Freedom underpins ethics
Civilization can only revive when there shall come into being in a number of individuals a new tone of mind independent of the one prevalent among the crowd and in opposition to it… the ethical comes into existence only in individuals. – Albert Schweitzer
When we operate fully in the blue zone we have the courage to do what is right despite what the cost might be to us. It is the red zone that causes us to make poor choices – or rather limits our choices, excluding those that require courage.
Humans are intrinsically ethical. “Researchers used puppets and simple stories with three-month-old babies and observed that the babies could tell the difference between helpful and hindering adults. Six-month-old babies demonstrated a capacity to evaluate others on the basis of their social behaviours, and were attracted to pro-social individuals and avoided antisocial individuals”. *
Imagine what society would be like if people acted ethically and those who didn’t were no longer able to attract attention to themselves. This would transform the media, politics, the corporate sector, international relations – in short, everything.
We can only do what we can do. We can operate more and more in the blue zone and become more and more ethical and we can model this to others.
As leaders and teachers this will, albeit gradually, have a transformative effect.
*Quoted in Ethical Maturity in the Helping Professions – Michael Carroll and Elisabeth Shaw