating to human conduct, with respect to the rightness and wrongness of certain actions and to the goodness and badness of the motives and ends of such actions.

Seems we need a lesson. Ethics are something many seem to be lacking and apparently we can’t enforce ethics on someone who doesn’t have any. Even people that we thought had them turn out not to have them. Bernard Madoff is a good example. The news today has him pegged at $50 Billion that he has defrauded people out of and while that number sounds small in the context of what our own government is doing it is really a lot of money. People trusted him and he let them down. Now comes the reaction to this and I guess some of it will be productive. There will be more of “Trust but Verify“. That phrase was used by Ronald Reagan when referring to the former Soviet Union and it has been used by others through history. I think that part will be good.

What won’t be good is the short term reaction by our lawmakers to legislate ethics. That will actually fail and ultimately be very bad for the economy. Their meddling always is and who are they to tell anyone how to behave ethically?

So, what do we do? Well, I would propose we act ethically. Individually we must act ethically. It is pretty simple when you get right down to it. Don’t lie, steal or cheat. That would be a good start. Say what you mean. Do what you say you will do. Those are good second steps.

Instead of looking out for No. 1 I would propose we consider others more important than ourselves. Our church (12Stone) is doing something that can make a difference. Check out if you want some ideas. Look for an opportunity to make a difference in someones life instead of getting the new Ipod or whatever you are looking to buy right now. There is NOTHING wrong with having something you want but I would ask you to consider the compassionate use of our collective wealth for a while until we get past this little bump in the road. Trust me, it will make you feel better to focus on someone who has less and actually help them than to focus on yourself.

Thanks for listening,
Jerry W. Robertson