If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.
Anatole France, 1844-1924, French writer, Nobel 1921
Consider the impact of believing that ethical behavior, moral values, and respect for human life don’t matter. Or the idea that compromising these fundamental values in favor of expediency is the smart thing to do. More importantly, what happens when no one can claim the moral high ground because there is none?
The high ground has been lost because of glaring duplicity, hypocrisy, extreme injustice, and the selective disregard of human rights based on who qualifies as human and who does not!
Look what that kind of thinking has resulted in throughout history. Choose any major conflict and you have a “Canary in the Coal Mine ” or put differently, what humanity is about to repeat. Once again, we are witnessing a WHAT’S-COMING-TO-THE-REST-OF-THE-WORLD scenario. It is only a matter of time.
When EXPEDIENCY repeatedly wins over ethics, moral values, and fundamental principles, the result is that YOU don’t matter. Your word doesn’t matter; your signature doesn’t matter; your commitment doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is who controls access to the ‘oxygen’ that keeps you alive and well enough to pay your dues.
Imagine a world where “Might Makes Right”. It is not very hard because not much is left to the imagination. In this world, the cost of control is extremely high, the price of freedom is exorbitant and sustainability is an empty slogan.
Living by your values is hard; it doesn’t make you a FOOL. But, living without your values makes you DISPOSABLE. Disposability is the logical conclusion when the time comes either to monetize you or mitigate the risk you present.
Choose your values carefully and have the courage to live by them.
Fearlessness, friendliness, good humor, honesty, honor, independence, integrity, kindness, loyalty, open-mindedness, optimism, perseverance, resourcefulness, positivity, reliability, respect, and authenticity are some good ones.
Of course, it may be that none of these values matter to you and you may believe that the smart thing to do is to tell them what they want to hear even when you know it is untrue, give them what they desire even when you know that it is harmful, feed them what they like even when you know it could be lethal.
Doing these things regardless of your knowledge that you are engaging in manipulation, abuse, and physical harm may seem ‘smart’ because you cannot see further than the money you earn today. Those who see further recognize that earning today at the expense of others instead of steadily building long-term wealth and prosperity for all is the difference between smartness and wisdom.
N.B. If your main value is MONEY at any cost, then join the fifty million fools who wished that wasn’t the case when their money didn’t bring them what they craved most, unconditional love and respect. The emotion most widely expressed on deathbeds is regret.
Steve Jobs dying words: “OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW.” Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS
I wonder what was behind those words.