I was driving to a client meeting this morning, just after having enjoyed my free breakfast at Chick-fil-A, when the guy sitting next to me at a red light decided that particular rule didn’t apply to him, and he ran right through it. I was flabbergasted! Now don’t get me wrong, there have been times in my life when a light malfunctioned and I too ran it after waiting an inordinate amount of time with no sign of it turning, but that wasn’t the case here. We’d only been waiting for a few seconds.
Now you may be thinking maybe he had an emergency and needed to run that light (I thought of that too) – but no, when I caught up with him on the highway just a few seconds later when the light turned green – there he was leisurely driving down the road. He just decided he didn’t want to wait on the light.
With our society heading further and further down this road of moral relativism, we find more and more people don’t believe rules of right or wrong apply to them if they don’t believe it applies to them (A world without rules falls into chaos.).
So, at this point you may be thinking , so what, it doesn’t affect me if he ran through that light – but it does affect you, if affects all of us because these people are our employees and leaders of today and tomorrow.
When Bernie Madoff’s ponzi scheme was discovered, everyone was appalled and wondered how he could cheat so many people out of their life savings. But what if Bernie didn’t believe it was wrong? If business leaders pollute or waste resources or discriminate against people,and they don’t believe they’ve done anything wrong does that mean it’s not wrong?
When business leaders run afoul of business ethics, everyone cries wolf, but where moral relativism is embraced, who decides what business ethics look like? And how are you going to run a business if everyone gets to decide independently what rules they want to abide by?
The true measure of someone’s character is how they act when they think no one is watching. Are your morals base don your opinion or some higher power of right and wrong?
And you thought I was just writing about someone running a red light…