“There are seven things that will destroy us: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Religion without sacrifice; Politics without principle; Science without humanity; Business without ethics.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
I don’t know about you but Gandhi’s quote is more than chilling to me when I hold it up to today’s world. Here are some thoughts to consider.
Wealth without work – It seems to me that we live in a “something for nothing” age and it appears that this starts with the wealthiest citizens, not all but too many.
Pleasure without conscience – Just watch the movie The Wolf of Wall Street and you will see how some folks overdose on excess pleasure. By the way it’s a true story.
Knowledge without character– Can you spell CIA or the name of most any credit card company? The record of their misuse of personal information is quite legendary in today’s world. Have you ever wondered how much they know about you and who they share it with?
Religion without sacrifice – It has been documented that in every war in the last 50 years or so has been rooted in one way or the other in religious differences or disrespect. The greatest sacrifice seems to be the lives of people who believe differently than those who take their lives.
Politics without principle – Need one say anything more than Washington D.C., Madison, WI etc.
Science without humanity – Too many pharmaceutical companies have forgotten why they exist in the first place: To improve the human condition not just become exorbitantly wealthy.
Business without ethics – One only need look at the last decade and a half and what happened to our economy, the middle class and the gross unemployment numbers that have plagued us as a people and a nation. The obscene fact is that far, far, far too many of the perpetrators of the recent financial crisis have been left unaccountable for their unethical, immoral and legally questionable actions.
We as leaders need to continually ask ourselves to examine the dichotomies cited above. Are you and I fueling the fires that little or no integrity flame or are we standing up to them and saying “No!” to the lack of integrity that infects our workplace, government, church, community and everyday life. You make the choice. I hope it is to lead.
“Tragedy in life normally comes with betrayal and compromise, and trading on your integrity and not having dignity in life. That’s really where failure comes.” ~ Tom Cochrane