Of trees and ethics

“I was sleeping there peacefully when suddenly I heard some thundering sounds, loud rumbling sounds that immediately made me wide awake. I trembled a little and shook my crown. I predicted my impending doom. I saw some humans walking around and knew that all was gone. Then came the monsters, huge yellow monsters with long cruel looking trunks which was slowly crawling nearer and nearer towards me. I felt fear, not just for my own life but for the lives of the creatures living inside me, on me and also around me. Taking me down will also take them down, their families, their homes depend on me for survival.

Alas, there was nothing that I can do, no matter how big and mighty I am, I stand no chance against these monsters and the humans.”

It took years for these trees to grow and yet it took only about 15 mins before they were tore down, to bits. Gone was the mighty crown of dense leaves with all the creatures living in it and gone was the thick and rough trunk. Birds flew around the wreck, searching for their nests, insects hovered around it, wondering why their homes had been destroyed.

And to think I was responsible for their destruction, for the destruction of the homes of these creatures, the destruction of their nests and the murdering of their families. I called these men here to tear down the trees, filled up and land and transform the piece of beautiful looking and peaceful grassland into a barren, ugly, bleak looking piece of land.

All for the purpose of making money.

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Just the other day, I had this conversation with a friend, over ethics. He believed that ethics are for the idealists, in today’s materialistic world, there is no place for ethics. Everything is about money, profits.

I just had this question to asked. Where do we draw the line between profits and ethics? I am no idealist, I know that ethics usually take a back seat in the process of making money. I am involved in a number of unethical proceedings too in the course of getting what I want in my job. I felt bad about it but at the end of the day, I just had to convince myself that what was done had to be done.

That brings me back to my question, where do we draw the line?

I believe that as we knowingly lost a little of our ethics, we unknowingly lost a little of our humanity. And losing the latter is so much more scary than losing the former.

 

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~ by blurfroggie on May 26, 2007.

2 Responses to “Of trees and ethics”

  1. Warren Buffett talks about using the “newspaper test” when it comes to ethics. Imagine your deeds being mentioned in the newspaper or public media, read by your family and friends. What will other people think of you? So the test draws the line between what is legal and what is ethical.

  2. That is based on the assumption that you can perceive correctly how others think of you and your actions. Cos the wrong perceptions on other people’s thoughts might just misunderstand you into thinking that they accept your actions when its on the contrary, thereby rendering the test to fail.

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