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Situational Ethics

What is situational ethics?   I am so glad you asked!  Situational ethics occurs when we live our lives with integrity only when it’s easy. Think about: Do you overburden your life with bills and spending frenzies that you will never be able to repay? Do you harm or kill someone just because you are angry with them? If you are hungry during a long afternoon at the office, do you take a candy bar out of someone else’s desk? Do you kill a black cat because you are superstitious? Do you shoot your neighbor’s dog because he barks at night? Do you steal your neighbor’s car because it is nicer than yours? Do you tell the truth when you’re on the witness stand? If a cashier is not present at the cash register, do you just walk out without paying for your purchase? Of course the average person does none of the above! Most of us have a pretty strong moral compass.  However… Think about: Would you inform the grocery manager if you saw someone put a package of cookies in her purse? What about someone who put a carton of cigarettes in her purse? Would you let the cashier know if you were not charged for an item? If you found $20 just outside your neighbor’s garage, would you keep it? Would you call the police if you witnessed someone getting in their to car to drive in a completely drunken state?  Would you even offer to call a taxi?  Would you mention the problem to the restaurant manager? What would you do if you knew a co-worker was falsifying payroll records? Do you call in sick when you just want a break from work? What would you do if you knew the couple at the end of the street was selling drugs to children? Would you confront a relative whom you suspect of abusing a child? Would you report your neighbors for child abuse? Would you say something if you saw someone take the waiter’s tip from the table? What if your co-worker was embezzling money from your company? It’s pretty easy to be ethical when the road is fairly clear and uncluttered.  But it becomes harder when being ethical means stepping out to make us vulnerable to others. How ethical are you?  Think about it…
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Judy W Bell

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