My Friend Robert Arnold wrote a terrific column about Ethics and a decision he made recently. You can see it right here on his newly retooled blog page. I only have one nit to pick with the deal. In it he seems to say that ‘redneck’ and ‘ethics’ don’t go well together. (Actually, not even remotely what he says, just starts that way) You really need to read it.
I would have to argue with that. I immediately thought of a red neck ethical quandry to make my point. Let’s say you and 2 friends are out duck hunting, the limit is 3 each. You have 6 ducks between you and decide as a group that you will each take one more shot and then head for the tavern. A nice flock of ducks comes into your decoys, and each of you shoot once. 4 ducks fall dead. Uh Oh. Now what do you do? You know the Game Warden is prowling around, you’ve seen him. If you take 10 ducks home, one of you is likely to get a ticket. But you have grown up not wasting any meat. What to do??
We all face ethical challenges all the time. Ethics is all about what you do when you are pretty darn sure you won’t get caught. That is how and when you decide if you are ethical or not. Nobody else can decide it for you.
In our business, ethics doesn’t come with a rating, and nobody can tell by just looking if you are ethical or not. Why should it matter? Because sooner or later, your body of work will add up. If you always do the ethical (right) thing, people will know. If you do the right thing often, people will know. If you never do the right thing when you think you won’t get caught, people will know. If you aren’t ethical you are soon looking for a new business.
I don’t know what anybody else is going to do with the ducks. I don’t hunt anymore, but when I did, I took the ticket. More than once. I DO NOT believe in going over limit, but I believe even less in wasting game. It’s just my ethics.
And had we left a duck laying, one of those boys I hunted with might have let it slip and my Ol’ Man might have heard about it. That would be WAY worse than any ticket. That, however, would lead us to situational ethics, which is a completely different column.
I’m just sayin’