Ethical Life Quotations
Relativity applies to physics, not ethics.
A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.
How can they say my life is not a success? Have I not for more than sixty years got enough to eat and escaped being eaten?
Logan P. Smith
Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it's holy ground. There's no greater investment.
It's not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.
The price of greatness is responsibility.
To be successful you have to enjoy doing your best while at the same time contributing to something beyond yourself.
Ethics and religion must not stay at home when we go to work.
Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.
If you don't have integrity, you have nothing. You can't buy it. You can have all the money in the world, but if you are not a moral and ethical person, you really have nothing.
The time is always right to do what is right.
Martin Luther King
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Presenting the definition of ethical life is as challenging as solving Hamlet's “to be or not to be” dilemma. Everybody knows the answer yet the yearning for the answer to become a collective reality never seizes.
To some degree ethics varies from culture to culture and from one person to another. Minor differences aside, there are - in our opinion - two types of ethics.
The one we all know: appreciating the difference between right and wrong and CHOOSING to do what’s right. (You find a wallet at a time when you really could use the money and yet, you chose to return it.) The less known form of ethics originates from Judaism and goes by the name of “Mitzvah”. “Mitzvah” basically means a good deed but it comes with a condition; it is a good deed that cannot benefit the person who performs it in any way, shape or form. It’s sort of an anonymous good deed. (Many major business organizations and notable individuals engage in philanthropy for the purpose of obtaining good publicity. So even though their charity is true, their motives don’t meet the strict standards of a “Mitzvah”.)
There is personal ethics, relationship ethics, professional ethics, ethical treatment of animals, the list is quite long. But what is “ethical life”? Every adult knows that life isn’t ethical to anyone: good people develop terminal disease, fall victim to accidents, foreclosure, lose their jobs, get betrayed by spouses and / or friends. And yet, it feels good when we’re ourselves act in ethical way; when we’re treated in ethical way; when the life we’re leading can be considered an ethical life. Why is a question I can’t answer, at least not here, within this limited space.
Living ethical life is an achievement; it is highly regarded by society; it is something many aspire to and few manage to achieve. We measure ethical life by one’s meeting his or her obligations, by the quality of one’s relationships and contributions to others.
What propels people to strive for ethical life? Why are some people more ethical than others? What are the elements of ethical life? Does one have to be rich and famous to be ethical?
Ethics and the questions pertaining to ethical life are topics of a debate as long as the history of humanity itself and unlikely to end any time soon. All we can hope for is to pitch in, but by no means conclude it.
To be ethical one has to make a commitment to do what’s right and to treat others in ethical manner. To keep in mind - as much as possible - that our ultimate role in life is that of contributors to others, to the collective pot and to the future.
So in keeping with the above, these would be my commandments for ethical life:
1/ to be honest and fair whether someone is watching or not
2/ to be true to one's self
3/ to be good with a special emphasis on empathy toward those who are more vulnerable than we are
4/ to stand up for our beliefs
5/ to support causes we believe in
6/ to contribute toward collective good
7/ to invest in the future
Why bother striving to lead ethical life?
Because life is transitional, we’re like rain drops bound to dissolve, evaporate and “disappear”, the only “thing” that we can truly leave behind is our impact and memories in the minds and hearts of those we’ll leave behind. In a word: legacy.
It appears that I'm not the only one who champions ethical life; the movement is growing...
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