Nadácia United Philanthropy - Kampaň na dve percentá

A call for ethics on all business levels


Erik Stríž
Project manager, editor
Bratislava, Slovakia

Can we say ordinary people are pure, innocent and good-hearted and those above are corrupt, wasteful and immoral? Or is it just that those who climbed up the ladder fail to realize they are becoming less ethical? Is the loss of self-reflection, humility and moral a result of too much freedom we cannot handle or is it only an example of yet another natural human imperfection?


The introduction was not meant to vilify those in higher positions compared to those `down below`. It is true that even the upper 10% are only regular people like the rest of us except they have wider options and their occasional ethical missteps are more under scrutiny. We should realize our own failures in similar situations before criticizing the behavior of others. On one hand we all know a CEO who is not good at his well-paid job; but what about a mason when he clearly does a bad job and yet receives his wage? Is it less significant or is he less personally responsible only because there aren’t any large amounts of money or big corporations involved? Responsibility should be universally applicable regardless of current conditions or circumstances. Therefore it is not difficult to conclude that those who don’t act morally, responsibly and ethically in everyday situations will act in the same way when they come to power. It remains true though that a person surrounded by wealth has more opportunities to become aware of his duty to others while someone lacking in basic needs has to choose the lesser evil on occasion.


Ethics in daily life and business go hand in hand. The amount of responsibility for influencing thoughts and acts of those who follow grows with success and being high in social hierarchy. Such influence calls for an acknowledgement of personal liability for our immediate environment without any tolerance of hypocrisy.


Companies uniting people with similar minds are a typical example. Finding ethical people with strong social engagement in a charity organization won’t come as a surprise, just like encountering arrogant, stupid and unprofessional workers and their supervisors in a third class car repair shop. Employees follow and copy their leaders and together they have an impact on the community for better or for worse by the mere definition of their scope. Alleged stagnation in such cases is merely an illusion based on hypocrisy.


Hearing the call for humility, thinking and acting morally and following the voice of inner conscience is a task left up to each of us individually. Not everybody is able to hear this call; it requires intelligence, a set of experiences, failures and successes and a consistent awareness of one’s place in this world. Those who can walk this far embody a real chance for better times to come.


Erik Stríž


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