The ethics of being ethical

Anouk Jacob – Associate Director at Spreckley

The meaning of “ethics” is not straightforward and a lot of people have slightly different interpretations of the significance of being “ethical”. It is often seen as a moral philosophy, understandably, as it is based on a system of moral principles. The scope of what the word means is immense as it covers everything from euthanasia to animal/human rights to professional conduct. They are also topics that get people very worked up and into heated debates, due to the emotional connection we have on a lot of these topics and often, there isn’t a right or wrong answer.

However, if “being ethical” is to be used in practice, in our day-to-day lives (from the home to the office to everywhere in between), it needs to affect the way human beings behave. I am in no way certified to tell people what to do, but I believe we are all responsible in some way and certain actions need to be part of our daily routine.

The word Ethics is derived from the Greek term Ethos that means habit.

So “ethics” should provide us with a moral map, a kind of life enhancing structure that we can use every day. Realising the consequences of our actions should encourage us to start putting into practice the right choices. Just a few simple daily habits installed every day could make a huge difference.

Start by being conscious of some of the following:

  • the amount of water you use (when washing dishes, brushing your teeth)
  • what foods you buy, consume (and waste), and where they come from
  • whether you have recycled your glass, plastic, paper
  • the amount of plastic shopping bags you are collecting
  • whether your car is absolutely essential

It simply is a choice, based on how you experience the world and how you want to relate to it. Our world is created and transformed by the actions of every one of us. We are in this together so let’s try, at least once a day, to do something that will better this world in some shape or form.