August 19, 2016

There’s nothing trivial about being a decent person

One cannot be blamed for not being born with the gifts of Stephen Hawking, Barack Obama or Bill Gates, but one can certainly be censured for lacking basic human decency. And that means behaving like a responsible person who follows a moral code of ethics, including honesty, altruism and kindness. Those who do not abide by such values fail to meet the fundamental expectations of our society. If you are too selfish to give your seat on a bus to an elderly person, other passengers will think badly of you. If you are too dishonest to tell the truth, your colleagues will not trust you in future. If you are too indifferent to help someone who is in trouble, you will be deemed cruel by your peers. While each act may seem somewhat trivial in isolation, your inability to do go good will eventually result in notoriety and you will be ostracised by your own friends. It will not matter whether you are one of the great physicists, politicians or businessmen: you will be roundly disliked. What matters above all is that you behave like a considerate human being. That is a basic ethical principle which is in no way trivial.


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