Essay, 7 pages (1600 words)

Example of essay on is there a universal ethical value

Is There a Universal Ethical Value

Trustworthiness is a universal ethic made up of four core values; integrity, loyalty, honesty and reliability. Each of the four core values plays a major role in making trustworthiness a universal ethic. Most individuals, if not all, believe in the concept of trust. However, trust does not come about within a short period of time. Usually, trust is built over time. This is after an individual interacts with another and trust is built as the strength of their relationship grows. The understanding of the concept of trust varies from one individual to another. Trust is an important aspect in the shaping an individual’s professional and personal character some people become skeptical and indecisive on whether to trust others or not. Others adhere to the rules required while others go by their own beliefs. Regardless of what an individual chooses, if they adhere to reliability, honesty, loyalty and integrity, they will be regarded as trustworthy individuals.

The old proverb, honesty is the best policy, implies that individuals can make their lives simple by avoiding lies because lying is bad. Honesty seems to set any individual’s conscience free and obnoxious. However, individuals who lie or are not honest in anyway tend to run into trouble at one point or another. Lying complicates people’s lives since they always have to device new lies to cover for their past lies which always ends up in shame or punishment when the truth is uncovered. Honest individuals who tell the truth will have clear conscience. An honest person is usually a person with the will to achieve self satisfaction through self evaluation and self control. Such people always care about their self image, which is their integrity.

Honesty is when one has the will to tell the truth even when they are risking themselves. They remain unconditionally truthful and open. Mostly, people tell the truth because of respect for other people and for themselves. Naturally honest individuals remain truthful regardless of the situation or implications. Honesty is derived from the respect we have for other people and ourselves and their feelings. Honesty is a reflection of an individual’s character which promotes relationship with other people. Honesty is shown by truthfulness through speech and actions.

Integrity is a core concept of trustworthiness which means consistency of values, measures, actions, methods, principles, expectations and outcomes. Honesty on a continuous and consistent basis yields integrity which in turn defines who we are and how we live. To be a person of integrity, one has also to be impartial and considerate. People of integrity do not do things for selfish reasons, they do what is right to other people and do not infringe on the fundamental rights of other people.

Another core concept of trustworthiness is reliability. Reliability involves commitment and promises. Commitments and promises are part of every individual’s personal or professional life. Commitments and promises are made easily; however, the tough task is to adhere to them. People should make promises and commitments and be consistent with their choices so as to be reliable. To be reliable, individuals have to remain consistently committed and remain confident in achieving their goals and targets. False commitments and promises only prove that someone is unreliable. False promises and commitments should also not be used to get credit; people should be honest in whatever they do. Reliable individuals do not commit themselves to things they do not understand. Promises and commitments should only be made when one is sure of the terms and conditions, the implications and outcomes of whatever is being committed to. This is because these implications and outcomes might negatively affect the person’s trustworthiness and reliability. Reliability is built over time which also brings about trustworthiness.

Loyalty can be defined as a virtue of protecting certain people’s interests. People can also be loyal to organizations or other affiliations. Loyalty is expected in friendships, relationships, marriage, families and in institutions like schools and work places. Failure to being loyal in any situation that requires loyalty results in serious implications. First, the victims of disloyalty will feel betrayed and will regard the disloyal person as unreliable, not honest and untrustworthy. The person who is not loyal will feel guilty of his actions and will feel isolated and ashamed because their own actions. Therefore, to maintain a mutually fruitful relationship, loyalty is important. Loyalty should also be incorporated with other concepts of trustworthiness like integrity and honesty. Loyalty should be maintained always because when it is lost, it is not regained easily. It is loyalty that yields trust between people, groups or organizations. Loyalty may not always be given to all people who ask for it. This is because it is impossible to serve or honor many masters simultaneously. Therefore, loyalty must be given using a rational fashion of loyalty obligations. For example, it is ethical and realistic to check out the interests of family members and spouses and making the interests of other people who are not family subordinate. In army missions means to safeguard secrets and be confident in the leadership of the commanders and the strength of colleagues. Therefore, loyalty is an important virtue on which trust in all kinds of relationships is built.

A successful business person was aging and he knew he needed to choose an heir to his business. Rather than picking one of his children or directors, he chose to do something unique and different. He summoned all the young executives in his company and addressed them about his intention to step down as the chief executive of the company and select a new chief executive. The young executives were puzzled, but he went on to say that he was giving each of the young executives a seed, a special seed, which he wanted the young executives to plant. They were required to come back with the seed after a period of one year when he would judge the plants. Jim, one of the young attendants took his seed like the rest. He went home and happily, narrated the story to his wife. She assisted him get a pot and soil to plant the seed. Jim watered the seed daily and kept checking whether it grew or not. Three weeks later, other executives started talking about their seeds and the now germinating seedlings. However, Jim’s seed did not germinate five weeks after planting. At that time, the other young executives were talking about how tall their plants had grown. Jim’s seed had not grown, he felt he had failed.

Six months down the line, Jim’s seed had not grown. He knew he had killed his seed while each of his colleagues had a tree. Jim preferred not to say anything to his colleagues about the plant. However, he kept watering and adding fertilizer to the soil he had planted his seed because he really wanted the seed to germinate and grow. One year later, all the young executives in the company brought their plants for inspection to the CEO. Jim explained to his wife that he could not take an empty pot for inspection. However, his wife urged him to be honest about everything.

Jim felt nervous and frustrated. This was going to be one of the most embarrassing times of his life. However, he decided to do what his wife asked him to do. He carried the empty pot to the boardroom. Jim was shocked at the different varieties of plants the other executives had brought. They looked beautiful in different sizes and shapes. Jim placed his empty pot on the floor, much to the amusement of most of his colleagues. Some even felt sorry for him.

The CEO arrived at the board room to survey the plants. He greeted everyone in attendance. Jim tried to hide at the back. The CEO was amazed to see the different great plants with others having flowers. Suddenly, the chief executive spotted Jim at the back of the boardroom with an empty pot. The chief executive asked Jim to be brought to the front. Thinking that this was his time to be fired, Jim was very scared.

At the podium, the CEO asked Jim what had happened to his seed. Jim explained to him what had happened. All other executives, except Jim were asked to take their seats. The CEO then announced that Jim was then next CEO. Jim thought this was unbelievable and other executives could not understand why Jim, whose seed could not grow, had got the job. The CEO explained that the seeds he had given out to each of them were boiled hence; they could not germinate or grow. Therefore, only Jim had been honest and courageous to bring a pot with the CEO’s seed.
The moral of the story is that people can choose decide to be trustworthy like Jim or unreliable and dishonest like the rest of the young executives. If the CEO had given good seeds, all the other executives’ seeds would have grown and Jim would have lost his job. However, any of the other executives would have become the CEO. If that would have happened, the future of the company would have been destroyed in the long term because the new leader does not have core ethical values. Jim would have been rendered jobless but would be satisfied for being a truthful, loyal, honest and reliable individual. In the long term, he would still find a job and flourish in his career.
Through reliability and honesty, Jim had taken a bold step to remain truthful. Even though he was not aware that the seed was boiled, his integrity made him to keep watering the seed for that whole year without giving up. He would have chosen to stop watering the seed after two weeks and the CEO would never know, but because of integrity and loyalty he did the right thing which earned him the post of CEO. Therefore, to live a fruitful and happy life, people should adhere to the core universal ethical values of trustworthiness which are honesty, reliability, integrity and loyalty.

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