One of the biggest things a person can struggle with is the notion of behaving in an ethical fashion. From an early age one is told to, “do the right thing” and “play by the rules” but what happens when a person is exposed to the underbelly of a situation?
I remember reading about a study that stated that nearly any employee of a company would be willing to steal from their perspective companies in certain situations. Similarly I have read reports about people who took place in a study where they were placed in a room with a hundred dollar bill and no supervisor; they would consequently take the money over 80% of the time.
Does this mean that all people are inherently bad? Does a McDonald’s employee taking money from the cash register as a felon to you? What if that same employee was working overtime for their supervisor and never receiving proper compensation week in and week out? Are they still in the wrong?
On the same accord, there are people whom absolutely refuse to do anything that is even remotely considered immoral or unethical. These saint-like people take pride in the notion that they do no wrong towards anyone ever. Are these people better than the rest of us? Most would agree that even the most morally sound and ethical human being has done things that they regret, or taking bad action towards another. Would this same person refuse to steal a vaccine from a hospital if it meant saving their loved one’s life?
The idea of ethics is a flexible concept at best, as it is human nature to seek to benefit oneself, especially when placed in a compromising situation with no potential for recourse, so why try to fight it? This is a question that has plagued minds since the dawn of civilization and has no precise answer. The bottom line is that every person is going to treat every situation that they deal with in a different way, some situations will result in certain people acting unethically while others play things by the book, so to speak.
I have come to determine that no fault should be placed on anyone, for any particular situation. You should always try to do the right thing in your mind, and never go against the grain of what you believe in, and while every action you take may or may not be met with praise or discourse, you will feel sound in knowing that you have done the right thing for you.