Ethics. Having been encouraged to memorize this definition, I decided to share it with you today. And I’m not quite sure why I have not shared it sooner. It was one of the first messages from my former mentor that resonated with me.
“Ethics is primarily the process of bringing out the implications of the choices we make, and of harmonizing these choices one with another.” ~Bob Nielsen
Process: Let’s break down the definition. First of all, it is a process. Processes take time. They require diligence.
Purpose: The purpose of ethics is to bring out the implications of the choices we make. Our choices have consequences. Do we have enough forethought to recognize or determine what might affect others with those decisions?
Conclusion: A result of ethics is that our choices include others’ ideas and mesh with them so they create an agreement.
Not everyone thinks like I do. In conversation and daily occurrences, I take into account what others say and attempt to understand, thereby aiming to create peace and oneness. It takes practice and resolve to create harmony with others. Practicing ethics isn’t easy, but worth the effort.
I recently attended an emotional intelligence mini-seminar. It's the latest catch-phrase in business and in psychology. When you need to be prepared in your personal relationships or professionally, you will want to draw on your own emotional intelligence. By doing so, you'll need to be more aware of your emotions to be able to control them in any situation. And when you can handle these interpersonal relationships with empathy, you can temper heated scenarios. "Know Thyself" is a Greek aphorism which means the more we know ourselves, the more likely we can guess how others will behave. But better yet, we will know how we will behave when someone pushes our trigger buttons, our emotional weaknesses that make us defensive, feel hurt, and the like. Self awareness helps us identify our own reactions to situations, and thus sensibly respond rather than react to them. Socrates suggests that we may jump too quickly to external cues with a full evaluation. Sometimes we need to access the situation, make inferences or determine what other situations you're associating this moment with, provide introspection first, and then respond differently for a better outcome.
Sometimes, we resort to our own natural tendencies and behave in similar ways from our past. This is normal. But to improve, we need to go through the process of self discovery. Ask yourself why you are feeling the way you do. Discover what connection you make to some past event. Then understand how you would normally react before you can shift gears and respond DIFFERENTLY.
Occasionally, in situations, I notice the back of my neck getting really hot before I become the dark-self I don't like. Responding differently is the ability to differentiate the new situation to the past ones. At this point you can consider other people's feeling and acknowledge them either by stating that you recognize the intense moment and emotional impact or offering your help. Continue to utilize your new skills; they are certain to come in handy.
When we can change our own behaviors, we are likely to find ourselves happier in our healthier relationships.
Remember the old saying about judging the content of a book by its cover? People often judge a person’s appearance in the same way. More and more, initial judgments have resulted in murder because what is represented is not exactly reality.
It’s interesting, I’ve had this post in draft form for a long time. But today I dragged it up because it occurred to me that both this post regarding appearances and one of my last posts called Emotional Intelligence are a bit related.
Let’s see how. Take a person dressed in shabby clothing, one in fashionable street clothes, and one in a tuxedo or fine dress. The majority of people assume that the social status or caste of each of these individuals is demonstrated by the clothes each wears. Do we know these people? Perhaps you know someone like them. So what of clothing? It covers the body because, by golly, it’s illegal not to wear something. And note, that people can change what they wear to suit different situations in life. Heck, it is socially unacceptable to show up at a special occasion, say at a fine wedding, wearing a pair of overalls and nothing else. We dress for those occasions. And on a daily basis, we conform to different styles to suggest who we are before we meet others. The initial judgment, then, is what one hopes for, especially on a first date or interview when impressions seem to mean even more than usual. Can we suggest that people use the initial judgment as a sort of selfish act? The whole idea of dressing to impress is a facade which may or may not accurately represent the person presenting it. I suppose some people like the attention. It’s a shame people cannot wear something without others guessing who is inside. To utilize our emotional intelligence, we should aim to find out who the person is before we make our final judgments. The same applies to celebrities. Are we star struck? Are we impressed by those who flaunt money in the form of clothing or vehicles? Why does it matter?
If you’ve been paying attention to current events, you will have noticed that police officers have gunned down or beaten people to death by appearances. I imagine the academy teaches that certain looks should trigger certain responses while on duty. Body language is one thing that officers will pick up on. Emotional intelligence does help us identify with rowdy behavior and the like. We are human. If we understand ourselves, certainly, we can have a better guess at another’s behavior. Again, it’s a guess. Better to ask questions to learn about another before jumping to conclusions.
How does that apply to the color of one’s skin? If you haven’t noticed, skin color cannot be changed like clothing. Nevertheless it is also used to categorize people. Again, we need to use our Emotional intelligence when it comes to differences of appearances. The next time you are in a situation when you begin to judge someone based on appearances, take a second to remind yourself that even you are not the clothes you wear or the car you drive, so the person you wish to judge isn’t likely to fit your initial judgement either. Take time to get to know people. Decide that individuality and diversity is beautiful. And since I mentioned old sayings at the start of this blog, Luke 6:31 ‘Do to others as you would have them do to you.’