Ethics and Character in Business

This is a new season in the world. There was a time, back in the 1950’s, where ethics and character in business were not unusual, but the norm. The United States had a largely Christian population, and the morals of society as a whole were “salted” with the “salt” of the Christians. Prayer and Bible reading were allowed in the schools and the Ten Commandments were posted. The 1960’s began a revolution of taking God out of the schools and society, and look at where we are today.

The net effect of that cultural revolution is that many businesses, corporations, banks and governments, or at the very least some individuals within them, have cut the cord of ethics. We find more and more ethical transgressions, particularly when we watch the news coming out of Washington, D.C. We see things happening that would have been unthinkable 30 or 40 years ago.

That, in turn, often places people, employees, in a difficult position. Here is an example. Recent discussions and judicial rulings about abortion have placed doctors and nurses in the position of either working against their individual beliefs in this area, or submitting to a corporate policy to keep a job. The end result is that some quit.

In other cases, the company fights for the individual’s freedom to live according to their own conscience. Hobby Lobby is an example of this. They took their right to live by their own religious conscience convictions to the Supreme Court. We see more recently the incident involving Meriam Ibrahim, a Christian doctor who was imprisoned for her Christian beliefs. Much international prayer and legal work was involved in setting her free.

In many respects, we are in a similar position to the time that was pre-WWII. Many people, probably many more than prior to WWII, are aware of the problems today. We see the lies and corruption more clearly now, than during pre-WWII times. This creates a situation where those who come out as whistleblowers are often threatened with their jobs, and sometimes their lives. They can lose promotions, advancements, and retirements by not “going along to get along”. Remember, the beginning of this discussion was the ethical changes in society and business since the 1950’s and since the Bible held sway over the opinions of a large majority of the population.

Because of this, it is worth considering owning your own business. By being a successful business owner, you can avoid the traps of a corporation telling you to operate outside your ethics of conscience and character. Not only that, in today’s economy, where workers are expendable, where corporations would rather get rid of long-term employees than give them any kind of retirement, owning your own business becomes a way to safeguard you economic future. Owning your own business is one way of handling the current difficulties involving ethics and character in business.

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