Author Archives: dorim

Why are Using Search Engines Such as Ethics of Using Labels?

Sonu Seo asked:

Pay per click search engine advertising billions of dollars in revenue per year. If you spend the money to manipulate search results, which means: The success of the investigation in may inferior quality of PPC. Especially someone purpose other than the search for that money. Optimizing search engines is unethical? Optimizing search engine is nothing more than a means to help spread the message. Nothing more, nothing less. Call unethical optimization of search engines is similar to requiring the creation of a Web site or print a newspaper unethical.

Seo Services can be used for ideas unethical (racism, war, ignorance, sweat shop labor for companies such as Nike, etc.). SEO occasionally can be used for ethical ideas (equality, peace, education, security and fair working conditions, etc.).

SEO itself may not normally be associated with an ethics guideline B / S. SEO can be used to push what they want all ideas. Why Search engine optimization of the use of experts in marketing angle ethical?

The SEO industry is often lacking credibility. Its easier to use than as a trademark, it is too original and bring his own. Spamming is unethical? Spam e-mails are unsolicited, and to spend the time to market and cost of marketing the person opening their e-mail. Because it steals your time (a part of his life, never recovered) e-mail spam is exceptionally false.

Can a search engine spam?

A search engine is not a person. A search engine is a tool. When the algorithm is a mistake to push the blame for some “anomalies” webmasters. The real solution is a better algorithm. Webmasters, content to fill the results may not be sufficient to win content that the search engines to a ton of ads. Some of these same text webmaster sell links to other high profit margin. This is obviously arbitrary, ill because search engines want to be half man and want to take advantage of the many revenue from advertising on the Internet.

The facts about SEO.

Being an honest businessman is a good thing. Some marketing ethics is a flagrant sign of desperation. The purpose of the list is to provide customers with a site for a better classification of search phrases to disseminate messages or make sales. Whatever search engine optimization, search engines, or customers say: SEO, the sponsor for search engines.

Some methods are more risky than others, and most sites do not need to be promoted through exceptionally risky methods. Some SEOs are too aggressive, many other agencies of marketing money and little work for payment. You should, before moving to the SEO research. The code of ethics is a marketing concept used by: Or people who are new to search engine optimization and not ignorant, or Or not original marketing severe lack of creativity. Since a search engine is a tool, not something you can spam. Smart clients are Wising up Some clients ask alleged White Hat SEO’s.

Sharing Christ in the Workplace

Darlene G. Snyder asked:

Our Mandate

Do you believe there is ever a time when we should not witness?  What do you think about witnessing in the workplace, is it ethical?  As Christians, should we consider the employer before taking their time to witness?  When is it ok to share Christ at work?

Some might say regardless of where we work, Christians should give employer’s a fair day’s work. We should not cheat by taking away from their time to witness. While I would agree, we need to be honest in all our dealings, including in the workplace, I believe it is erroneous to think Christians should not share at work.

It is the calling of a Christian to represent Christ to people, even those in the workplace. We need only to look at Matthew 28:19-20 – the commission to all Christians to be witnesses. In addition, God has placed us where we are with definite gifts and the potential to proclaim His truth in our world, which includes our workplace.

As Christians, we should be aware of company rules and guidelines. Even then, I believe opportunities abound and we can share in other ways. Sometimes, it just takes awareness on our part and taking advantage of opportunities to share when they arise.

Our Behavior

I’ve worked for thirty-five years, most jobs I held were office related. I did, however work in a factory for a few years, and I understand when we are on a timeline to complete a project, witnessing may be the last thing on our minds. After all, in some instances, the wrong approach could cause us to lose our job.

For the last twenty years, I’ve worked as Supervisor in a busy office. I must confess, in all of my years working, I allowed many witnessing opportunities pass me by. I stumbled making many mistakes along my way.

It is difficult enough to witness, but with the actions of some Christians in the workplace, it serves only to make witnessing harder for those of us who are trying to share the gospel.

I’ve seen Christians who whine, fuss, and even curse when things don’t go their way. In addition, the way they conduct themselves in their personal life is appalling to those of us who are trying to win others to Christ. This type behavior has turned many people away from Christ.

Ephesians 6:5-8 describes the way we are to approach our jobs. Some of the behaviors represented are, obedience, the right attitude, commitment and diligence. If our behavior is anything less, we send a message to those who are lost that our heart is set on earthly things. We are not showing Christ to them. If we work using these verses as guidelines, our workplace will become our mission field.

In some work settings, showing Christ is the only way to share Him. If we fail in this area, no one is going to listen to us when we do find opportunities to witness verbally.

Another way we can show Christ is to do our work well. Whatever we do in word or deed, we must do in the name of Jesus (Col. 3:17). Our actions should reflect Christ. Whatever we do or say in our workplace is a way of sharing Christ.

Our Relationships

How many hours do you spend in the workplace each week?  Like many others, you likely spend most of your waking hours there. We build relationships with co-workers, customers and others in our work setting. Some of us are employed in more of a relaxed work atmosphere, talking freely to one another. Yet, sharing Christ seems a little scary. Fear keeps us from witnessing.

I’ve found no matter where I’ve worked, people are looking for answers. Mostly they are looking for spiritual answers. It’s not an accident we find ourselves where we are. God has placed us there to share and He gives us opportunities to share our faith at work.

I love the promise found in Philippians 4:19 that says God shall supply my needs according to his riches in glory. This promise came alive to me one day recently.

My mind on the tasks of the day before me, I was approached by two employees who asked to speak to me privately. This was not something out of the ordinary. Many times employees approach me, in need of a listening ear, seeking advice or in need of instruction or clarification regarding their jobs.

When the door shut behind us, I was somewhat caught off guard. The non-Christian employee had approached her Christian co-worker in tears, wanting to talk about spiritual matters. They wanted my help and asked if I had a Bible.

If the Christian employee and I had not developed a relationship with this non-Christian, she may have never found her way to Christ. We were able to share with her that day and eventually she received Christ as her personal Savior.

Jesus, Our Example

It is the workplace where Jesus spent most of his time and ministry. His first four disciples were working when he called them. They were not expecting to meet Jesus. Their mind was on their jobs, fishing and mending nets. Then there are the vineyard workers, tax collectors, centurions, carpenters, scribes, and more; all busy at work when they met Jesus.

Jesus was fully human, experiencing what we experience in our lives and work. He knows our feelings, our insecurities and our hardships. Yet, He continued witnessing, even when others were against Him.

There is so much darkness in the world. We are to be the light that eliminates the darkness from our workplace.

How then are we to be that light?  We first recognize that Jesus the Light, gives us the strength and that He is always with us, even when we face the darkness. Where can a Christian go that His presence is not there?  Psalms 139 reminds us that there isn’t anywhere we can go that He isn’t there.

1st Peter 4:14 (NKJV) says If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you for the Spirit of glory rests upon you… We must realize that not everyone will be open to our sharing. We must show respect to these people, even when we are reproached by them. The only thing you can do is to live your life as an example. Allow the Holy Spirit to work. Pray daily for them and you will be blessed.

Tips for Sharing

·       Get to know the people with whom you work. It is easier to witness if you know their background, beliefs and personalities.

·       Look for common interest. If one likes basketball, talk to them about your favorite team.

·       Show them you are interested in their life by listening. Ask questions. You can’t expect them to listen to you if you aren’t interested in what they have to say.

·       Attend events and functions with them. This shows you are involved in other things outside the church.

·       Your actions, attitude and behavior in the workplace can influence others. Be sure to think before acting or reacting. Others are watching.

·       Integrate your faith into your work. Bow your head, asking the blessing over your food before eating. Read your Bible during breaks. Let Co-workers know you are praying for them when difficulties arise in their lives.

·       Invite people to church. Don’t harass them but if the opportunity arises during conversations, don’t be afraid to invite them to attend a worship service. Volunteer to pick them up on your way.

·       Handle difficulties in a Christ like manner. Perfection is not expected nor required. Even Christians face difficult times. The manner in which you respond to the complexities of your world, speaks more than any words you have to say.

·       Your work is important to God. When you have a bad day, turn to Christ for solace and encouragement.

·       Share your story. Your experiences might be just what a co-worker needs to hear.

Our Mission

For Christians, sharing Christ should come as natural as breathing. Some of us go a lifetime without witnessing to those lost around us. It is shameful for us not to try reach them for Christ. Remember He opened the door to salvation for you when you were not part of the original family of God.

“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”  Ephesians 2:13 (NKJV)

Life for Christians has one goal: accomplish God’s mission. According to Acts 1:8, our mission is to be His witnesses. Once we understand the importance and the urgency, then our mindset, views and life will change.

Recalling what Christ did for us at Calvary, we should strive to live our faith in every part of our lives. If we do, sharing will become as ordinary as breathing.

SEO An Ethical Appeal

Scott Lindsay asked:

If you use a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) firm to help increase your sites visibility to search engines you should be aware that one of the simplest ways unscrupulous firms use to manage a meteoric rise to the number one spot is simply through Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising.

Essentially you pay an SEO firm to place advertising in such a way as to allow your site to be ranked in first place (preference being granted to the highest bidder). In the end, the SEO firm honored their commitment to move your ranking to number one, but they often do so using a method you could do yourself (advertising) while doing little in the way of long term results. As soon as you stop paying for SEO services, the advertising goes away and so does your ranking.

The rise of illegitimate SEO firms has grown tremendously making it difficult for quality SEO firms to do business in a trusting environment.

Legitimate firms want you to ask questions. They are happy to provide testimonials and may even go so far as to list the services they provided for each client. Ethical SEO firms will help you understand the relationship between the content of your website and the correlation to improved long-term search rankings.

Quality SEO does not resort to hidden words, keyword stuffing or other black hat marketing techniques. A professional SEO consultant understands their job is to help search engines define the best material on the web and help their client become one of the best providers of content for the web.

This double-edged approach takes into account the genuine needs of both client and the Word Wide Web community at large. By attempting to bolster the desires of both, the ethical SEO firm is seem as a partner in trust for both parties.

Managing SEO techniques is something that can be learned (and many site owners are), but if you’re going to search for someone to assist you it is in your long-term best interest to find a firm that really helps you and not one that simply props you up until they get paid.

It’s not wrong to want quick results, which is why you can always develop your own PPC advertising program. However, you should view this scenario as a short-term solution. Ethical SEO development will assist you, but you may need to be patient while it gently, but consistently works to impress the search engines.

Prostitution

Punkerslut asked:

Prostitution

By Punkerslut

I must say that the practice of prostitution has been given a very bad name. Yet, I see it everywhere. Men who pay for sex are simply either pre-occupied or too lazy. If they wanted to save some cash, they could simply spend 15 minutes everyday grooming themselves, and then hitting up the clubs every night. Sure sure, they would be spending about $20 to $40 on drinks and maybe three or four hours of hitting on a girl, but they would still get sex. And, honestly, what is the difference between simply paying a woman to have sex, and looking nice and buying them drinks to have sex? I can extend this analogy even further. What if someone decides, in fact, to spend several hours every day or week in courtship, for weeks or months, until marriage? In such a case, they would have achieved the required social steps for sex. In that case, they are still just giving in a certain amount of time and effort to satisfy their sexual libido. If a man spends hours laboring at his profession, is paid, and then spends this money on a prostitute, how does this differ from a man spending hours hitting on a woman and then her finally accepting the sexual proposal? I cannot find one difference in any of these circumstances that would make prostitution immoral or unethical.

Yes, there is the difference that in one of these cases, money is specifically offered for the action of sex. I am not denying this at all. The only thing I am denying is that the exchange of money for sex matters. Whether sex was paid for or whether it was obtained through that clever game of sexual selection and competition, it is all irrelevant. Just because sex was paid for in one instance, I do not think that it ought to be outlawed or even condemned. As humane and rational men, the source of our ethical imperatives comes from one idea. It is the idea that our actions improve, better, and aid the lives of those around us. This can be done in a number of ways. If our actions can be judged as increasing the pleasure of others, and decreasing the misery of others, then it ought to be said that our actions are ethical, that they have done some good, that they have decreased misery and increased happines. With this ethical ideal understood, there can be no argument against prostitution. The system of buying and selling sex has been and will continue to be a means of mutual satisfaction: the cash for the prostitute, and the pleasure for the customer.

In all honesty, I believe the greatest amount of opposition to prostitution that comes today is simply an animosity against the sex act in general. Those same individuals who oppose prostitution probably support the law of statutory rape. They believed that if a consenting 18 year old had sex with a consenting 17 year old, that it was a tragic act, that it permanently scarred the 17 year old and that the heart of the 18 year old was stone cold. The same people who oppose legalizing prostitution also oppose distribution of contraceptive devices, arguing that “if sex is safe, then more sex will be committed.” These people would rather that disease infest and destroy the bodies of young people than allow them to take happiness in the warmth of each others’ bodies. The puritanical spirit is still among our society, unfortunately, and it is the people who are paying for it. Venereal disease and unwanted pregnancy effects all ages, all races. By doing all that we can to eliminate these social ills, we are elevating the spirit of humanity, the creed of kinship, the bond that may be called our experience together.

Among the primary arguments of those who oppose prostitution, there is the purity argument. It is not a question of the disease spread by illegal prostitutes, or of the criminal element associated with it, but rather, it is a matter of purity. By allowing people to exchange sex for cash, we are allowing people to engage in impure acts, which are destructive towards themselves. My response to this is simple: irrelevant. It is irrelevant whether an action is judged to be pure or impure. Personally, I believe that allowing children to live in poverty, allowing armies of unemployed to starve, and restricting the flow of information is impure. It is impure to build palaces when there are still men and women without homes. If it was impure to feed the poor and homeless, should we make it illegal? If it was pure to murder and rape, should we make it legal? Of course not. The terms “pure” and “impure” are meaningless. If conservatives are simply going to apply it without any purpose, then it is with complete disregard for morality and the goodness of mankind.

A real question that I would like to ask these conservative thinkers is this: by what standard can you define anything as pure or impure? What is the scale? And, once this is decided, how is it relevant to anything? If it happens that murder is impure, that holds no relevance over whether it is legal or illegal. Murder is illegal because it causes suffering and misery, and so is the same reason why rape or assault are illegal. It it happens that helping the innocent escape an evil fate is pure, it has nothing to do with the law. It is legal to help innocent people because it eliminates misery and suffering. So, when we decide to judge something like prostitution, and if it weighs out to being impure, why should this even aid in our decision? After all, prostitution, much like the sex act alone, creates happiness and pleasure for many. It is a mutually benefiting relationship. That is why it must be legalized.

There are still some other considerations to think about. For example, what about those prostitutes who are not willingly prostitutes? What of those prostitutes who engage in the practice for the sake of obtaining food and not for the sake of choosing it as a profession? Some will argue, very rightly too, that prostitution allows people to sell their bodies, even though the practice scars their mind. I admit, this is very true. Yet, it cannot be denied that every profession contains people who are scarred by their labor. Consider the Mexican laborers, whose rights are violated daily as they are forced to work 14 hours a day. Consider the American laborer who lives in a closet and works 10 hours a day so he can have nothing. The decades and decades of their lives spent living in such poverty and misery, inflicted on the lives of hundreds of millions, if not billions, of people. There is no doubt that professions all over the world have allowed for so much misery, so much pain, so much cruelty. They exist solely because of the exploitive, oppressive relationships that are allowed to flourish in society. The problem is not prostitution. The problem is the poverty of a Capitalist economy. If the scarring of prostitution, or any other profession, is to be eliminated, we need Socialism on our law books. It is the only savior of the proletariat.

Before ending, there is one other matter that ought to be discussed. It is the matter of the rights of women, of Feminism, of sexism versus sexuality. Feminists will argue that prostitution will only make women seem more like objects and less like individuals with interests and emotions. First, there is a double standard. There are gigolos, or male prostitutes, and one might inquire how this impacts the image that women have of men. Some might agree, and believe that both institutions should be abolished. Yet, such an action would be too hasty and too reckless. Sex, whether paid for or not, is usually about satisfying an urge. A Feminist might as well say that men and women shouldn’t have sex with each other at all, to prevent them from having sexual thoughts about each other, or from developing ideas about the other gender. No doubt, everyone will disagree with such
a social plan. Eliminating sex will perhaps cause the greatest misery in society. And, the fact that nobody wants to eliminate sex, is fair and good evidence that the spirit of Puritanism is slowly but surely dying. Whether or not prostitution will put a prejudice in the mind of men is not something that can be battled by prohibiting prostitution, but only by a real and honest education given to all people, so that they can appreciate the relationships they have with each other.

If society were to accept prostitution as a valid form of pleasure, entertainment, and employment, then the ills commonly associated with it would become nonexistent. The disease that is spread through unprotected sex would become extremely limited and restricted. With regulatory law, these sex workers would be required to have protected sex. And, with safe sex, those who purchased the services of these employees would be safe. There is no doubt that prostitution should be legalized. For some time, casual sex without commitment was a matter of law. It was illegal. But today, we are smart enough to understand and believe that what two consenting people do behind closed doors is their business and their business only. It is not a crime to make awkward artwork or read obscure literature, but for a long time it was illegal, punished with death and torture. Yet as time has worn on, we have become more humane, more rational, more passionate about the rights of the people and the liberties of the individual. It is no longer a crime to read banned books, it is no longer a crime to revel in obscure artworks, it is no longer a crime to have consensual sex. Yet… It is still a matter of law when it comes to exchanging sex for cash. As the spirit of progress is guided by the flame of reason, we must change these laws.

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For Life, Punkerslu

Ethical Issues in Contemporary Business

Andrew asked:

Business ethics is crucial to overall society well being and corporate organizations, if to view the issue from the business standpoint. Public confidence is ethical business operation is only yet to recover, as of February 2004, 75 percent of Americans found the image of big corporations either “not good” or even “terrible”. The crucial step when it comes to business ethics – is to admit existence of a problem that is essentially based in the difference in the corporate values of different stakeholder groups. While society wants to receive well paid jobs, the focus of many organizations remains on cost minimization and maximization of productivity levels. While society wants to purchase goods at the lowest prices possible, businesses are normally profit seeking entities. Finally, it is crucial for society to sustain environmentally clean surroundings, whereas for business – this goal is followed by additional costs. These conflicts are fundamental to the nature of business, it is crucial for managers to find the balance between different stakeholder groups including workers, customers, company owners, and the larger community.

Rapid technologic and scientific innovation followed by globalization makes the need to balance between stakeholders needs even more difficult. Ethical standards and practices often are not even able to keep with scientific innovation such as cloning. When it comes to business practices issues arise with U.S. job outsourcing to Third World community, valuation of intangible assets in the new technological era (Mayer, 2004). Despite the rising difficulties, it is crucial for managers to find the balance – otherwise a company might cease to exist unable to compete in the market place.

The role of business ethics in contemporary marketplace should be mainly discussed from the pragmatic approach. In order for business to exist, there must be a community of potential buyers and sellers, whereas this community and overall public morality are the two indivisible and integrated parts. Obviously, in order to preserve business, organizations must sustain a certain level of morality in order to successfully function and remain competitive. As business are interested in the first place in profitability of an enterprise, they are, therefore, interested in maintenance of a positive corporate image. Consequently, businesses are interested in ethical practices.

Consequently, marketplace is realizing undervaluation and investors are less likely to put own money to generate profits. The effect on economy overall is direct – while series of scandals created a boom in the stock market, now economy is developing at a lower rates, as the cost of funds to be used in business is raising. As such, the relationship between ethical malpractice and economic stagnation is direct – ethical scandals undermine public trust, whereas business, investors, and society overall are the ones to bare the costs of unethical practices of individuals. Consequently, the role of ethical behavior in contemporary marketplace from the value created for society can hardly be overestimated

Image Consultant Viewpoint: Ethics

Sandy Dumont asked:

Written by Sandy Dumont

“Expertise is of more importance to a successful career, while ethics is of the least significance.” This was the feedback of a study group at a well-known American university. This group recently completed a nationwide survey of university graduate program directors in the field of communications. They were commenting on the importance of the four professional competencies set forth by the National Speakers Association (NSA): Expertise, Eloquence, Enterprise and Ethics.

I was interviewed and asked to comment on some of the findings of the study group. My reaction to the above statement was shock. After all, if “ethical communication” is insignificant, does that mean that we needn’t tell the truth? What would George Washington have to say about that? And where is our country headed?

As an image consultant, I teach a workshop entitled “The Expert Impact,” a term I have trademarked. In essence I tell my clients that I cannot supply expertise, because that is up to them. What I can do is make certain they are immediately perceived as a highly-credible expert in their field. Credibility implies believability. We believe the other person is an expert and that he or she is professional and, therefore, can be trusted. Trust is one of the tenets of branding, and it is one of the most important. Ethical behavior produces trustworthy decisions and actions. The two are intertwined.

My experience indicates that the image of most clients does not keep up with their résumés. I do not teach others how to be credible. If they are truly experts, they already have credibility in terms of performance; they just don’t know how to convey it non verbally. And according to social psychologists, non-verbal communication surpasses verbal communication in terms of credibility.

For the interview by the university’s study group, I was asked to comment upon several other findings from the interviews of professors. For example, the majority of university faculty reported that their curriculum was the most effective in the area of expertise and least effective in the area of enterprise. This seemed a jarring contradiction to me, since the internet and the World Wide Web literally require an enterprising nature. Furthermore, the safe corporate jobs of a lifetime are a thing of the past, and the enterprising spirit of recent generations brought it about. Students who are enterprising, it would seem, surely have an advantage in getting on the fast track to gaining expertise. Perhaps universities need to take a close look at their curriculum.

Furthermore, a college degree does not necessarily bestow expertise upon a graduate. Knowledge, yes; and it sets him/her on the way, but expertise ultimately comes from experience. Four years of university studies should, however, give graduates a great deal of knowledge in various subjects. An enterprising nature puts the student on the fast track to becoming an expert.

One of the problems with new hires is their lack of experience, and most of us don’t want our account to be handled by a greenhorn. So how is a recent grad going to get that first job. My 30 years experience suggests that the answer is to look experienced. Social psychologists have proven that if you look good, it is assumed that you are good. They have also shown that in order to be trusted or believed, you must be consistent with both

Medical Industry Based on Risk Causing Monetary Losses and Medical Malpractice in Manhattan

Paul Justice asked:

With all of the recent product contaminations in the last year, consumers must be aware that this type of behavior is only getting worse. Regulations and safety standards are not being as emphasized, as we would like them too. The sector of a business that deals with best practices and ethical decision-making is not being as funded as lets say the sales department, and rightfully so. However this is an important part of a business because if safety and other regulatory practices are not put into effect an entire business can fail due to hazardous means. Medical malpractice in Manhattan does not necessarily only stem from erroneous practice in the hospital or doctors office. It can happen from ill information being reported to medical professionals causing miscommunication to be the vagrant. For medical professionals base their decision making and diagnosis on former information that leads them to come up with a solution or answer. If they are given wrong information they are more likely to commit medical malpractice in Manhattan.

Information these days has been taken took literally or has been stretched and expanded to the point that the primary source of information will not be able to recognize it after people have done their way with it. It is here were our economy has taken a downfall because people have taken on too much risk and not enough assurance. Medical malpractice in Manhattan comes into play in just the same way. Doctors take on too much risk either within surgery or in their treatment plan. However unlike in the financial markets that have the government to bail them out, doctors only have themselves to blame. Medical Malpractice Manhattan can be illustrated by the current economic position because the players are the same. There are some doctors who like to practice on the risky side by not doing all of their homework on type of surgery they are about to perform or the consequences associated with prescribing a certain drug. And there are others who play it safe and take their time in diagnosing their patients, which in turn might not pay out as well. It is the same way in the economic game, and we have seen where that has gotten us. Too many banks and investors took on too much risk that left the rest of us trying to bail them out. In terms of medical malpractice in Manhattan however, there is no one to offer a bail out. And we are dealing with people’s lives not people’s money.

The economic industry and the medical industry are applied on a parallel basis. However, the risks associated in the medical industry are much more detrimental than those in the economic industry. Medical malpractice in Manhattan is what stems from taking on too much risk in the medical industry. Victims that have experienced medical malpractice in Manhattan are equivalent to investors who lost all their funds from stockbrokers making risky moves with their money in our example. If you or a loved one has been harmed from medical professionals making risky decisions with your health, contact a medical malpractice Manhattan lawyer.

Together We Sing: Feminist Consciousness in Haroti Folklores

Amitabh Vikram Dwivedi asked:

Poetry and metaphors are everywhere. Even in folklores and myths of which origin is not dated because they find their place in spoken form and they passed orally from one generation to another. Folklores are natural songs that represent human life without poetic ostentation. Haroti folklores are similar to any other folklores (found in the world) in a manner that they also represent Haroti life and culture in their forms.

 

Haroti is a Rajasthani language. This language is named after its region. The Haroti region is situated in western Rajasthan in north-west India. When we talk about feminist consciousness in Haroti folklores we deal with voices of women which come out through the medium of folklores. Far away from the philosophy of  and Cixous, Kristeva, and the complex infantile philosophy of Arundhati Rai (where the twins unconsciously put one realistic question that fortunately realized by Rai’s conscious effort whether twins can have sex with each other. Haroti folklores try to raise more traditional grass-rooted voice of women that  not only sounds sensuous but also free from the borrowed- globalize obscenity of the essentialists where they forward their biological question like “How can vagina be vulgar?” (Vagina Monologues- Mahabooba) or “Life is always being sexed” or “Woman touches herself………her sex is composed of two lips” (The sex which is not one-Irigaray). This obscenity may be a form of reality to understand feminist consciousness but the Haroti folklores raise more fundamental question of life, death, living condition, marriage, pregnancy, child birth etc.

 

In these folklores we find two types of folkloric female representation. One represents her positive side and the second represents her negative side. The positive side shows female as a subtle home-maker, a good wife, a wife equals to goddess Laxmi(goddess of prosperity), and a perfect beloved; and on the other hand she is represented as a coarse lady, cynic, a bad tempered wife, and an unfaithful beloved but interestingly though these natural forms of representation are sung by women. She praises herself and her feminine side or she complaint about her other self that is; the male who is rather other than the previous one but not divisible from her consciousness (the prevalent concept in Hindu mythology that presents male and female as an embodiment of the same body).

 

She sings her folklores because she knows that this is the way to express her suppressed condition. And her voice not only comes out for the suppression but it also represents other modes like mother’s longing for her newly married daughter, a mother’s happiness for her newly born baby, mother mourns for her child’s death, or some beloved is waiting for her over etc. So there is a universal form in all these women traits. That’s why it is quite incongruous to say that Haroti women have developed a medium of their significations out of their consciousness because language is natural as any other scientific law and theory. They reject the sex markers that is to say their biological organs which discriminates them with men and put directly their problem. As in folklores, she says that her husband’s desire for son is not logical when her husband says dear give birth to a male child who will give glory to our family and I will praise you in front of everyone.

 

Tha ne dagaji pir khday

Jo ghar jnmi ji davadi ji

Dadaji ko vsa badaya

Badhat sundar mhe kara ji

Tha ne sutha ka ladu badhaya

 

This song is song by the mother-in-law and the other elderly women of the house. Here, the main problem with her conscious effort to put her voice through folklore is that she thinks that the medium through which she comes forward; she controls the patriarchal thinking. But her language is fabricated around the other women who are facing the same problem as once she had faced. Her daughter-in-law is still in the same problem as once she was.

 

In a folk lore the friends of a girl, who is going to get married, sing on her behalf. The song goes like this – brother, leave my doli (a place where bride sits) and leave to your place. You have bread for servants, cousins and other people only I am the burden.

 

Chado bhaiya mari dolki

Thare ghar bhavaja, bhai vira

Ma saru suno ghar ki khunali

Chado bhaiya mhari dolki

 

The bride’s friends are singing on her behalf again lost the main track. The subject (bride) is ignorant and uncomprehending language’s capacity to generate, and to procreate symbols. That’s why instead of giving the straight message folklore is driving the main subject out from the sphere. It is a postponement of the sign from one place to another. That indicates signified is missing in the signification of semi logical system and through which a ritual happens.

 

 

To fill the gap, and to prove that folkloric message has a force in it, it’s outcome should be challenged as universal system but men treat these folklores simply as universal law and react neutrally. As I have mentioned earlier that the missing part cannot be a sexiest language, but the return of the postponing subject (either bride, beloved, mother, wife, or daughter) for whom the other women- the supplement conveys her original voice. This conveys a two fold resolution in the process of liberated feminist thinking, first-the original voice should express her voice directly from the folkloric representation, and secondly the other should come as a supplement rather than as a substitution that postpones the original subjectivity. 

REFERENCES

 

(a) Pollock, G (2006) Women as sigh Vision and Difference, New York: Rout ledge.

 

 (b) Irigaray, L (2005) ‘Love of the other’ An Ethics of Sexual difference,      New York & London: Continuum.

 

 (c) Kakkar, S (2003) ‘The Maternal Feminine in Indian Psychoanalysis       (1989)    Culture and Psyche New Delhi Oxford University Press.

    

 (d) Bhatt, C (1966) Haroti Lokgit, Ajmer: Krishna Brothers.

 

(e) Shambhunath (2000) Ashalilta, Sauaraya Aur Sanskrit in Rajkishore(Ed) Ashalilta Ka Hamala. New Delhi: Venna Prakashan.

 

 

 

 

 

Have Ethics Been Lost in Cyber World?

Deb Hopkins asked:

omic times as they are, many are turning to the internet to find ways to add to their income or replace incomes.

The internet offers so much to so many across the globe……or does it?

People are bombarded with all sorts of opportunities that leave the viewer wondering which one should they try.

So many chances to earn money and make more than one makes currently working………….leaves people open to birds of prey.

People need to understand the different types of opportunities available and then decide which ones are they willing to take the risk on.

MLM or multi-level marketing can make people money………….some even have great products. The problems that I have come across in MLM is that the companies are not interested in selling to consumers.

MLM companies do not need consumers because the distributors who join an MLM company are the consumers. As a distributor, you are marketing to get more distributors under you and for the privilege of having a chance at making big money, you must purchase a specified dollar amount of product every month that is autoshipped to you and directly billed to your credit card.

The newest ploy with MLM is the “Pre-Launch” phase. “Get in now, position yourself, join for free”…….the problem is once the “Pre-Launch” phase is over be prepared to pay out several hundred dollars for your privileged position.

Do Your homework on MLM companies to find out first if the products are worth the cost and save yourself time and energy.

Gifting Programs………seems to be the hottest thing since sliced bread……………..I will not get into the legalities here, that is up for grabs……..but ask yourself one question…..Why if gifting is legal does your cold hard cash come via Fedex with the actual cash inside a magazine? Why do they not use payment processors or checks?

The IRS code is partially used to show how legal gifting is, yet they send the gift in cash via Fedex or some other shipping company.

Beware of videos you see…..it is very easy to send yourself some cash via Fedex and make a video of them arriving and opening the envelope for all to see the cash they are receiving.

There are all sorts of programs out there claiming they are making hundreds of dollars per day and thousands of dollars per month and you can do the same for a one time fee or a monthly fee………

Beware of the hype and the claims. The ones I love are “do nothing” claims….just pay x amount and they will put people under you.

There are legit programs out there, you just have to put a blind eye to the hype and bs out there….and do your homework.

Do not let yourself be fooled by promises of unrealistic goals.

Yes, there are people out there that are making 6 or 7 figures a year online, but remember they worked very hard by putting their time in to market and learn. They did not start out at the top.

Online Marketing takes hard work and it can be done but it is a process that takes time and commitment.

Currently, I myself am making money online with a program that has No out of pocket cost without the hype. So yes, you can do the same, just do not let yourself fall into some of the less ethical practices that will only drain your wallet.

Wishing you all great success

Deb

What are the Relationship of Internet Marketing and Affiliate Marketing?

Madhvi mittal asked:

Affiliate marketing is an internet marketing practice where a business rewards affiliates for each customer that purchases something on their site. Affiliate marketing has been impacted by the rise of blogging and interactive online communities. Affiliates are now able to get closer with their customers and have a more personal relationship. This is one of the best forms of marketing if used efficiently and ethically. Now that you know what affiliate marketing is, what are some of the advantages?

1. Affiliate marketing boosts sales and opens up new marketing channels.

2. Merchants only have to pay their affiliates when a lead has been generated or there has been a sale, which is cost effective marketing.

3. Marketing allows smaller companies the chance to expose their products on websites that already have a great number of people looking at them. Affiliate sites also benefit from this type of marketing because they receive a commission for every sale they make for their website. With all the advantages, for more details visit to www.forum-marketing-videos.com there are about as many disadvantages.

Some of the disadvantages are:

1. Affiliates may mislead or falsify advertising in order to get the sales commission. The affiliate may make promises regarding the product which are completely wrong or exaggerated. If this happens the merchant will usually receive complaints and potentially lose customers.

2. Merchants could promise high commissions to get new affiliates and then lower the commission rate a couple of weeks after getting the new affiliates.

3. There are link hijackers that hijack the affiliate link and then get paid the commission that the affiliate is suppose to be getting paid.

4. Dishonest merchants can close down their program without telling the affiliate and without paying them their commission. Affiliate marketing has been impacted by the rise of blogging and interactive online communities. Affiliates are now able to get closer with their customers and have a more personal relationship. This is one of the best forms of marketing if used efficiently and ethically. There are many advantages and disadvantages to internet marketing affiliate programs, for more details visit to www.tube-traffic.com most of which have been listed in this article. No matter what the disadvantages are though, affiliate marketing is one of the best forms of marketing available on the internet today and is a great way for you to make money. If you are looking for a way to make extra money and help others market there business, affiliate marketing is right for you.

Finding An Ethical SEO Consultant

Ben Norman asked:

Search engine optimization, popularly known as SEO, is a technique that optimizes a website in order to make it very search-engine-friendly. SEO can be performed at the programming as well as at the content end – the programming aspect of SEO tunes the website to the requirements of the latest search engines algorithms, while the content aspect of SEO involves strategically embedding sought-after keywords in the website content. There are other methods as well – e.g., link building, article submission and directory submission.

If you want your website to register its presence in the competitive world of Internet, you’ve got to resort to SEO techniques. Otherwise, a website fails to get noticed amongst millions of them. But the bad news is that there are many unethical outfits out there who promise you great SEO, but all they do to get your website a high page rank on the results page is employ a variety of unethical techniques (the so called black-hat techniques) to fool the search engines. If caught by search engines, your website can be blacklisted and banned for adopting unethical SEO techniques. It is, therefore, absolutely important that a website owner works along with an ethical SEO consultant, and here’s how you must choose one.

Guide To Choosing An Ethical SEO Consultant

The Internet has made the world a smaller place and a website owner can work with SEO consultants based in any part of the world – there are many SEO consultants’ websites all over the Internet, and tracking down one is not all that difficult a task. And here’s how you must choose one:

1. If the SEO consultant is a professional, then he must be accredited by many reputed organizations such as Google AdWords, Web CEO University, and SEO Pros. If the SEO consultant has more accreditations, well, the more the merrier. A certified SEO professional is ethical by default – ethics are inbuilt into their work code.

2. He must have an impressive roster of clients who speak highly of him. And he must not be hesitant to give out a few references.

3. If the SEO consultant is professional and ethical then it automatically follows he will have a successful track record. So, go ahead and check the websites he has performed SEO on, and check if they rank high on search engines results pages.

4. The SEO consultant needs to be versatile and he must offer services such as website analysis, content writing, keyword research, link building, SEO and, of course, adequate reporting back to the client.

5. The SEO consultant must have a clean track record, in the sense that he must never have been blacklisted for adopting unethical SEO techniques. Such techniques include spamming search engines, trading links with websites that are part of link farms, or cloaking, which means coating keywords with the same color as the website’s background and stuffing a whole lot of them on all the pages. You can find out if the SEO consultant has resorted to dubious means by running a check on him on search engines and on message boards. Plus, you can always check with his references too.

That was a small guide on how to go about selecting an ethical SEO consultant. True, finding an ethical SEO consultant will take a little bit of time and effort, but it is well worth it. Because an unethical SEO consultant can kill a website, while an ethical consultant can help you build your fortune.

I Am a Millionaire Now – it is Different Than I Thought it Would be

Greg Cox asked:

I am a millionaire, but I don’t feel like one. Perhaps the better way of saying it is it does not feel like I thought it would. Let’s get back to that a little later.

First a bit about me and the family. I am a forty-one year old white male. Married for 12 years with two kids- a nine year old girl and a seven year old boy. I have an undergraduate degree in finance and went to night school to get an MBA. I have spent my entire career working in information technology (IT). Most of that time has been programming. I have a few stints in management, but it didn’t take.

My wife works at home and has done so since our daughter was born. She volunteers at the kid’s school quite a bit. I also keep her busy with a lot of the business activity. Our kids attend public school. We were going the private school route for a few years. When both were going to be all-day students, the bill was $18,500 for the year. By the time they are be in 2nd and 4th grade, the bill will be $21,000 and that was if tuition stayed the same. Fat chance on that.

I have started my own company. The dream was to have a big operation where I would have 50+ people working for me and spend my time running the business and helping bring in new clients. Four years into it, we are considered successful, but the big dreams have turned out to be little dreams. I have a few people working for me but the majority of revenue is still billing my own hours.

I come from a middle class home. My father worked for the federal government and never made more than $25,000 a year. I went to public schools. I am smart and my grades always reflected that. I graduated high school in the top 10% (barely). My father passed away when I was in high school. While there was life insurance, it was not much. My mom had to go back to work after staying home to raise the kids for 20 years

My career and savings started when I was 22 and graduated from college. 18 years later I can see several things:

I made some great decisions

I made some bad decisions

I made good decisions with bad results

There has been good luck and bad luck, which came whether intended or not Inaction that should have been action.

 

Some Good Decisions

Student Loans – I never had any. My undergraduate was paid for by scholarships and out of pocket. My employer paid for the MBA. I did not go to a big school, although I could have. The decision to go where I did, McNeese State University in Lake Charles, LA, was made out of finances. They offered a scholarship that covered tuition, books and a room. I was on my own for food. A little help from mom and some part time work took care of that.

I noticed that many of my friends upon graduation were paying off student loans. Every month they were paying a couple of hundred dollars. For them this went on for years. I was saving my money instead. This provided a good foundation for later.

Avoiding bad debt – I can remember one day talking to a friend who was about to get married. He had $8,000 in student loans, $10,000 in car debt, $3,000 in credit card debt and was about to get a loan to pay for his portion of his $30,000 wedding. He never told me exactly what he wound up paying for the wedding but I bet his portion was half. Here is a guy who is 25 years old and $36,000 in debt and all he has to show for it is a car and a marriage certificate. He was going to be paying that off until he is in his thirties and then start saving. I had a ten year head start for savings on him.

While I have had car notes, they were never huge and never more than three years. I put as big a down payment as I could. I have bought more used cars than new cars.

I pay off the credit card every month. I do charge everything I can. This maximizes the points. The bill has often been higher than what I want it to be. My wife and I have had more than our share of fights when I opened the credit card statement. In the end I made sure the balance never got up and we never paid interest or fines.

I recently had a conversation with a co-worker who told me she had $75,000 in credit card debt. This fascinated me because we had similar jobs with similar pay and are similar ages. How can I have so much and her so little? Her answer was it started small when she was in her 20’s. She and her husband would carry a balance this month and go on vacation instead of paying for it. That balance never got paid. The next month they had an $800 car repair, adding to the balance. They had a cycle of accumulating bad debt for 15 years that resulted in $75,000 of debt.

Ground rules with the spouse – Before we got engaged, I wanted to go over finances with my then-girlfriend. I discovered she had $2,800 in credit card debt. I let it be known that we were not going to get engaged until she got it off the credit cards. She applied for and received a debt consolidation loan at a much more reasonable rate. This started the groundwork very early for us about what would be good and bad financial decisions.

My wife is not a money person. She is a spender and consumer. She impulse buys regularly while I seldom do. My saving has often been countered by her spending. I could have been a millionaire many years ago if she viewed money like I do. The things we do for love.

While we have fought, and will fight again, over money and spending, there have always been some ground rules. No credit card debt, do not touch the savings unless for another investment, save every month, try to avoid spending on the big things.

We have taken trips, bought clothes, had nice meals and remodeled kitchens. We temper these things. I try to delay these expenses and question if we really need all of it.

One thing that works for us was we created a separate checking account for her. Every month we transferred money into that account. Birthday gifts, baby gifts, wedding showers, clothes and her pocket money all came from there. These were the items that would get out of hand. More than once she was giving a wedding or baby shower with other people. It always seemed that one of the others would go out and spend an outrageous amount. The $400 dollar cake was my favorite. They would through the receipts in a pile, add them up and divide. Three showers in a month totaling $450 can bite you quickly. When these types of expense would come from our savings, she treated it like there was a bottomless well. When she had to pay from her own account, she started budgeting. The account literally saved our marriage.

Buy a house early – I bought my first house when I was 25. I paid $52,000 for it. It is a 2 bedroom /1 bath with 1100 square feet. I lived in it for 5 years. Four years being single and one after we got married. I still own that house today. It has been a rental property the rest of the time. By the time we moved out, I could rent it to cover the note and then some. As time went by and property values rose so did rents. This house is now paid off and is valued at $210,000. I collect $850 a month in rent. I could get a little more but we have a good tenant who pays on time and doesn’t call much.

That single decision is now responsible for nearly 15% of my net worth and provides around $6000 a year positive cash flow (minus taxes and insurance).

Maximize 401K – We have put as much in to our 401Ks as we can. These accounts are now worth over $200,000 and the returns have just been average. I have changed jobs several times. Several of these 401Ks are now in IRAs. This money is taxed-deferred, encourages savings and adds up over time.

Sa
ve every month
– Shortly after college I opened a mutual fund account. I started putting $100 a month into it. After a while I upped it to $110. I got another fund and started adding $50 a month into it. Over the course of time, those monthly investments became $800 a month. But over the course of time, these mutual funds are now worth $180,000.

Look into making money outside of your job – There are lots of ways to make money on the side. We have gotten in and out of direct-marketing companies. We have bought and sold on Ebay. I have been to dozens of foreclosure auctions. These are only a few of the items I have looked into. I have invested hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars over the course of time. Multiple times I had to make the decision that this was not worth my time or any more of my money and had to cut my losses.

In the end I have found side incomes that bring in an extra $30-$40K a year. There are a ton of get-rich-quick ideas out there. Many of the things you will come across are scams. Some only work for certain types of people, usually not the type of person I am. What I currently do, I stumbled into. I stumbled into it because I was looking into something else that did not work. Every opportunity you see, book you read, seminar you attend will spurn some other thought and idea. The challenge often becomes evaluating what is the best match for your skill, capital and time.

Hobbies – I know guys who play golf every weekend. Others go hunting or fishing. While we all need our hobbies, often these hobbies dominate our lives and finances. Golf is not cheap. Even the cheapest green fees can run up the hundreds of dollars a month for the avid player. Add in balls and clubs and it can really get up there. If you are making $70K a year and have two kids and spending $300 a month on golf, it is time for a financial re-evaluation. If golf is more important than wealth keep it up, but you are not going to make it to the millionaire club that way.

Let’s not just pick on the golfers. Hunters, boaters and shoppers have equal if not more outflow. I see hunting leases for $2000 a year. $500 pair of shoes. $17000 boats. If you want to save, you eventually need to decide – hobbies or wealth?

I started my own business – I could have easily just worked for someone else or gotten a job in a big IT shop somewhere. Instead I put myself out there to accept contract gigs. There were times where it was just me. Luck plagues the diligent. I sought out opportunities where I could bring in other people. Since I was incorporated, I could do that. I knew a bunch of programmers and could get them better rates that anywhere else. I kept thin margins, but making $4K a year off of someone is better than making nothing.

Starting your own business enables multiple opportunities outside of the obvious profit centers. There are so many expenses that I used to absorb that I could now deduct from my taxes. Office supplies, mileage driving to client, etc.

Work Hard – whether I was working for myself or someone else, I was always a hard worker. I came in a little earlier and stayed a little later. I did not whine if I had to come in on the weekend. I accepted responsibility and sought allies. I took the blame and shared the credit. I became valuable wherever I was. This set me up for higher pay when I worked for someone. When I went out on my own guess who the first clients were – people who used to work with me. They knew they would get a certain level of productivity out of me.

Things I wish I did

Increase the monthly investment – There were long periods of time (5-6 years) where I left the monthly investment in the mutual funds alone when my income went up. I should have increased the monthly payment into them each time my pay went up.

Buy and move into more houses – I look at the house I bought when I was 25 that is now worth $210K and regret not repeating the process. My wife and I could have moved 2 – 3 times more and bought a house each time. This would have left us with a bigger trail of rental properties all well on their way to being paid off.

The single best beginners way to build a real estate empire is to buy a house, live in it, buy another, move into that and rent out the former. Fixed rate loans for the owner of the house is still the cheapest way to get a loan. It also avoids the extra loan costs of buying investment property.

Things I cannot control

Luck – This goes both ways. The house I bought when I was 25 was in an area that has not suffered from urban decay. I cannot predict how a neighborhood will get that disease. It could have just as easily turned out to be a bad neighborhood. Fortune smiled there.

Just like that was good, I can account for $250,000 I have invested back into my business that I have not received a return on. I have hired several sales people who did not work out. Each one of them drew a salary, submitted expenses, hired outside support and took people away from billable efforts all to help close a sale. While these are things you do to grow a business, you want to them to actually grow the business.

My business has grown more from my efforts than anyone I paid to do it. Was it my bad judgment in evaluating their sales talents or I did not give them the support they needed? I cannot rule it out. Were they not putting their all into it? I cannot rule that out either. When they were hired, everyone thought it was a good idea, the approach was sound and we communicated regularly. I just never got the result I wanted. It was a good decision that had a bad result.

The Dot Bomb era – I had a lot of technology stocks. There was a point in time where my and my wife’s IRA was worth $160K. This was in early 1998. A year later they were worth $60K. There is a reason I primarily invest in S&P 500 index funds today.

I used to consider myself a “very aggressive” investor. Not any more. Losing $100K in the market will do that to you.

What it is like to be a millionaire

Having over a million dollars in net worth is a good place to be. It sounds oversimplified but being a millionaire is better than not being one. It is not the penultimate financial goal that I once thought it was. I am not retiring and picking up golf any time soon.

I still worry about cash flow. So much is tied up in real estate, mutual funds and the business that I cannot get to a lot it without tax consequences. I still drive an eleven year old car. We eat at the same places. We still argue about the credit card statement. I still buy the generic pasta at the grocery store because it is 15 cents cheaper. I am not going to “summer” in Europe or buy a Mercedes. That is not how I got here. If I make those types of lifestyle changes, I might not stay here. I have splurged on a few things. I have “invested” in my baseball memorabilia collection and we took a nice vacation.

I do sleep better knowing I have some flexibility and assets working for me. There are people I work with that have a couple of thousand in the bank, even more in credit card debt and live from check to check.

I have over $1.4 million in assets. This includes everything. If I get 5% return on them, that is another $70K added onto the amount in the next year. The same people I just references are years away from saving $70K much less $70K in a single year. That is what a lot of people make in a year. That is my return when I do nothing.

It was not positive linear growth every month. Many months went backwards or stagnant. Remember, I saw my market values drop $100K. There was over $250K invested back into the business. To save a million dollars you to need to be out there and take a chance. Not all of them are going to work. Hopefully a lesson learned pays dividends down the road.

Having the mone
y allows me to look at different investments. Doors that were shut are now open. I just have to be smart. I can consider different options. In the end that is what I am really after – the options to control what I want to do and on my terms.

 

In the Passing of a Brick: the Gvn Story

Megan Taddy asked:

The first image in the photograph to emerge was the ghost of figures, pale outlines on glossy paper, developed in a dark lab among hundreds of other snapshots of birthdays and couples beaming in front of scenic landmarks and babies taking first steps. Plunged into its chemical bath and then saved from drowning, the photograph was pulled out dripping, like a wet laundered sock, and hung to dry.

And in its chromatic, magic way, the ghosts became alive: eyes to peer in to, lips that curl a hungry happiness, hands that are almost, but not quite, moving. A photograph to prove an existence.

Perhaps it was the gingered hair of the young boys that made the photograph unforgettable. Or the rounded stomachs that belied nourished bodies. Or the clothes, worn day after day, that stretched ripped across torsos and framed startlingly snap-thin legs.

Whatever it was, Colin Salisbury, pictured then as the blond-haired 18-year-old in flip flops surrounded by five Papua New Guinean youth, was never able to shake the way his thumbs-up to the camera promised a future where everything was going to be okay.

Fifteen years later, the photograph is hanging in Colin’s office, and when he’s asked how he got into the business of people helping people, he points to it. Like the photograph with its quiet and sustained birth, so, too, was Colin’s idea for the Global Volunteer Network (GVN).

Of the six weeks he spent in Papua New Guinea, Colin says, “For a young guy from New Zealand, it had quite an impact.”

Such an impact, in fact, that GVN, a non-governmental organization born out of a compassion for people that gripped Colin like an island vine, is connecting volunteers with communities in need all around the globe to deliver on his wordless promise all those years ago.

Although Colin had been fascinated with finding a solution for the poverty he had witnessed during his travels the next decade after his first overseas experience, it wasn’t until he took a trip to Ghana in 1998 that he had his epiphany.

Colin, who has a Master’s degree in International Development, was working for WorldVision doing a literacy study in Ghana when he made an alarming discovery. Schools, lacking books and teaching materials, were also lacking the most precious resource: teachers. In a majority of classes, teachers, underpaid and overburdened, were outnumbered by a ratio of 150 to 200 students to two teachers. Colin was compelled to leave the trip with more than just empty promises.

“Long term, it’s obvious we need to train more teachers,” Colin said. “But in the short term, these kids would really benefit from an education now. International people coming in to help fill those teaching gaps seemed like the next step. So that’s when I went, ‘Wow, there’s actually a real need for volunteers.'”

Upon returning home, Colin continued working his full-time job while, with the help of his wife, Jo Salisbury, began laying the foundations for GVN during everyone else’s happy hour.

“It took me a year working nights to figure out how I could make this idea work,” Colin said. “I didn’t share it with anyone until I got it going.”

In his research, Colin found that other organizations charged high fees to volunteer, and vowed to make his organization as accessible as possible.

“I got frustrated with the fact that a lot of organizations just wanted people’s money and nothing else,” he said. “I wanted to give people the opportunity to get their body there, as opposed to just paying their dollar a day.”

Colin was also adamant that his organization would align with the idea of “local solutions to local problems,” working at the grassroots level to achieve their goals.

“Local people are the ones who live in those communities, so they know their needs and how best to address them,” Colin said. “What they need is support in doing that, not someone else coming in and setting up an infrastructure when a lot of those infrastructures already exist.”

Colin and Jo officially launched GVN in 2002 with a web site that now brings snickers in the increasingly computer-savvy office. And with help from the first hired staffers who worked out of Colin’s spare bedroom, GVN began sending volunteers to programs in Ghana, Nepal and Ecuador. With growth that would surprise even the staunchest GVN supporter, the organization leaped from sending just 240 volunteers its first year to 1,520 volunteers two years later.

“I had no idea how well it would go,” Colin said. “It was kind of like, let’s set it up and put our marketing in place and hope it will take off. And it really did. As demand grew, we added more programs, and we’ve basically been doing that ever since. It was good timing with the Internet becoming available; it meant that we could provide lower cost volunteer opportunities than other organizations that were around before the Internet that have different cost structures.”

And with the growth of GVN came a proper office and an expanded staff team of 20 people to help administer volunteer applications and coordinate country programs. The map on the wall of the meeting room now has 19 pushpins denoting GVN’s programs in Alaska, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ghana, Honduras, India, Kenya, Nepal, New Zealand, Philippines, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda and Vietnam. Volunteers, who work anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months, are involved in programs at orphanages, schools, wildlife sanctuaries, nature reserves and refugee camps.

And the GVN network continues to expand. The GVN Community Fund was established in 2004 to support the work of GVN’s partners with resources so they are able to continue and enhance their work in their local communities. The Community Fund plans the fundraising treks to Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. Everest base camp, Machu Picchu and New Zealand’s South Island. The treks, a mix of adventure sport and humanitarian aid, add a new twist to the “sponsor my walk” fund-raiser, with every dollar earned going to support a project in the foothills of the peaks, such as a new school in Uganda.

The Office

It’s an odd day if Colin’s four-year-old daughter isn’t riding her tricycle around the office, weaving in and out of desks as if they were traffic cones. Staff members enjoy Ping-Pong breathers, take hot drink orders and get infuriated during Sudoku competitions.

“Our partner in Vietnam just sent us pictures of his baby,” Program Coordinator Graham Fyfe announces to the office, who crowd around his desk and croon. Out the window, only a few feet away, young guys work lackadaisically on a line of cars waiting to be washed and waxed. The office, like a best-kept-secret noodle shop, is tucked among several non-descript warehouses and a car wash.

“People often think we’re a big American conglomerate and that we have offices in every corner of the world,” said Anna Wells, the program coordinator for Nepal, China and Romania. “I think if people realized that we were in the back blocks of Lower Hutt, they’d be quite surprised.”

It isn’t all sack races and bean bag throws in the office; GVN gets over 400 e-mails a day and program coordinators are busy sifting through travel questions-Should I take Malaria pills?-to taking phone calls from worried moms.

Most of the program coordinators have been volunteers themselves at one time, so their exclamations of volunteerism are genuine.

“Volunteering really shows you what a huge difference one person can make in a relatively short period of time,” Anna said. “You can learn so much about a culture by working alongside a community. It’s something you can’t experience any other way.”

Erin Cassidy, GVN’s office manager, volu
nteered in Uganda for three weeks last year with her five-year-old son.

“I saw firsthand what volunteering does and how it helps communities,” Erin said. “It really opens your eyes to how much you have and how much you don’t need. It’s impacted even the way we operate at home. I don’t run the water when I clean my teeth at home. I know that’s just a small thing, but I’m now aware of just how precious that resource is.”

For Charisse Gebhart, the program coordinator for Ghana, South Africa and Uganda, the six months she spent volunteering with GVN in Nepal changed her worldview.

“I was barely aware of the poverty and suffering that was out there,” Charisse said. “I’d see the commercials by Sally Struthers, but that was about the extent of it. Witnessing it for yourself is very different from just knowing it’s out there.”

And GVN offers a variety of ways to witness it for oneself, from standing up for the first time in front of a classroom filled with giggling Ghanaian students, to giving dinner to a rescued gibbon at a wildlife sanctuary in Thailand, to baking a cake with an orphan in Romania.

“No matter what your skill sets are, there are places where you’re needed and you can contribute,” Graham said. “Volunteering is not a one-way thing. It’s not just going to change the people you’re working with. It’s also going to change you. You’re going to gain more awareness of yourself, of what you’re capable of and what you’re passionate about. It’s worthwhile to put yourself in that position.”

A Catalyst for Change

Volunteerism isn’t all journal writing and introspection. The communities where volunteers work are often deeply affected by their presence. After all, it isn’t everyday that someone gives up the comforts of their daily life to pay to work long hours in a new and often demanding environment.

“One of the main factors of development is self-esteem and national pride,” said Hanna Butler, an administration staff member and fundraising trek organizer. “When I volunteered in India, sometimes it felt like I really wasn’t doing that much. But in some places, where we were the first foreigners to come there, people realized that they weren’t forgotten. They thought, ‘We’re worth being helped.'”

It’s often this feeling of self-worth, of recognition during a time of hopelessness, that can jump-start a community into action. When volunteers arrived in India to work in a community gutted by a swift reach of a wave-children separated from parents and homes exploded by a salt-water bullet in the time it takes to brew a pot of coffee-they found many people still stunned and unresponsive.

“A lot of people were still in shock,” Colin said. “There wasn’t a lot of action happening. But [the volunteers] just got in and started rebuilding the wells and ensuring that there was good water and everything. And as soon as they started, the locals just came and joined in, and in some places, took over because they were better at it than the volunteers. The point being is that volunteers often act as a catalyst. Local people often think, ‘If these people are going to fly half way around the world and pay all the money just to help us, than I think we can help too.'”

If GVN considers the organization a success, it’s only because of the difference they’ve been able to make in other communities.

“In Nepal, we’ve been able to take them from basically zero in terms of volunteers for their projects to 20 or 30 a month,” Colin said. “What that’s meant for them is they’ve been able to have a fantastic impact in providing teachers for the schools and the orphanages. So part of our success is the success that’s meant for others.”

Colin continued, “In Ecuador, GVN supplies half the number of volunteers that the organization has. Since they’ve started working with the volunteers-it’s not always all better instantly-it has had an impact on the environmental policy on the country and the local attitude toward conservation.”

And while volunteerism creates many tangible changes for communities, from new school buildings to cleaner streams, it also helps to bridge a divide left behind by decades of Western imperialism, colonization and exploitation.

“Quite often you hear about developed countries taking advantage of developing countries,” Michelle said. “But volunteerism allows developing countries to see that there’s another side to people, and how people want to be in the world.”

The GVN Difference

Asking a GVN staffer to tell you the difference between GVN and another organization doing similar work is like asking a child what they want for Christmas; they just can’t stop listing things.

“I think that one of the best things about GVN’s programs is that volunteers have a lot of space to use their own initiative,” said Michelle, the program coordinator for Kenya and Tanzania and the administrator for GVN’s travel insurance option. “I think our programs work for someone who has a lot of enthusiasm, energy and wants to see things get done.”

While GVN doesn’t just send volunteers out with a map and a compass, they do allow volunteers to make many of the decisions about how they want to spend their time volunteering.

“Other organizations send a guide out with their volunteers and it’s all very set and concrete,” Graham said. “And while that ensures a certain consistency in the program, it’s also really limiting in terms of what you can get done. With GVN, you’re given support but there are no prescribed guidelines.”

Although GVN is a relatively small organization, Graham believes its tight-knit office is actually one of its strengths.

“We’re quite responsive and can turn around and gets things done if changes need to be made,” he said. “We don’t have ten layers of administration that you need to go through to get things done.”

And unlike other organizations, GVN’s programs don’t require a second mortgage to take part. Volunteering in Thailand for four weeks costs only $650.

“Volunteering is expensive,” Michelle said. “You’ve got to take time off of your own life, but still keep it going. Things just don’t stop when you go overseas. So you want the best value for your time and money.”

Choosing a Partner

Being popular isn’t always easy. GVN gets at least two queries a day from organizations that want to partner with them. The task of deciding which partners to invest in is a long one.

“We look at the impact that those projects are making,” Michelle said. “We make sure that they’re worthwhile projects, that they’re up to GVN standards and that they make a good impact on the local community.”

Understanding that business practices, cultures and even ethics run the gamut when working with international partners, GVN instituted The Ten Steps of Quality to ensure consistency. The steps, actually a checklist, help GVN set standards as they work toward excellence in all of their programs.

“Sometimes partners we work with are really eager to help but they’re not used to running a business the same way we are,” Graham said. “So the Ten Steps of Quality just gives them the tools to be able to do it effectively.”

There are times, however, when opinions differ and partnerships become more exacting rather than symbiotic. GVN, always careful about whom they’re working with, sometimes has to make the tough decision to cancel a partnership.

“We had a previous partner in Nepal in the beginning,” Colin said. “Things changed in regards to the way they were working and there was some question as to the use of finances. We had to decide that we couldn’t be involved if that sort of thing was going on. We had to pull the plug.”

Volunteer Expectations: Where’s the Air Conditioning?

“I need to change the Info Pack for the Philippines,” said Annika Lindorsson, the program coordinator for India, Philippines and Vietnam. “I think it’s confusing for people to find the taxi from the airport using it.”

Annika had
just returned from a five-day trip to the Philippines to meet with one of GVN’s newest partner organization and assess the program. Following the path that a volunteer would take, she discovered a glitch in the directions.

“Going to the Philippines has made all the difference in my ability to do my job,” she said.

GVN isn’t shy about sending its employees to investigate their programs. For Annika, she brought back more than just a suntan: first-hand knowledge of how her program runs, what accommodation looks like, what volunteers are fed and the general logistics of getting around a country most volunteers have never been to before.

“It’s really helpful to see the logistical things, like the airports where the volunteers arrive,” said Graham, who traveled to Vietnam, Ecuador and El Salvador last year to check on his programs. “It’s a lot easier to give advice when you know where they’re going.”

Sharing a meal with a GVN partner also helps to build a relationship that had been solely Internet and phone based.

“It really makes it a lot more personal,” Anna said. “You have quite a close relationship with the people you’re working with over there. So to actually meet them makes it a lot more real.”

By seeing the country the way a volunteer would, program coordinators are able to ensure volunteers’ expectations are realistic; there really is no air conditioning in Uganda. Program coordinators also try to relay to volunteers that their trips will be nothing like a backpacker’s excursion to a dude ranch.

“Some of the volunteers will think the trip will be a real adventure,” Colin said. “Others think that in the month that they go, they’re going to dramatically change the place. Some views are naïve, some are more realistic and some view it as a holiday. So we try to get people’s expectations in line with reality without deflating them too much.”

Unlike some travel holidays where tourists can view poverty like a circus tent-circling around, pointing, but never joining in-volunteering with GVN makes acclimatizing to the environment a necessity.

“For the India program, for instance, accommodation has been selected that is not luxury accommodation,” Michelle said. “You’re actually learning to live another way without the comforts that you’re used to. At the end of the day, we want volunteers to gain a true experience of the country, rather than a tourist view.”

And while volunteers will have the opportunity to explore the country, there’s no mistaking that they work hard.

“I think a lot of people think it’s going to be really nice, like wiping sweat off people’s brows,” Hanna said. “But its long, hard work. Sometimes you feel like you’re not getting much done. And some days you think, ‘And I’m doing this for free? What am I doing?'”

Would she do it again?

“Yes,” she said.

Making the Big Leap: Just Go For It

“I was terrified,” said Charisse, of her first days volunteer teaching in Nepal. “I had no teaching experience. I was scared about having a classroom full of kids to myself. I didn’t know if I would be able to fill up all the class time and if I would be able to keep them under control.”

And how did it go?

“The way you’d expect it to,” she said. “There were some rough days, but it was great.”

The fear that gripped Charisse-How do you command a class full of children who don’t speak the same language?-is universal among volunteers stepping into situations that would make even the most experienced travelers blanch.

“Other volunteers have gone feeling the same way,” Charisse said. “In fact, every volunteer will have felt the same way. And you probably don’t always get that from the journals on the web site. But that shouldn’t be a reason to stop you.”

It’s this fearlessness, this nerve and heart and patience that a volunteer embodies that helps to push against a global current of hopelessness, despair, inequality, greed, racism and xenophobia.

“There have always been people in need, and unfortunately, I think there always will be,” Anna said. “You just have to help people one person at a time. I’d like to say that the end result is that GVN helps so much that they make themselves obsolete. But all throughout the history of the world, there has always been people who have nothing and people who have something to give.”

The act of giving, of taking on a responsibility for humankind, of declaring that a person whom you have never met has the basic and fundamental right to a life free of suffering, is incomparable to any other gesture.

“Yes, it’s tough,” Erin said. “And often there is culture shock. No one can ever prepare you for that. I don’t think you can be totally prepared for it. I’d seen pictures, watched videos, but in the end, the reality was different. But after the first few days, when you get over the jetlag and the change, I can’t see how you would ever regret it. I just can’t.”

And in the passing of a brick, in the chalk-dusted writing of a word, in the gentle rocking of a lonely child, a new world is forged where the universal truths are love, compassion and generosity; a world where photographs-a glimpse, an eye blink-become inspirations become ideas become endeavors become legacies.

Get More Value from Your Values… By Walking Good Talk

Donald Mitchell asked:

As difficult as it is to determine and reinforce the values of an organization, it’s even more difficult to be sure that those in the organization live those values in visible ways. But that visible following of values is much more valuable than simply establishing the values in the beginning.

Here’s an example. Habitat for Humanity is one of the fastest-growing large organizations on earth. This charitable enterprise finds deserving people who cannot afford decent housing, helps them build such housing at modest cost, and provides a no-interest mortgages to finance the purchases.

A key element of Habitat’s ethic is that the organization is based on Christian principles, and Habitat sees itself as a Christian ministry. This religious ethical foundation enables Habitat to draw on teachings about “helping thy neighbor” and “loving thy neighbor as thyself.”

Habitat uses these values as an irresistible force to draw volunteers and resources to the organization. Naturally, the group carefully lives up to its creed. Although the charity operates from one set of religious principles, people of many faiths support Habitat’s work out of respect for the values that Habitat upholds.

To some this enterprise may sound like a fairy tale. Check it out. I think you’ll be impressed.

While conventional builders take weeks and months to complete the simplest structure, Habitat routinely builds housing in hours or just a few days as part of special events. Its members rigorously work to reduce costs, improve quality, and accelerate progress, and are the world standard in much of what they do. Now that’s a breakthrough solution!

Right now, there’s a housing crisis in the United States because so many home owners cannot pay their mortgages. As a result, conventional home builders are losing billions of dollars as homes sit empty.

Compare that sad circumstance with what Habitat can accomplish. As home and land prices drop, Habitat can afford to start more homes. If building material prices also drop, Habitat will be able to build its homes at lower prices. As a result, more people will enjoy being in homes where those who buy from conventional builders will have lost.

The Habitat home owners put no cash down into their homes, and they pay no interest. Those homes aren’t going to be repossessed for nonpayment. In fact, if a Habitat home owner has problems paying, there’s flexibility to help the home owner find another job or to reschedule the payments.

Imagine how much better it feels to work for Habitat (for pay or as a volunteer) than to be with a conventional builder.

Is your enterprise based on values that are this inspiring for you and the rest of your organization?

If not, now is a good time to see what you can do to draw on rich value roots such as faith-based ones to create an irresistible force for accomplishing more.

Do Your Products Reflect Ethical Values

Akhil Shahani asked:

You have initiated a business of your own couple of years back, and the progress is in full swing. Consumers feel the products are awesome, and you are all set to expand your reach. And why not! But, just when you think you’re ready to take the next big leap, someone asks you whether your products are ethical!

Strong business ethics always form the basis of all of your relationships, especially those with customers and employees. In the new era of business, corporate values and business ethics will always pay you back in terms of helping you achieve standards of excellence and securing a reputation for being trustworthy. Conversely, violating the ethical code can always put you on the road that you don’t wish to travel. Don’t believe us? Hold on! We’ve got a handful of examples especially for you.

Remember Anita Roddick? Okay, let us remind you of Anita Roddick’s success story. Anita Roddick, the founder of ‘The Body Shop’, the cosmetics company dedicated to producing and retailing nature-inspired beauty products, was well-known for her belief in ethical values. And this was reflected in several aspects of The Body Shop. Not only were the products organic, none of them were tested on animals, reflecting the company’s deep respect for nature and the environment. And they didn’t merely make good products – the company made sure that basic labor rights of their suppliers from third world countries were not violated. Anita developed a unique set of ethical values for The Body Shop that brought global success to a business that started with a single store. Take a leaf out of her book – for example, if you are in the food processing business make sure you don’t risk the health of your farmers.

Have you heard of green consumerism? Let me tell you a few words about green consumerism. Green consumerism refers to the growing demand for natural products, and this trend is most vibrant in the United Kingdom, and catching on in the rest of the world. Want to know the reason behind that? Don’t you admit that we should put a stop to the damage to our environment? A lot of manufactured products have an adverse environmental impact, however small. Hence, environmentalists are urging companies to look at the entire life cycle of their consumers’ purchase from a pro-environment point of- view. That’s because a consumer does not just buy a ‘product’, but also everything that goes into its making, and everything that would result from its usage. So, take a serious step and try to base your business on natural products and eco friendly practices. On a practical note, remember that your business and its ability to survive depend on how quickly you respond to the demands of consumers – and today the consumer is demanding ethical values!

Ready for some charity? It is worthwhile considering contributing a certain part of your profits to a charitable cause that you believe in. Philanthropy is undoubtedly one of the most ethical values any business could espouse. Not only does your company make a worthwhile difference to a cause, it also acquires a great deal of credibility and acceptability in the eyes of the public.

It is seen that consumers in the new era are tending towards products of socially responsible companies. Wouldn’t you like yours to be counted among them?

What is Ethical Shopping?

Davinos Greeno asked:

But you can by shopping in an Ethical way. Put simply, this is buying things that are made ethically by companies that act ethically. Buying ethically means buying a brand or from a company which doesn’t exploit labour, animals or the environment. The way in which you can act as an ‘ethical consumer’ can also take on a different form and that is avoiding products (also known as boycotting) you disapprove of such as battery eggs.

GuideMeGreen acts as a unique internet guide, showing you which brands and companies are classed as ethical. For more indepth information see the Good Shopping Guide or the Ethical Consumer magazine.

Why buy ethically?

Everyone needs to go shopping in one way or another. As an ethical consumer, every time you buy something you can make a difference by choosing an ethical product or by buying from an ethical business.

For example, when you buy from a company that doesn’t exploit its workers and provides them with decent working conditions, you are giving the company the funds to continue its ethical behaviour. At the same time, you are no longer buying from a company that exploits its labour with poor pay and often a dangerous working environment. That company then loses business, which may encourage it to change its ways and to look after its workers.

Marks and Spencers the huge retail chain in the UK recently ran an ethical products campaign and said that this was its most successful ever. Many of the big retail companies are now seeing the benefits of offering a range of ethical goods for sale including ethical trainers, ethical shoes and t-shirts.

How do I know it’s ethical?

In general consumers must have confidence that any ‘ethical’ claims that a brand may make conform to certain standards which are independently accredited. Organisations such as the Good Shopping Guide and Ethical Consumer provide an ethical analysis of everyday brands and the companies behind them. The Ethical Marketing group publishes the Good Shopping Guide, updated annually, grading hundreds of companies according to their policies on 15 ethical issues.

Working to promote ethical shopping, The Ethical Company Organisation enables consumers to easily compare the Corporate Social Responsibility records of hundreds of companies and brands.

The Ethical Company Organisation’s Research Department monitors the ethical records of hundreds of different companies across 15 criteria including environmental records, human rights, animal welfare and involvement in the arms trade. This involves working with hundreds of ethical consumers, progressive companies and NGOs on a range of research and publishing programmes.

For example, next time you are buying clothes, the good shopping guide recommends that you buy from HUG and avoid Nike.

Find Ethical products via GuideMeGreen’s ethical directory

The Great Green Clean: How to Make your Own Ethical Cleaning Products

Adam Singleton asked:

The last time you dressed in yellow rubber gloves, the most stained and ratty t-shirt you owned, and possibly a face-mask, you probably weren’t heading out to a fancy dress party, or even leaving your home at all. You were cleaning it. But why all this protective attire to combat dirt, germs and grime in the place that you are working hard to make a more liveable, safe environment?

Why are we using products that are so harmful that we require protection to use them? After all, you want to be able to eat off surfaces you have just cleaned, but the very same toxic chemicals that rid our homes of dirt and germs can also be toxic to ourselves!

What the manufacturers of harmful cleaning products don’t want you to know is that you can clean your home with far less toxic products, many of which you probably already own. Most chemicals that make you want to wear a gas mask are not surprisingly harmful for the environment, but you can achieve the same results using everyday things that do not require protective garments. Next time you clean, arm yourself with white vinegar, bicarbonate of soda, a lemon or two and a splash of hydrogen peroxide and you are ready to clean your home the green way.

A green way to clean windows is by using a mixture of one part white vinegar to three parts warm water. To get a lemon scent, cut a lemon in half, squeeze the juice into a bucket and then plunk the rest into the solution and voila! Lemon scented window cleaner.

To clean kitchen counters, cutting boards or other areas where harmful bacteria may be lurking, hydrogen peroxide is a great alternative to chlorine based bleach. It can be bought at any pharmacy and does not have the harsh smell of regular bleach or ammonia. Simply make a solution with warm water and wipe. For surfaces with harsh stains, apply a thin layer of bicarbonate of soda and scrub with a moistened brush.

The next time the kitchen sink is blocked, try rapidly pouring a bucket full of recently boiled water down the drain. Just be careful of splashes! This is a great alternative to using a caustic drain clog remover and can also be used on a clogged bog!

If using ethical, environmentally friendly products is important in your life, you are a member of an increasing number of people out there and be assured, manufacturers have taken note. If you’d prefer not to make your own, there are plenty of ready made ethical products available for sale, which you can feel great about using.

An Ethical Clothing Company Story

Davinos Greeno asked:

It may sound like a talkative monkey, but Gossypium is something even stranger- a clothing company that puts farmers first.

Their name comes from the Latin for cotton, and expresses their unexpected belief that the way clothes are made is as important as how they look. All their clothes are made from 100% organic Indian cotton woven on handlooms to prevent wasting energy and the build up of cloth mountains and without the use of any GM seeds.

The cotton they use is grown by farmers supported by the Agrocel farmers centre. Based in Gujerat, Agrocel helps farmers grow their crops completely organically with technical advice, support and regular visits. The 60 farmers are paid a fair, above market price for their produce, and have a long-term sustainable relationship with the company.

Abigail Garner, a director of the company, set up the first clothing collection for Traidcraft and knew how important it was to treat not just the farmers well, but the earth too. Instead of chemical colours, Gossypium uses vegetable dyes, a time-consuming but high quality alternative. No waxes or chemical treatments are used to spin the cotton.

The clothes are stitched in India and Gossypium is working towards total transparency and independent monitoring. Thomas Petit, a company director explains that in the meantime they visit the factories themselves, We try and use the same factories as fair trade organisations use. Where this isnt possible we visit the factories ourselves?. They have also set up an education fund linked to the garments, each item stitched means more money to buy books for local schools.

Gossypium has its own fashion and print designer who adds a fresh edge to the ethical and environmentally conscious company. Their yoga collection is particularly popular because wearers know they are helping others while they reach their higher plane! The collection is already stocked in 30 shops throughout the UK. Its growing fast and is very popular, says Tom.

Their childrens clothes are perfect for sensitive babies and their sensitive parents who prefer not to wrap their offspring in chemicals, and the hardwearing material withstands the games of the most robust kids. For adults the emphasis is on simplicity and comfort, but never at the expense of fit or style. We especially like their slash neck tops and strappy vests.

Gossypium is bent on not just altering the fashion industry but turning it on its head to give power to the producers. Because of this, all profits are shared between Agrocel and the design/sales part of the company. The aim is to get as many farmers into Agrocel as possible, giving them the freedom to work without endangering themselves with pesticides and to be paid fairly for their work. The unique combination of ethics and style will ensure pretty soon everyone will be talking about Gossypium.

Ethics of Abortion

CD Mohatta asked:

Abortion will always remain a topic of discussion. Lot of religious, ethical and practical issues are involved in abortion. Is abortion killing? Is abortion taking away the rights of an unborn child? Is it not murder? And what if the parents or the mother does not want the child? Who will take care? Why should she carry a child in her womb if she does not want it? How about her rights? Such questions keep getting asked when the subject of abortion comes up.

I saw a discussion where a woman wanted to abort a child conceived because of rape. In this discussion also I could not find everybody agreeing to get aborted. Some religions forbid it. Karma theory says that you get raped because of your past karma and you must bear the pain of bringing up the child to wash off your bad karma. Some religions say that life itself it too precious. Only God can take it away. No body else can do that.

Ethically speaking the subject becomes very hot. Because we have our own ethics. My ethics need not be same as those of yours. Something like ethics of lying. Some people feel it ethical to lie if it helps someone. Others say that one should never lie irrespective of the result. Abortion has similar results if you look at opinions. Some people are very much for it while others are totally against it.

I have a simple question. If one cannot kill a newly born child, how can one kill a child who is unborn? Because we feel that the child is without life at that time? Who can give a definite answer to the question of when the child becomes a living being? I do not think that other than God any body knows the answer.

Business is not a Social Giveaway

Donald Yates asked:

 

Make a profit and leave social programs to the Government.

 

Being in businesses serves one purpose and one purpose only, and that is to turn a profit for its owners or stake holders. People who begrudge businesses for making a profit don’t fully understand their purpose. In a capitalistic system such as that found in the United States, profit is the soul purpose of any business endeavor. Small businesses are no different, people who go into business for themselves, usually do so for the income. When all is said and done, income is after all, the root of the businesses importance.

 

Social endeavors on the other hand are driven by the need to provide a service. Some social businesses are for profit and some are not. Many times the proprietors take a salary while the business itself is self sustaining but does not occur a profit. Even though an enterprise may be a social directed business, it still operates under the same financial pressures as a profit driven business. Its aim may be to provide a clear social benefit but it must adhere to more strict rules and regulations than other businesses. The internal structuring may include volunteers and solicited donations. Accounting is strict and reporting to government agencies may be more scrutinized. Any profits occurred are mostly reinvested, or used to support its societal direction, rather than being paid to the owners of the business.

 

If you are community minded, you may want to start a business that isn’t just for profit but also has a social function. For example, you might want to provide a service for injured war veterans , or help improve conditions for disadvantaged children.

 

Here are some Advantages of starting a social directed business.

You get a feeling of self-worth while earning a living.

The community and your beneficiaries benefit as your business grows and matures.

Customers may be willing to become involved in the business because it supports a good cause.

It could be easier to attract and motivate employees and volunteers to share in your social aims.

You could possibly qualify for a government or church based grant and raise funds from people or organizations who share your social aspirations.

 

Here are some Disadvantages of starting a social directed business.

Sometimes your social aims may get in the way of making progressive decisions.

You may have to make difficult choices as to how much income to make.

If there is any surplus, profits it is expected to be put back into the business or go toward supporting the cause.

 

 

Why people change careers or start their own business

A change in conditions like loss of job or sudden need for more money.

A major life event can prompt or even enable you to start your business.

An inheritance or other dramatic personal event may provide the funding to kick-start you into action.

Loss of job or job stagnation could mean that now it is time to take the big step.

 

 

What are the Advantages of going into business?

It just might be an opportunity to start over or do something you’ve always wanted to do.

You have a chance to prove yourself.

You get to choose your future

You can make as much as you are determined to make. .

Even though you’re never your own boss you can have the flexibility of working around family commitments.

 

 

What are the Disadvantages of going into business?

You will have to ware many hats, meaning its up to you to take care of all business matters.

Going into business is a life-changing event and it can be very stressful.

Don’t make decisions that would effect others when you are personally disturbed.

It usually takes about three years to start showing a profit from a new business.

It is most unlikely that you will see any speedy returns on your investment and you must prepare for a long, and sometimes difficult challenge.

In the beginning stages especially, it could mean working long hours for little pay and making sacrifices in your personal life. Make sure those around you are prepared for the challenges ahead.

 

Should you start a business when you’re unemployed?

If you’re drawing unemployment your composition wages might not be enough to carry you through while starting a business. It may be better to find a job and slowly work into a business on the side. If you already have the tools, like a lawn mower (lawn service), a buffer and vacuum (carpet cleaning) or car (delivery service) then you might solicit people you know for business or references.

 

Starting your own business is not easy. It takes unusual fortitude to make the transition from wage earner to self reliance. Don’t attempt it unless you have the confidence and determination to succeed.

 

Happy Trails

 

 

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People of the Book are One Another’s Trusted Friends

Harun Yahya asked:

Islam is the religion of peace, love and tolerance. However, nowadays certain circles are trying to give Islamic morality the wrong image. The religion of Islam commands people to create an “abode of peace and well-being” on the face of the Earth, but those circles try to show the opposite of this as if there was a conflict between followers of other religions and Muslims. However, the view Islamic morality takes of Jews and Christians known in the Qur’an as the “People of the Book” is extremely just and merciful. God makes this known in the Qur’an as follows:

God does not forbid you from being good to those who have not fought you in the religion or driven you from your homes, or from being just towards them. God loves those who are just. (Qur’an, 60:8)

Only argue with the People of the Book in the kindest way – except in the case of those of them who do wrong – saying, “We believe in what has been sent down to us and what was sent down to you. Our God and your God are one and we submit to Him.” (Qur’an, 29:46)

The Qur’an states that there are those among the People of the Book who are sincere in their belief:

Among the People of the Book there are some who believe in God and in what has been sent down to you and what was sent down to them, and who are humble before God. They do not sell God’s signs for a paltry price. Such people will have their reward with their Lord. And God is swift at reckoning. (Qur’an, 3:199)

… There is a community among the People of the Book who are upright. They recite God’s signs throughout the night, and they prostrate. They believe in God and the Last Day, and enjoin the right and forbid the wrong, and compete in doing good. They are among the righteous. You will not be denied the reward for any good thing you do. God knows those who guard against evil. (Qur’an, 3:113-115)

Those who believe and those who are Jews and the Sabaeans and the Christians, all who believe in God and the Last Day and act rightly will feel no fear and will know no sorrow. (Qur’an, 5:69)

In the books of truth sent by God as guidance to His people, a community model is described that is based on love, peace, tolerance and justice. For example, in the Qur’an God tells that the Torah brought down to the Jews is a guidance for people:

We sent down the Torah containing guidance and light, and the prophets who had submitted themselves gave judgment by it for the Jews – as did their scholars and their rabbis – by what they had been allowed to preserve of God’s Book to which they were witnesses… (Qur’an, 5:44)

The arguments and conflicts between Jews, Christians and Muslims based on historical problems, prejudices, misunderstandings and misapprehensions should be put to an end once and for all. Followers of all three religions should live in mutual understanding and tolerance. What is important is to bring up points in common rather than differences, to be helpful rather than troublesome, constructive rather than destructive, cooperative rather than obstructive, integral rather than separate, and to cause unity rather than segregation. In the Qur’an God makes known as follows this responsibility of the believers:

Those who do not believe are the friends and protectors of one another. If you do not act in this way there will be turmoil in the land and great corruption. (Qur’an, 8:73)

God has ordered the believers to be the peacemakers and protectors of peace on Earth. He has condemned those who disturb peace on Earth, declare war without just cause (such as defense or salvation from oppression), disrupters, and killers of innocent people. Our Lord has ordered believers to create a world where all people can live in peace and it is one of the important responsibilities to ensure peace and security for mankind.

At the root of wars, conflicts and all forms of corruption is man’s distancing from the true religious moral values. Sometimes the perverse interpretations of certain individuals allegedly in the name of religion can influence people who have insufficient knowledge of the true religious ethic. And this may cause them to commit acts that are totally inappropriate in terms of religious ethic. The solidarity of the believers gains importance in the face of people who believe in the necessity of solving disagreements and problems by violent means, those who persecute people with oppressive and despotic implementations.

Every Christian, Muslim or Jewish believer is obliged to do his utmost to strive to this end. It is right for those Muslims, Jews and Christians who believe in one God, who try to gain His approval, who have surrendered to Him, whose hearts are bound to Him, who praise Him, and who essentially defend the same values, to act in partnership. Sincere believers should unite in order to live according to the moral values of religion, prevent the disasters caused by irreligion, struggle intellectually against atheism and materialism.

Prejudices arising from ignorance or the provocations of those who are against the religious moral values should be banished. Jews, Christians and Muslims should try to cooperate to spread the high moral values on Earth. This cooperation should be built on the founding principles of love, respect, tolerance, understanding, harmony and cooperation. It is necessary to consider the immediate need for action, and to keep far away from elements that can lead to conflict, argument and dissidence. In the Qur’an the Muslims’ call to the People of the Book for unity is made known as follows:

Say: “People of the Book! Come to a proposition which is the same for us and you – that we should worship none but God and not associate any partners with Him and not take one another as lords besides God.” (Qur’an, 3:64)

Under the pen name of Harun Yahya, Adnan Oktar has written some 250 works. His books contain a total of 46,000 pages and 31,500 illustrations. Of these books, 7,000 pages and 6,000 illustrations deal with the collapse of the Theory of Evolution. You can read, free of charge, all the books Adnan Oktar has written under the pen name Harun Yahya on these websites www.harunyahya.com

How Can I Do Ethical Marketing Through Blogging

Mukeshh Kumarr asked:

What on Earth is Astroturf Marketing

It is believed that the concept of astroturf marketing was coined by US Senator Lloyd Bentsen of Texas to refer to situations in which people with no political agenda present grassroots perspectives on major issues. Simply put, astroturf marketing is the notion of promoting your product or service in forums designed for discussion and not for advertising where the promotional message is projected in a context that is in no way related to promotion. What makes astroturf marketing so attractive for many is its high-impact character and negligible cost. The platform in which astroturf marketing is leveraged usually involves audiences that do not expect any advertising to take place. More often than not, any form of advertising is strictly prohibited on these platforms and there are strict penalties for violators.

Two Ways for you to Astroturf-Market your Product or Service

Here are two unique ways in which you can astroturf-market your product or service and not even have to pay to do so. Please be sure to follow the ethical guidelines we have recommended.

Post Intelligently to Special Lists and Discussion Groups

There is no knowledge domain on the planet today that does not have an associated discussion group, bulletin board, message board or listserv. If you happen to be a manufacturer of metal castings for automobiles, chances are that there is a discussion list for this industry. Promoting your product on such lists can be hugely rewarding because many potential customers also subscribe to these types of lists not to mention consultants and contractors. But since you can rarely advertise on these lists and in many cases, can‘t advertise even if you wanted to pay for it, visibility on these platforms can be tricky to achieve.

Consider the following. When commenting on a topic, a thread or a hot issue, use the signature feature in your e-mail client. Your signature should include:

• Your real name

• Your designation or title at the company

• The name of your company

• A “one line“ short descriptor such as “the New England photocopying experts“

• Physical mailing address

• Phone number and URL

• e-mail address

Never modify your signature once you start using it except on rare instances in which information needs to be updated. Chances are that your list administrator won‘t ever object to this form of veiled marketing not only because there are others doing it but also because this practice has gained momentum and is gradually becoming ubiquitous. Your posts should always be original and intelligently crafted. The value addition should be worth the time it takes to read your post on the list.

Carve your Niche in Blogosphere

Setting up your own blog on a free hosted blogging platform such as Google‘s Blogspot, TypePad or WordPress can generate significant ROI for your time and effort. However, it has to be done right. If you start posting your company‘s marketing collateral on your blog, it will drive away more traffic than it will generate. Therefore, it is a wise idea to engage in constructive commentary in your blog posts. For instance, did you “almost“ make a mistake yesterday when hiring a manager? What was the mistake and how did you prevent it? Have you just come across a new vertical search engine for your industry? What is your assessment about its functionality? How extensive is it? Mention your company and the services you provide but only in a context and that too in passing. Contrary to what many believe, you don‘t have to post to your blog every day. Post two or three times a week. It is the quality of the content that matters, not the quantity. Always provide links to your company‘s website, preferably, to specific and relevant pages when possible. This can generate valuable back- links for you. Your name at the end of each blog entry should also link to your company‘s home page and not to your profile on the blog site which is what most bloggers do.

Never Become or Use a Meat Puppet

A meat puppet is an anonymous and fictitious entity that you either create or pay to create in order to present your point of view. Using a meat puppet while astroturf-marketing is both unethical and impractical. Even the courts disapprove of such gimmicks. Communicate your message judiciously on the Internet and watch your ROI soar.

Astroturf your way to success in your online endeavors!

The PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct

Cornelius Fichtner asked:

Don’t steal, don’t cheat, and don’t lie. This short sentence pretty much sums up the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. It describes the expectations that we have of ourselves and our fellow practitioners in the global project management community. It articulates the ideals to which we aspire as well as the behaviors that are mandatory in our professional and volunteer roles.

The purpose of the Code is to instill confidence in the project management profession and to help an individual become a better practitioner.

You cannot find the Code in the PMBOK Guide. It is a separate document that you have to download for free from the PMI Website. But as so often on the PMI Website it is somewhat difficult to find. Here is the direct link to it: http://www.pmi.org/PDF/ap_pmicodeofethics.pdf. Just like the PMBOK Guide, this is a “must read” for anyone studying to take the Project Management Professional (PMP) or Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) exam.

Unlike the PMBOK Guide, where memorization is necessary to pass the exam you will not be asked to recite from the Code during the exam. Instead, expect several scenario-based questions where you have to show that you can apply the Code. For instance: “You have just arrived in London where you will spend 3 days with a vendor reviewing a proposal. The vendor calls you in your hotel room and invites you to dinner. What do you do?”

Let’s take a look into this document. Upon creating the code, the PMI found that there are 4 values which project managers around the globe identified as being important: responsibility, respect, fairness and honesty. These values have become the foundation of the code and each of them is discussed at length in a separate section. For each of these values the Code lists aspirational and mandatory standards.

The aspirational standards describe the conduct that we strive to uphold as practitioners. Although adherence to the aspirational standards is not easily measured, conducting ourselves in accordance with these is an expectation that we have of ourselves.

The mandatory standards establish firm requirements, and in some cases, limit or prohibit practitioner behavior. Practitioners who do not conduct themselves in accordance with these standards will be subject to disciplinary procedures before PMI’s Ethics Review Committee. However, even though we have this distinction of aspirational and mandatory standards, for the PMP exam consider everything in the Code as mandatory.

The code applies to you both as a PMP Aspirant and later on also as a PMP. First, as a PMP Aspirant: When you apply for the PMP Exam you will be asked to sign the PMP Candidate Agreement and Release form. In it you state that as a PMP Aspirant you will comply with the Code. This means, for instance, that you don’t cheat on the PMP exam. And once you pass the exam the code also applies to you as a PMP.

Now you should exercise Responsibility and take ownership of the decisions you make or fail to make, show Respect to yourself, others and the resources entrusted to you, apply Fairness when making decisions and act impartially and objectively, and finally, employ Honesty in both your communication and conduct. If we all manage to live up to these high standard from the code, we will improve the respect towards our profession as well as enrich today’s business world.

Here are two more examples of applying the value of “Honesty” to your work: First, as a project manager you may be working on-site for your client and you may have access to proprietary and copyrighted material or information. The confidentiality of such intellectual property that you have access to, must be maintained. And second, let’s look at status reports or press releases that you provide. The information that you as a PMP provide in these documents must be accurate and truthful… however difficult it may be to define the word “truth”.

Applying the code in your daily dealings with work colleagues and your colleagues in the professional organizations will also set you apart. The code can assist you in making wise decisions especially, when you are faced with difficult situations when you might be asked to compromise your integrity and values. Sticking to the code will show others that you are an upstanding, ethical project manager.

Take this a step further. If your colleagues know about you in this way, this will be part of your reputation. And being honest and ethical makes finding a new job much easier, than if you had the reputation of stealing, backstabbing and lying.

Let’s come back to that dinner invitation from earlier. Would you accept or would you decline? I would accept because going out to dinner with a vendor or partner is normal social behavior and will not jeopardize your objectivity on the project. However, if the vendor offers a free Caribbean cruise to you then you should decline and notify your superiors.

Next to the PMBOK Guide the code of ethics is one of the more important documents on the exam. Study it and try to see it not just as a theoretical document but apply it to real life examples of how it applies to your work on a project and what you should do in a given situation.

Ethics and Feminism Articles

Sue McLean asked:

What do we mean by ethics?

The word ethics comes from a Greek source meaning custom or habit. Ethical philosophy involves the study of right and wrong. Sometimes people use the word morality instead of ethics. Both morality and ethics are about finding out how we ought to live. Ethics is a major branch of philosophy. (The other branches being: epistemology or knowledge, metaphysics or the essential nature of things and logic or reason.

Approaches to Ethics

There are four possible ways of approaching ethics.

Descriptive ethics: involves the description of how things are or the customs of a society.

Normative ethics: is about making moral decisions or deciding what is right and what is wrong. There are two main ways of doing this, namely by intentions or moral rules relating to duty (deontological ethics) or by outcome (teleological).

Meta-ethics; this approach analyses the nature of ethics. It includes both realism and antirealism. Realism is the view that moral values can be discovered, possibly by using intuition. Antirealism is the view that morality is determined by people’s thoughts and feelings

Applied ethics: this is how ethical values may be used in specific circumstances. So for example, the study of abortion would involve an individual applying moral theory to the situation of abortion. In order to do this they may draw on both normative values those of meta-ethics.

Normative Ethics In More Detail

Teleological Theory

Teleological theory is also known as consequentialism and involves outcomes. One example of teleological theory is utilitarianism. According to this theory one should do what creates the most happiness for the greatest number of people. However utilitarians are divided about what happiness is. Some claim that happiness is simply pleasure but others claim it is about minimising pain. Two major exponents of utilitarianism are Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill.

Jeremy Bentham produced the felicific calculus, or hedonic calculus. For Bentham one could calculate the actual amount of pleasure over pain using a sort of mathematical method. The calculus involves taking into account factors such as: intensity, duration and certainty of pleasure.

John Stuart Mill divided pleasure into higher and lower order, claiming cultural, spiritual and intellectual pleasures to be higher order in nature.

Some utilitarians claim that lawmakers ought to apply the happiness principle to formulate general rules for society. These utilitarians are called rule utilitarians. On the other hand, act utilitarians claim that one should apply the happiness principle to each act and so determine the morality of each individual situation.

Not surprisingly there are several criticisms of utilitarianism. One of the main criticisms is the conflict between the greatest number and the greatest happiness. For instance, what if I can create a lot of happiness for one person or a little happiness for lots of people? What should I do? Another problem is to do with how we define happiness because if it is merely pleasure then this is purely hedonistic and somehow this seems wrong. For instance, it may be pleasurable to spend my whole day playing computer games instead of doing my philosophy homework but this does not make playing games the right thing to do.

Deontological Theory

Deontological theory, on the other hand, maintains that we should act out of good intentions, namely duty.

Kant’s theory is perhaps the best known deontological theory. Kant argued that we should do duty for duty’s sake (categorical imperative). This applies regardless of outcome or emotions and that is why it is categorical. (Whereas the hypothetical imperative states: ‘Do X to achieve Y’.)

For Kant our actions must pass the universability test, which means one should ask what would happen if everyone acted in that way. This does not make Kant’s theory consequentialist because he was not concerned with consequences but rather whether any irrationality or contradiction would be produced should everyone act in a certain way.

Kant also said that we should act as though everyone were a member of the kingdom of ends, meaning that we should treat everyone as if they have their own ends or purposes. This contrasts with a very modern and capitalist view that we treat others for our own ends. One of the most positive aspects of Kant’s philosophy is his theme of respect for others, which has been the basis of human rights legislation.

One criticism of Kant’s theory is that he does not explain why we should do duty for duty’s sake.

Meta-ethics in More Depth

Meta means ‘after or beyond’ so this branch of ethics usually goes above or beyond that of normative theory. Examples of meta-ethical theory include: relativism, intuitionism, emotivism and prescriptivism.

Meta-ethical questions include:

What do we mean by good or bad?

How do we make moral judgements?

Are some things always good or bad?

One key issue is to do with whether moral judgements can be objective (realism) or subjective (antirealism). In other words, whether moral judgements are based on the emotions and perceptions of individuals (antirealism) or whether they can be known in some objective way. Another way of stating this is by questioning whether some things are always good independently of any will or view.

Antirealism

Antirealism holds that there is no objective good but that something may be deemed good by individuals. To give an example, if I believe as relativists do, that morality is judged from the perspective of time, place or situation then I am an antirealist. For relativists what is deemed right at one time may not be right at another because there are no objective standards. Thus divorce was once viewed as wrong in Britain but today many people do not judge it as immoral. For relativists this shift in values illustrates the view that nothing is always right or wrong.

Another form of antirealism is the view that ethical statements are neither true nor false. Both emotivism and prescriptivism hold this position. Emotivism holds that morality is about an emotional response so that I may be kind to a kitten because I have an feelings of sympathy towards it. Whereas prescriptivism holds that moral statements imply a prescription or rather imply an action. Therefore the statement ‘it is wrong to commit adultery’ implies ‘you should not commit adultery’.

Realism

On the other hand, I may believe that there are objective moral standards or things which are always right or wrong independent of any arbitrary opinion. For instance, I may believe that marriage is for life and judge as unimportant the fact that attitudes have changed to marriage. According to this view divorce may still be wrong even if the consensus of opinion changes so that just because the majority think something is right, it does not follow that it is so.

Intutionism is one example of realism. Intuitionists argue that we know how to respond in a given situation because we have an intuitive understanding of goodness. We have this understanding because goodness is objective.

It is important to realise that realism is not the same as absolutism. Absolutism is a form of antirealism. Absolutism holds that some things are absolutely wrong in all situations but that they are absolutely wrong as the result of some will such as God’s or that of the monarch. For instance, in divine command theory something is deemed wrong because God says it is wrong. However this makes morality subject to God’s will. If something is subject to a will (even God’s) th
en it is not objective. Objective standards hold that some things are always right or wrong independent of any arbitrary will.

Conclusions

In conclusion, there are four approaches to ethics, namely: descriptive, normative, meta-ethics and applied ethics. The last of these four has not been discussed at any length in this paper. However it is important to realise that applied ethics involves the application of normative and meta-ethical theory particular situations such as: abortions, genetics, environment, animal rights etc. Normative theory is about moral judgements and includes both deontological and teleological theories. Meta-ethics is about analysing the nature of ethics and includes both realist and antirealist views.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Benn, P., Ethics, Routledge, 1998

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy at: http://www.iep.utm.edu/e/ethics.htm

Norman, R., The Moral Philosophers, Clarendon Press, 1985

Raeper, W. and Smith, L., A Beginner’s Guide to Ideas, Lion, 1991

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy at http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/metaethics/

Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethics

An Overview Of Feminism For A Level Students

Feminism often gets a bad press. Feminists are sometimes presented as a homogenous group where the radical is viewed as the norm. This is not the case. There are many different types of feminists. This page gives you an overview of some of these groups.

From a sociological viewpoint most feminism (with the possible exception of postmodern feminism) can be viewed as a macro theory because it gives a view of society as a whole.

WHAT IS FEMINISM?

This is not so easy to answer as it might at first appear because there are so many different types of feminists. Feminist groups argue against patriarchy, subordination, oppression and androcentrism but what do they mean by these terms? Each group may have different ways of using the terminology. Taking a very generalised view, patriarchy is about structuring society according to male domination whereas androcentrism is a male dominated way of viewing the world. However what consititutes structuring the world according to male domination is a matter for debate.

TYPES OF FEMINIST THEORY

Liberal Feminism

Liberal feminists may speak about justice in gender issues. There are two main ways they understand this. Firstly, a classical liberalist may argue that we should remove discriminatory laws to allow equality of opportunity. Whereas a welfare liberalist may argue in favour of so called ‘positive discrimination’. According to the welfare view, society ought to compensate women for centuries of discrimination by treating women more favourably than men.

Radical Feminism

This form of feminism is still evolving and can take many forms but it nevertheless holds that the oppression of women is the most fundamental oppression in that it is: rooted in history, the deepest form of oppression, the cause of the most suffering and the conceptual model for understanding all other forms of oppression (Alison Jagger and Paula Rothenberg as explained by Rosemary Tong, p. 71)

One issue frequently under discussion by radical feminists is reproduction. Feminists such as Firestone argue that reproduction forms a class distinction between men and women. Firestone advocates a biological revolution where the ultimate goal is an androgenous society. Other radical feminists such as Adrienne Rich argue that reproduction is empowering for women.

Marxist Feminism

A key theme in Marxism is the alienation of the proletariat or workers. Marxist feminists generally see women as a class and argue that women are, like the proletariat, alienated in society. Marxist feminists are divided regarding how this imbalance may be rectified. For instance, Engels argued that men retain power because of their access to work. His view was, broadly speaking, that inequalities would reduce once women access work. Modern Marxist feminists often view the traditional roles adopted by women (mother and wife) as unproductive in that being a wife and/or mother is about the production of people (care for others), rather than the production of money or goods. Some Marxist feminists therefore advocate paying women for adopting a mother-wife role. Others advocate women working outside of the home. The main problem with the latter being that far from freeing women, this often results in women getting caught up in the capitalist system, juggling the demands of work and family.

Psychoanalytic Feminism

Again this is a very broad category, with several feminists criticising Freud for his failure to challenge the patriarchal institutions of his time. For instance, Firestone claimed that Freud ought to have found ways to free women and children from the tyrrany of the father. However Alfred Adler argued that patriarchy drives women literally to madness as neuroses become ways for women protest against their oppression (Tong, p. 147).

Postmodern Feminism

Postmodernism rejects the idea that there is one singular true view of the world and in this way it may be seen to be a micro theory. Postmodern feminists may argue that no-one, including other women, may speak for all women. Each woman should have the opportunity to become herself, whatever that may be. Postmodern feminists include diverse theories such as those of: Helen Cixous, Luce Irigaray and Julia Kristeva.

Sexual Difference Feminism: Luce Irigaray

Sexual difference feminism (SDF) differs from the difference feminism that Haralambos introduces. The latter holds that different groups of women are exploited to different levels. SDF is about how men and women are different and as such ought not to be treated the same. Perhaps the best known exponent of SDF is Luce Irigaray. One of her arguments focuses on the plurality of women as opposed to the singularity of men. For Irigaray one problem for women is that our views of the world are not so valued as those of men.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Haralambos, M., and Holborn, M., SOCIOLOGY THEMES AND PERSPECTIVES, Collins, 2000

Irigaray, L., AN ETHICS OF SEXUAL DIFFERENCE, Athlone Press, 1984

Jagger, A.M., FEMINIST POLITICS AND HUMAN NATURE, Rowman and Allanheld, 1983

Tong, R., FEMINIST THOUGHT, Westview, 1989

Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminist_theory

Right Use of Power: the Heart of Ethics

Cedar Barstow asked:

Both Meg and Rob were thinking about grief.  So a bit more about that.  Grief, of course, has it’s own rhythm and pace, and is a process….neither to be rushed nor clung to.  I’m reminded of the Sensitivity Cycle from the Hakomi Method.  The Sensitivity Cycle describes the process of becoming more and more sensitive and effective.  It has four phases:  clarity, effectiveness, satisfaction, and relaxation.  All four phases need attention and organically move on to the next.  In thinking of grief, for example, first you need to be clear about what you’re grieving, then take some kind of effective action, then find and integrate some satisfaction from the action you took, and then relax and let go—so that you will have made space for a new cycle.  It is easy to get stuck at each phase and with grief it seems that the most common place to get stuck is in letting go.  Getting unstuck and letting go when it is time seems to involves having a “gut” sense of the timing. It also involves trusting that letting go of the process of grieving for a person, thing, or event, doesn’t mean letting go of it all, but rather knowing that you have integrated it, or the learning from it, within you.

In responding to Sally who is looking for some more depth, I’d like to say something about two kinds of ethical decision-making edited from pages 59-61 of my book:  Right Use of Power: The Heart of Ethics.  I find that we as professionals most often think of ethical decision-making simply and solely as the second kind I describe as complex decision-making without putting conscious attention toward ordinary moment, every day kind of ethical decision-making.

Ordinary moments—ethical attention.

The basic ethical question is: Is what I am doing in the best interest of my client? With this question in mind, the preponderance of ethical decisions are made moment to moment in the ordinary process of sessions with your clients. Commitment to the best interests of your clients is the often unnamed and yet constant foundation that guides your interventions. Everyday ethical decisions involve both personal integrity and professional responsibility. For example, supporting your client’s accurate self-assessment of progress, conveying compassion for suffering, holding hope when your client has lost their hope, making sure you complete a session in a timely way. Ethical decision making is deeply embedded in your professional relationships. Moment to moment decisions create trust.

Ordinary Moment Ethical Decision-making

Let’s break this down a little further.  When being ethically sensitive and aware, there are two kinds of ethical decision-making. The first arises in everyday, ordinary service moments. These require tracking subtle energetic cues, attitudes of integrity, and attunement to being in right relationship. Here are some everyday, normal instances using client questions:

•How often should I be coming to see you?

•Will you write a recommendation for me?

•Can we go later today?

•Can I pay at a reduced rate?

•Would you meet me for coffee to talk about a business idea?

•Is this situation I’m in a healthy one?

•Tell me about your marriage.

Decision-making Using Ethical Codes & Power Spiral

Far less frequently, you are called to make complex ethical decisions that require time to think through your response, consulting with your supervisor, referring to your Ethical Code, and/or using the Power Spiral model in the Right Use of Power book. Examples of such ethical challenges might be:

•deciding how to manage an inevitable dual role relationship

•making a DSM4 diagnosis and considering the ramifications

•reporting impending or actual harm effectively and skillfully

•confidentiality exceptions

•deciding whether your client is being re-traumatized

•making appropriate referrals

•responding and adapting to cultural diversity

•use of touch

•self-disclosure

•handling sexual issues

•dealing with possible unethical behavior by colleagues.

In these non-ordinary complex situations, there are many forces and influences to consider. Some of these include: regional laws, ethical code, clinical assessment, gut intuition, standards of practice, transference, supervisor recommendations, cultural norms, risk to client and/or caregiver, employer policies, client wishes, client’s life circumstances, and your personal issues and feelings.

I hope you will find it useful to think in terms of these two different categories of ethical decision-making.  I look forward to hearing from you if you wish to respond.

Cedar Barstow

For more information about Right Use of Power see www.rightuseofpower.com

©Copyright 2007 Cedar Barstow, M.Ed., C.H.T. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org. The following article was solely written and edited by the author named above. The views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the following article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment to this blog entry. Click here to contact Cedar and/or see her GoodTherapy.org Profile

Moral Theology

Ernie Fitzpatrick asked:

Much of the church has attempted to make Christianity solely about ethics and morals. Guess who wins at that game? No one! There is no such thing as moral perfection and few if any absolutes this side of the third dimension. There is only ONE who is holy and that is the Creator and that same Creator is not turned off by our sins as the church and most religions would instruct you.

I like the statement by James Mulholland wherein he writes, “God has been pictured in a sparkling white robe, sitting on a heavenly throne high above human contamination. God desires relationship with us but grows squeamish at the very thought of touching or being touched by such disgusting creatures.” Hey, back off you created us! You knew what you were doing (omniscience) and you saw it all ahead of time. Didn’t you?

So, what’s up with the “get out of my face” theology of the American church? Fear based religion just simply doesn’t cut it any more.

I can’t tell you how long I bought the religious dogma that somehow God was disgusted and disgraced by the SIN OF JESUS as He hung on the cross. Why did I buy into that? If God couldn’t stomach looking at Jesus, how in the hell (metaphorically speaking) could God stand me? I know, I know, because NOW God loves me since Jesus died for my sins. But why are so many still living in fear of God? Real dreaded fear!

How many sermons have been preached that the skies became dark as Jesus was nailed on that cross because God in all of His righteousness and holiness could not stand to look upon the SIN of Jesus. I bought that line. It sounded so, so religious. But then I asked myself, how is it that clouds and darkness somehow shielded the sins of Jesus from God? God can’t see through clouds now? Tell me, how does that reasoning work anyway? The answers will come if you want His and not yours!

It doesn’t!

And that is why Jesus came to touch the unclean, the lay hands on the lepers, and to socialize with the prostitutes and wicked tax collectors, because they’ll enter heaven before the religious Pharisiacal crowd. Jesus isn’t turned off by my sins, nor is God! The scandal of grace of course turns us off. We religious ones want fairness- until we need forgiveness. I don’t know about you but I need forgiveness everyday and God’s always faithful to deliver that to me and more!

Moral theology alone or primarily is only worthless works.

Being in love with God, Creator, Being, Consciousness is thr reality of the spiritual life that Jesus advocated and more importantly implored us to FOLLOW!

Turning Led into Gold: Ethics in the Jewelry Industry

Marc Choyt asked:

“The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic.” – Joseph Stalin

“We’ve dodged the bullet,” is the consensus opinion of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee, according to Frank Dallahan. “A job well done,” though, as the title of the opinion piece suggests, “The Gun Is Still Pointed at Us” by “arrogant” NGOs.

Blood Diamonds got mediocre reviews and was not widely seen and has had no real effect on diamond purchases. Sierra Leon is at peace. Kimberly is in place. Our business can return to worrying about bankruptcies, the internet, consolidations, the latest move by DeBeers.

Yet right now, there are thousands, perhaps tens of thousands-the number will never be known – of American men who spent a few months of their salary to unknowingly purchase a conflict diamond. To these consumers, diamonds represent love and commitment-but to someone in Sierra Leone, they signify something altogether different.

One death can have a profound effect on a family, community or even a nation. How are we to understand 3.7 million deaths, which is what Amnesty International lists as the death toll due to wars funded by conflict diamonds? In the calculus of the human heart, such a number easily becomes an abstraction- which is why Blood Diamond was essential.

Though there has been an attempt at truth and reconciliation in Sierra Leone, little has been done to bring the victims of conflict diamonds together with the executive who ultimately purchased them. Nor has there been any widespread apology to customers. Instead, business continues, now with new ethics rules which ring shallow, to me, because there has been to real truth and reconciliation.

To the jewelry industry, the deaths of Africans have become mere statistics.

Certainly the diamond business is not the only business questionable ethics. We could have a film entitled, Blood Oil, but such a film is not needed when we have reality TV. Jewelry is different than other commodities. It is marketed as an emotional purchase, representing, often, the highest of human aspirations. This marketing is a despicable distortion when the true cost of a piece is environmental destruction and human suffering.

Many in the diamond business are Jewish, like myself. As a group, we are sensitive to history. I consider what happened in Africa as a result of conflict diamonds, a modern holocaust. Many might consider this comparison extreme, but there are numerous holocausts caused by human greed, bigotry and power. All are equally terrible.

It is undeniable that the Kimberly process is a huge step forward. If the world, because of Kimberly, could say: “NEVER AGAIN,” then at least there would be a modicum of redemption. But NGOs report conflict diamonds are still being bought and sold… though not a soul in the industry is “out of compliance.”

Our destinies, to some degree, are all interwoven in this universal human tragedy. Tribal cultures were destroyed and people were enlisted as chattel to gather commodities for European powers. This wealth was exported to build empire and many ventured forth to Africa in search of fortune.

I have a picture of my grandfather. Izzy Weinberg. Age 27. Camp’s Bay, South Africa, 1905.

Izzy is dressed formally in a black suit and vest sporting a boulder hat, sitting in a cart. Instead of a horse however, there is a black man in shirtsleeves and bare feet, as the beast of burden. Even worse than this, one detail, over a hundred years later, still fills me with horror: this black man is wearing a set of horns, tied securely under his chin.

Everyone in the jewelry industry selling diamonds, including myself, are in the cart being pulled by the black man with horns. We have all benefited by DeBeers massive diamonds are a girl’s best friend campaign, which has created the demand for diamonds, leading to these wars.

Some are in the cart comatose, pretending the blood diamond issue is gone. Others are in the cart with the reins, fighting the NGOs tooth and nail with a public relations campaign saying that blood diamonds are no longer an important issue. Let us just have business as usual because… no one is out of compliance with Kimberly.

Some have stepped in the cart without wanting to be in the cart: the unwitting customer who walked into the jewelry store some time in the nineties and with months of salary saved up to buy diamonds for their finance.

How much have things really changed over the last hundred years?

Unfortunately, we are so sophisticated now we do not see ourselves in the cart. There’s marketing, technology, supply and demand. Governments are involved. No one wants an African diamond boycott-not even Nelson Mandela. Still, it would not be difficult to conclude that some evil in our industry still views an African’s life as merely a commodity, like cattle or slaves.

My conviction is that those 3.7 million dead Africans are actually members of the lost tribe of Israel, which make them my brothers and sisters. I took care of their antecedents when I lived in Haiti-a country of former slaves. For two years, I worked as a volunteer in Mother Theresa’s clinics while running an orphanage for a charity organization funded by the international diplomatic corps.

This suffering in the developing world is not some abstraction to me. I know we are all one global community that is interdependent. The reason that Haiti is so poor is because we are so rich. This is why I advocate Fair Trade. We need an absolutely clear connection between the miner and the consumer who purchases the diamond.

By writing such things, some will accused me of “slapping the face” of the jewelry industry. Perhaps it is true, but a slap is clearly not the same as a punch or a whack. To slap, according to Webster means, “to strike with an open hand, or with something broad or flat.” A slap is usually between intimates; sometimes even lovers. My livelihood is in the jewelry industry-it provides for me, my wife and employees, so I am intimate with it.

My wife, whom I have been with for nearly twenty years, fortunately, does not slap me, though there were times, certainly, when I deserved it. We do have real conflict however, more of the H I3 variety than the D VSS variety. After the fight, or the slap, a couple has a choice. They can marginalize each other or they can make up, which begins with dialogue and ends, at best, in a more intimate engagement. Indeed, Webster’s also defines a slap as a Scottish word meaning a gap in a wall or a dike or to make such a gap.

My slap, then, can be viewed as an invitation, now that we have ‘dodged the bullet’, to take the plunge and become more introspective about our part in this story. We are witnessing the end game of a terrible cycle; the oppressed becoming oppressor. It has morphed into an often painful commercial connection between that person in Africa and those in Antwerp and Mumbai.

There is a reason that the bullet was aimed at us. We ignore or dismiss this type of bullet to our own detriment, making ourselves more vulnerable. We also miss the opportunity to turn the lead of the bullet into gold.

Just last week I had the largest sale in our companies’ history, three platinum ring wedding set, from a customer who found us on line and purchased from us specifically because of our stance issues expressed on this website. I was happy for the sale, but sorry to hear how this customer from an affluent California city could not find anyone in his area who could meet his ethical standards.

Many in our industry have been so concerned about creating “image” and “brand” that they miss what was right in front of them-the twenty percent of the popula
tion interested in socially responsible business practices.

On this blog you can read how anyone can take real steps to make changes. I urge you to join me. Educate your customers about the benefits of a fair trade, ethical jewelry market. Those who jump on this market early are going to reap potentially staggering benefits with the added bonus of using business to do good in the world.

By the way, my grandfather had no luck in South Africa. He moved to Boston. I happened upon the jewelry business by mere chance, just eleven years ago, mainly because my wife is a talented designer. If fate had been different, I might have been born into the diamond business, which is another way of saying that everything in the world is interconnected

“With a boundless heart cherish all living beings, radiating love over the world, upward to the skies, downward to the depths.” – Metta Sutta

Ethical Conduct: the Importance of High Moral Standards

William Allan Kritsonis, PhD asked:

 

 

                        Ethical Conduct: The Importance of High Moral Standards

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ABSTRACT

Ethical conduct should inspire a quality of behavior that exemplifies honor and dignity for oneself.  In a school district, teachers, administrators, staff, and school board members should understand the importance of ethical conduct in the educational arena.  An effective educational organization entails the need of individuals maintaining integrity and high morals.  The Ways of Knowing Through the Realms of Meaning (2007) by William Allan Kritsonis, PhD provides insight in improving ethical conduct in the educational environment.

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Introduction

     Employees of a school district should serve with honor.  Individuals should strive to help students reach their potential to be socially and responsible citizens.  School district employees should understand the importance of upholding ethical values.  The following statement by Harry Wong emphasize the significance of educators valued principles:  “Teachers are not in private practice.  We are in the helping and caring profession, a service profession to help people enhance the quality of their lives.”  The supportiveness, safety, and security of all areas are crucial in the learning environment.

 

Purpose of the Article

     The purpose of this article is to discuss ten recommendations that are important in the improvement of ethical conduct.  The Ways of Knowing Through the Realms of Meaning (2007) provides insight in improving ethical conduct in the educational environment.  Dr. William Allan Kristonis is a noted author, professor, lecturer, consultant, editor-in-chief, and publisher.  Using his expertise, he has detailed concepts in the realms of ethics.  The focus of this essay is regarding the improvement of ethical conduct for school administrators.  The administrator is responsible for providing leadership to the school community.  The recommendations that are given will enhance the character development of principals and leaders as they model behavior for the students and staff.

 

Ethical Theory

 

     The development of ethical theory dates back to Plato and Aristotle.  The word ethic has its roots in the Greek word ethos.  Ethos is the perceived degree of character or credibility that a person believes exists in another person or object (Haskins, 2000).  The amount of trust and belief one has in another will have an important impact in how persuasive one will be. 

     According to Kritsonis (2007), the value of ethical theory is in guiding teaching and learning.  In the ethical realm, emphasis should be on ethical understanding and how it may be improved.  A person who has knowledge of ethical theory is as moral as a person who lacks such knowledge.  Moral conduct pertains to one’s actions in certain situations.  To solve a problem, one should be clear of the choices for the given situation.  Kritsonis (2007) precisely states, “Before a person can know where to go, he needs to understand where he is starting from.” There must be a mission in order to fulfill a vision.  Moral decisions require a set of values to serve as a form of reference inn evaluating the consequences.

     The values and morals an individual finds appropriate are called ethics.  Ethical theory supplies rules.  These rules are guidelines used in making decisions about a particular situation.  Ethics in leadership deal with what leaders do and who they are.  How leaders respond to a given situation and the choices they make are led by ethics.  The concerns of ethical leaders are issues of justice and fairness.  One cannot be a leader without involving values.  One must be sensitive to the needs of others, care for others, and treat them in ways that are just in order to be an ethical leader.

Character Development

 

     Character education programs teach students how to be good citizens and develop aspects of decision making.  Effective character education programs affect the student’s ability to be socially and personally responsible.  Holloway (2006) identifies the fact that character education promotes core ethical values, creates a caring school community, and engages the staff as a learning community that instills morals. 

     In order for a school community to work well, the members must be aware of expectations.  The principal is significant in building trust among the community.  Principals lay the foundation for respect and personal regard.  The actions of the administrator contribute to a positive learning environment in the school.  There must be equal treatment among the different student groups.  There should be a common link for success among all groups.

     Principals must understand the importance of creating an effective learning community.  There must be an open line of communication between the principal and stakeholders.  Administrators must be available to students, teachers, and staff members throughout the day.  They must also attend school and community events.  The use of surveys is important in the correspondence to stakeholders.  Kritsonis (2007) states that in all realms, the ability to communicate intelligibly and forcefully can be coordinated with other aspects into an integrated vision and commitment.  The display of a principal’s character can inspire character development in faculty and students.

 

Integrity

 

     Integrity means that the behaviors of leaders are consistent with their stated values and that they are honest, ethical, responsible and trustworthy (Hoy and Miskel, 2005).  Integrity is to say what one means.  One must deliver what is promised, and stand for what is right.  To be ethical means to be fair.  Leaders should treat stakeholders fairly, equitably, and with dignity.  Administrators an inspire integrity by recognizing positive behaviors in teachers and students.  A principal must concur to be liable to a high standard of ethical behavior.  Leaders should lead by being an example. 

     The language of morals should be ordinary language (Kritsonis, 2007).  No special concepts are needed in expressing intended meanings.  When one states, “This action is right,” he is not meaning that it is enjoyable.  There are some leaders whom have inspired us by their sense of integrity and moral values such as Jesus, Isaiah, Confucius, and Moses.  National heroes were exemplified moral courage were Abraham Lincoln, Robert E. Lee, and Joan of Arc.  Moral philosophers that contributed to moral leadership were Socrates, St. Augustine, Immanuel Kant, and John Dewey.

             In the educational field, there have been investigations reporting negative academic integrity and faculty wrongdoing.  Faculty and student misconduct has been widespread.  There has been wrongdoing ranging from plagiarism to falsification of data.  There have also been violations of teaching norms to sexual or other harassment.  Some campuses have been investigated for breaches of regulations.  Academic integrity cannot be coerc
ed, neither can it be taught.  For an organization to function using high moral standards there must be a leader that inspires a sense of integrity.

     Displaying a high level of integrity can also relay the message that the leader is fair and just.  The leaders treat all individuals in an equal manner.  In some cases individuals might be treated differently due to specific circumstances.  Leaders must be fair when dealing with awards and punishments. 

 

Responsibility

        The realms of esthetics are concerned with active personal commitment (Kritsonis, 2007).  Morally, one is obliged to do right, and if one fails, he feels guilty. An effective leader should be responsible.  Responsibility entails dependability, initiative, persistence, aggressiveness, self-confidence, and the desire to excel.  One must be liable for one’s own actions.  Individuals must report concerns and rule violations.

     Leaders in education have an ethical responsibility.  They must have a moral vision of what is expected of them.  Starratt (2005) identifies five domains of responsibility that are central to educational leadership.  They are as follows:

 

·        Responsibility as a human being

·        Responsibility as a citizen and public servant

·        Responsibility as an educator

·        Responsibility as an educational administrator

·        Responsibility as an educational leader

·        Responsibility as a human being

 

Trust

 

     Trust is building confidence through teamwork and open communication.  In an effective school environment there is a culture of trust.  There is mutual trust between the principal and staff, there is mutual trust between the colleagues, and there is faculty commitment to the school.

Hoy and Miskel (2005) states, “Trust is like air; no one thinks much about it until it is needed and it is not there.”  It is important to have trust in schools.  It facilitates cooperation ad promotes cohesiveness.  Trust has also been shown to improve student achievement. 

     Leaders should build a sense of trust within the environment.  Their trust is built by behavior that is considerate, supportive, and collegial.  When there is a high level of trust toward the principal, it is believed that the principal is benevolent, reliable, knowledgeable, honest, and open with the staff.  Trust can be a powerful aspect of successful leadership.

     Haskins (2000) suggests the following for improving trust through communication:

 

·        Adapt messages to listeners by being sincere and honest in presenting the information.

·        Identify strengths and weaknesses in information to demonstrate the speaker’s honesty in presenting messages.

·        Introduce sources that were used in developing the presentation.

·        Explain the soundness of analysis, arguments, and evidence that can help reinforce trust.

·        Earn trust by showing trust towards others in the educational process.  

 

     Confidentiality falls in the category of trust.  Leaders should stress the importance of confidentiality of student information.  The school must maintain accurate and comprehensive student records.  Records cannot be released without the consent of parents or guardians.  Staff members are forbidden to discuss a student’s private information.  Leaders should not only value the confidentiality of students but the importance of confidentiality of staff members as well.

     Kritsonis (2007) believes that there are certain principles, such as the duty to keep promises and to tell the truth.  Obvious differences in principle may really be the difference in application due to different circumstances.  Leaders must prove to be trustworthy to achieve a cohesive working environment. 

 

Honesty

     In the empirical realm, meanings are factual (Kritsonis, 2007).  There is a distinction between empirical meaning and ethical meanings.  If one was more clearly understood, then there would be less confusion about ethical questions.  Ethical statements are neither true nor false, but they are expressions of personal preferences.  Ethical language is used to alter feelings and behaviors.

     In the education arena, one should be truthful and honest with one another.  This includes teachers, administrators, parents, and community members.  To be a good leader, one must be honest.  When one thinks of dishonesty, one sees the significance of being honest.  Dishonesty is lying, being deceitful, and not trusted by ones peers.  When a leader is not trusted, there is no respect.  Dishonesty weakens relationships, and there is also a negative impact on the organization.  Being honest not only means being truthful, but it also means being open.  

 

Respect

     Respect means a leader listens, is empathic, and has concern for employees.  Respect from a leader show employees that they are treated as worthy individuals.  One feels respected when there beliefs, attitudes, and values are acknowledged.  The relation of one person to another is the awareness of a presence, the I-Thou meeting (Kritsonis, 2007).  Personal relationships are achieved in what presently is.  Obligation pertains to the result of what is on the basis of an ideal.

     We have a duty to treat others with respect.  Leaders who respect others are usually respected in return.  Respect is important and it should be valued.  Seldom does one think about what it means to respect an individual or what it means to be respected.  To respect someone means looking at the individual in a distinguished manner.  Self-respect leads to respecting others.  If one does not respect himself or herself, then one is likely not to respect other individuals.  Typically if there is no respect for an individual, then their views and opinions are disregarded. 

Respect cannot be learned, purchased, or acquired.  It can only be earned. 

 

 

Knowledge of Sexual Harassment

 

     Sex and family relations is an area of primary ethical interest.  Kritsonis (2007) believes that the family is the elemental social institution in which persons are born and nurtured, and it is essential that the relation between the sexes and among the members of the family be considered carefully and ordered wisely.  It is necessary to have moral codes dealing with this issue.  Leaders should not only know the policies for their particular district, but they should be strictly enforced.  The following are examples regarding sexual harassment policies in an educational organization.  

 

Sexual Harassment and Abuse

·        Students and employees should be treated honorably.

·        Sexual advances, remarks, or conduct at not permissible.

·        Employees who sexually abuse or harass students or employees will face disciplinary action.

·        Students who sexually abuse or harass employees will face disciplinary action.

 

Sexual Harassment by Employees

·        Employees who engage in any sexually oriented conversation, activities, or other sexual conduct with students or employees is considered to be committing sexual harassment of the student or employee.

·        Employees are prohibited from dating students.

 

Sexual Harassment by Students

·     ?
?  Student should not engage in conduct that sexually harasses employees or other students.

·        Romantic relationships between student and employees with parental consent are discouraged.

 

 

 

Sexual Abuse of Students

·        Sexual abuse includes fondling, sexual assault, and sexual intercourse.

·        Sexual abuse by employees will result in termination and legal action.

 

Drug and Alcohol Abuse Awareness

     Leaders are not the principle source of moral guidance.  According to Kritsonis (2007), the most significant source of such influences are the laws and customs of society.  There are some standards of conduct that are taken for granted.  It is not always right to be obedient to laws or customs.  Social standards that are accepted are meant to provide guidance for conduct.

     School activities should promote healthy ideals for the students.  Employees should serve as role models for their colleagues and the students.  Drug and alcohol abusers are frequently absent, less productive, and can cause possible harm to themselves or others.  Substance abusers have a negative influence on others.

Social Relationships

 

     Kritsonis (2007) believes that every culture has its distinctive expectations and regulations about what is right and wrong in these relationships.  Matters in relationships within class, ethnic, racial, religious, and vocational groups should be valued by leaders.  Leaders should

focus on the improvement of religious concerns as well as race related issues in public school. Displaying knowledge and sensitivity to these issues will impact individuals in the educational organization.

     Principals should know the state laws regarding prayer and other religious activities in public schools.  If the laws are not implemented, there could possibly be lawsuits that would affect the school district.  Leaders should acknowledge and respect the religious beliefs of others in planning school activities.  Students and staff should not feel pressured in taking part in holiday events or programs that are not a part of their religious beliefs. 

      Leaders should also acknowledge race related issues as they arise.  Culture diversity training should be planned for staff members each year.  It is important for everyone in the organization to have knowledge of the diverse ethnic population that is a part of their environment.  Race, ethnicity, and cultural background have played a role in ethical theory. 

     Ethical leaders take into consideration the purpose of individuals involved.  There should be a common goal for the organization.  Leaders should focus on their specific individual goals as well as the goals for the organization. 

 

 

Concluding Remarks

 

     In conclusion, in a school district, teachers, administrators, staff, and school board members should understand the importance of ethical conduct in the educational arena.  An effective educational environment entails the need of individuals maintaining integrity and high morals.  Employees of a school district should serve with honor.  Individuals should strive to help students reach their potential to be socially and responsible citizens.  School district employees should understand the importance of upholding ethical values.  The supportiveness, safety, and security of all environments are crucial in the learning environment.  Leaders are the key players in improving ethical conduct in the educational organization.    Using the ten recommendations that were given in the essay:   knowledge of ethical theory, character development, integrity, responsibility, trust, honesty, respect, knowledge of sexual harassment, drug and alcohol abuse awareness, and social relationships will not only strengthen the leader, but it will create an effective learning environment.  

    

References

Estrada, A. (2006).  The crossroads:  confronting ethical dilemmas within the school setting.

     Journal of Education Policy. Retrieved October 1, 2006, from

     http://jep.csus.edu/journal2006/paper1.htm

  

Haskins, W. A.  (2000).  Ethos and pedagogical communication:  suggestions for enhancing

     credibility in the classroom.  Current Issues in Education, Retrieved October 1, 2006, from

     http://cie.ed.asu.edu/volume3/number4/index.html

Holloway, J. (2006).  Model behavior.  Principal Leadership, 6(5), 44-48.

Hoy, W. K. and Miskel, C. G. (2005).  Educational administration.   New York: 

     McGraw Hill. 

Kritsonis, W.A. (2007).  Ways of knowing through the realms of meaning.  Houston, TX:  National Forum Press.

Sherman, A.J.  (2005).  Schools for scandal.  New England Review, 26(3), 82-91.

Work Ethics, My Foot ! – Spirituality Information

Vishwriter asked:

People talk about work ethics. Today i had an interesting gentlemen visit me at my office. He was fuming. He was a very religious person and he was annoyed of the fact that a charming girl in her twenty’s wearing tight jeans was reading the sacred book of Bhagavad Gita in the same bus in which he traveled . “How can she touch this book of Ramayana wearing tight jeans and T-shirt….” he roared…

I admired this gentlemen for all the work he was doing but i was surprised at his timidness when it came to spiritual issues. How does the attire make a difference, after all spirituality means moving over the body and mind?. He was in no mood to listen to me…. However, the next few minutes he told me something which shook me up….

“Most of the office goers,businessmen and teenagers drink beer,have wine,and revel in their own way after office hours.. No one in this world has any problem with that. But if tomorrow the same people drink beer,have wine during office meetings, during the normal business hours would the companies allow this? Companies would say there are work ethics which need to be followed. You can do all those after business hours but not inside the office premises would be the answer of any organisation……

Show me any college or management institute which allows drinking beer or wine inside their premises. It is against the ethics of learning…

So when it comes to learning spirituality which is superior to any educational institute in the world , which is far greater than all those work ethics there are certain rules to be followed. One of the important things we need to learn here is to differentiate between Rules and Laws.

Rules are set by individuals themselves. They facilitate personal growth and so we willingly accept it. Laws are set by organisations and governments. They exist to supress your animal instincts and to foster the speedy growth of an organisation,community or country. It has got little to do with your inner growth… In the world of spirituality rules exist and in the external world laws apply…

Fences must be put around young plants or the cattle will destroy them. But when these same plants have become great trees, elephants by the score can be chained to their trunks,without fear of harming them.. So also when a child is taking his/her baby steps towards spirituality there exists a dress code, a posture and an enivornment….You need to get your basics right when you are crawling. Once you are up and running dress codes,posture and environment does not matter but till such time that you have not become a spiritual giant you cannot afford to be complacent about all these things….

I am delighted that she picked up the sacred book but i would be thrilled if she followed those basic rules.. Glory be on to that charming girl and to everyone else in this world for it is the spirit that rules, it is the spirit that lives and it is the spirit that breathes in every being in this world …. “

The gentlemen who visited me in my office was my own Higher self. He was not a person, he was my spiritual friend and mentor residing right within me…However, he visits me only when i invite Him………. When are you going to send your formal invitation to your Higher Self, my dear friend? Get yourself spiritually intoxicated this moment… Invite your spiritual friend for breakfast today…..

Ethics And Legality Of Organ Transplants

Chris Chew asked:

One of the greatest achievements in medical science is organ transplant surgery. People who have failing organs and are doomed to die can now be given a new lease on life by the generosity of organ donors who are giving part of their own bodies to save or enhance the lives of others. However, there are many ethical issues and controversies pertaining to organ transplants.

Discussions on the ethics on organ transplants invariably will attract questions like for instance:-

Can human organs be traded commercially, if not why? Should a person who has already received one transplant be allowed another one? Should alcoholics be given liver transplants, where after all, it was their alcoholism that damages their livers in the first place? What are the sources of organs used in organ transplants operations?

Perhaps the most controversial topics of these ethical debates are about the procurement and distribution of human organs for transplant and are centered on the questions of how do we get the organs and how do we decide who will receive organ transplants?

Since there are always fewer organ donors than there are potential recipients, this fact make the debate on who should get the organ available very emotional and heated which is not surprising because lives are at stake.

To compound the problem, organ transplants are very expensive surgical procedures and only the rich can afford them. Poorer folks may never get the opportunity of a transplant even if they need it more urgently than their richer counterparts. Should the choice of who get the organs be dependant upon who can afford it?

Then there is the issue of not everyone agreeing when death of the donor actually occurs. Is it when the heart and lungs stop functioning or the donor is certified brain dead?

What about consent of the donor? At the present moment, a donor has to expressly agree for organ donor ship in order for organs to be removed except in Singapore which have the controversial Human Organ Transplant Act (HOTA). The Act assumed that all Singapore citizens have consented to be organ donors unless opted out. However, Muslims are exempted from the Act for religious reasons.

Which is the better way to get consent from the donors? By enacting legislations or relying on willing donors?

Since most people can live with only one kidney or one eye, which are organs which can be donated while the donor is still alive. Should the donor be allowed to sell his kidney? The argument against allowing commercial trade on human organs is that it may encourage poor people to sell their organs and even may encourage unethical syndicate organ trading rackets.

There are people suffering and are on the death row waiting for organ transplants to save their lives and decisions about the ethics of organ transplants will have a tremendous impact on them. What is your position on these ethical issues of human organ transplants?

Ethical Insurance

Firoj Khan asked:

Islamic finance places strong emphasis on the economical, ethical, moral, social, and religious dimensions, to enhance equality and fairness for the good of society as a whole, whereas the conventional financial system focuses primarily on the economic and financial aspects of transactions. As a result Islamic insurance might also be seen as an ethical insurance.

Islamic insurance is provided under a principle called Takaful. The term “Takaful” is derived from the Arabic word “Kafaala” meaning guaranteeing. Takaful means “guaranteeing each other” and refers to the concept of permissible Islamic insurance or “Halal” insurance.

Islamic insurance or Takaful is based on the principles of “Ta’awun” (mutual cooperation) and “Tabaru’a” (Donation) whereby a group of people (Takaful participants or policyholders) agree between themselves to share the risk of a potential loss to any of them by making a donation, of all or part of their contribution, which is used to compensate the loss suffered by any participant of the Takaful scheme. Unlike conventional insurance in which risk is shifted from the policyholder to the insurance company, Takaful is a structure in which risk is shared between all the policyholders.

Additionally Islamic insurance can also be seen as an ethical insurance product because of the additional levels of governance required to ensure it is Halal.

Islamic finance principles have been derived from the Holy “Qur’an” (the Holy book of the Muslims), “Hadith” (the sayings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad PBUH), “Sunnah” (the way the Holy Prophet Muhammad led His life) and centuries of scholarly interpretations of these three sources. These rules define clearly what is “Halal” (permissible) and what is “Haram” (prohibited) in a financial transaction. The salient points of these rules are:

Shariah prohibits the following:

‘Riba’ – interest/usury

‘Maysir’ or ‘Qimar’ – gambling/speculation

 

‘Gharar’ – uncertainty

 

Exploitation

 

Unfairness

 

Undertaking Haram activities (alcohol, pork, pornography etc)

 

Shariah requires:

 

Risk sharing

 

Reward sharing

 

Fairness

 

Transparency

 

Sanctity of contracts

 

Strict adherence to these principles means that Islamic insurance products can also be a viable alternative for the growing number of ethically-motivated consumers who wish to buy an ethical insurance product.

The Facts About Ethical Search Engine Optimization

Meenakshi Wali asked:

The search engine optimization techniques that are supported by the search engines are known as the ethical ways of SEO whereas the rest are under rated as unethical techniques that are not approved by the search engines. Most web masters blindly believe on the so-called ethical search engine optimization techniques and follow them religiously. But the matter of concern here is to know if these so called Ethical SEO techniques are truly Ethical and Effective or not.

In simple terms, the methods that most self proclaimed search engines accept are stated as the Ethical search techniques where as the rest are declared unethical by these search engines. One of the criteria of following ethical search engine optimization states that SEO can be performed only on the genuine content pages of the website, and it is unethical to create new pages.

The ethical search engine optimization also states a few categories of these content pages ethical whereas the others unethical. For example pages that have hidden text in their web pages are considered to be unethical where as providing alt. text to the images is not considered wrong. Such criteria are set only on the convenience of these so called ethical search engines to read through the websites.

The web masters that follow these so called ‘right’ search engine optimization methods do nothing but blindly follow the wishes of the search engines with the aim of getting listed on them faster than the others. But if they are asked to defend or comment on the difference between the ethical and the unethical, they unfortunately are not able to comment on it because they do not really know the difference. That is because there isn’t any broad difference either. The techniques that are rudely being called unethical cannot in any form be classified as unethical in their literal sense.

As a matter of fact no idea of search engine optimization can be called wrong. It only depends on the fact what suits for which website. If a particular service is suitable to a certain website and is also reflecting effective results in the search engines, then they are ethical whereas the others are classified as unethical.

Consumer 101 Ethical Investment

Indiann Davinos asked:

Money Makes The Arms Go Round

Do you give money to the arms trade or to industries destroying our environment? Most of us would be shocked and indignant if accused of doing this. But traditionally, when we invest we give up the right to decide where our money goes and our hard earned cash could be propping up oppressive regimes without us knowing. Ethical investment gives us the chance to control the money we invest and prove that profit and principles can work together.

Ethical investment is not a new idea. The Quakers in the 18th century used it to make a stand against the slave trade refusing to invest money in any business linked to it. More recently it was used to attack South Africa’s apartheid with the state of California withdrawing $50 billion from the country. With credentials like these it is easy to see why investment can be a powerful tool for social change.

Thinking ethically means not compromising on your values or your pocket. For example, the Ethical Investment Research Service concluded ethical funds have a lower total risk then those without ethical criteria.

There are broadly two types of ethical investing. The first is screening the companies you want to invest with to make sure their practices don’t clash with your principles. These can include bad environmental practises, the tobacco or alcohol industries, pornography, anti-trade union practises, or the arms trade. In addition to these concerns Muslims may prefer not to invest in financial institutions where there is interest-based gain. Secondly you may wish to actively channel your money to companies you approve of. These could be companies with good labour practices and safety records, organic farms or alternative energy companies, or those who benefit local communities.

An independent financial adviser will help you find companies, tailored to your specific agenda. You may, for example, want to prioritise not supporting companies who work with oppressive regimes, but mind less about investing in the tobacco industry. Or you may not mind about alcohol production but be vehemently opposed to your money funding environmentally irresponsible corporations. Whatever you decide independent financial help means you can place your money where it won’t damage your conscience.

Why not start with your bank? Smile.co.uk is the Internet bank of the co-operative bank. It not only has specific ethical and environmental policies, but also fantastic rates on current accounts. They also have a huge range of ethical investments options. Triodos bank only gives business loans to organisations involved in sustainable development projects and savers are given the option of specifically channelling their cash into their preferred sector, whether this is social housing projects or organic farming. The Ecology building society uses your money to provide mortgages for energy efficient houses, ecological renovation or for rescuing derelict properties.

Entrepreneurship With Ethics

Thanaseelan asked:

Why is it important to establish the moral status of entrepreneurship? Unless it can be shown that the entrepreneur does what is morally worthwhile as an entrepreneur, that his role is ethically praiseworthy, not only his or her status in the market but the market itself becomes vulnerable to serious moral criticism. This is because it is well recognised that ethics are the free market’s life line. Many economists are beginning to realise this. Indeed, it is entrepreneurial activity that makes the best sense of profit – another vital part of capitalism.

However, without also demonstrating that entrepreneurship is ethical, the market would at most be hospitable to morally indifferent kinds of behavior; at worst it would encourage moral callousness and discourage the pursuit of presumably morally more significant objectives, such as order, self-restraint, artistic excellence, family values.

When a system is vulnerable in one of its essential ingredients, competing systems that lack this weakness become very powerful if not immediately successful alternatives. Their images improve, even if their actual performance leaves a lot to be desired.

Some argue that all we need is the hospitable environment, but this is false. Even in the freest of societies many, many potential market agents can be lazy. Not that laziness is encouraged but that it is clearly not foreclosed. That is partly what freedom means. One has a genuine choice whether to be productive or not. It is not enough to show that under capitalism human beings are free, unless the kind of uses to which such a system puts human effort can themselves be

morally worthwhile. So the question needs to be addressed. Why should one be productive? Why should entrepreneurship be practiced? What is good about it?

It is not enough by a long shot to answer that entrepreneurship is the ticket to a decent chance for wealth. Certainly one can agree that between stealing and producing, the latter is more honorable. However what if quietism – the form of religious mysticism that involves complete extinction of the human will, drawing away from worldly things – is proposed as an alternative?

How about asceticism – the religious ideal that one can reach a higher spiritual state by self-discipline and self-denial? How will the system that is hospitable to entrepreneurship be defended in the light of such powerful challenges?

The most serious challenges to capitalism come from those who contend that by making entrepreneurial effort possible – by protecting the rights to private property and the pursuit of happiness here on earth – this system corrupts human life. It tends to permit the commercialisation of human relationships, making us self-interested economic agents instead of what we really ought be, altruistic members of our community.

It is insufficient to reply that the capitalist system makes it possible for people to attain a better life here on earth. That is just what is in need of defense. Why should we strive for such a life in the first place?

In a society of just human relationships, there must be a consistent and constant hospitality to entrepreneurship because without this, an important moral dimension of human life would be suppressed or at least seriously distorted. Without such a welcome, public policy and law would yield to more widely accepted but sadly misguided moral sentiments, for example, the call for

greater and greater state power to regiment or re-engineer society instead of making it safe for natural human initiative.

International Company and Ethics

Andrew Sandon asked:

International Company and Ethics

The issue of business ethics is engaging companies more and more – both domestically and internationally. This trend is accentuated by high-profile examples of breaches of accepted standards of ethical behavior. For example, the recent Enron case where inadequate checks and balances within the firm enabled unethical behavior to occur, a development made easier by the failure of the external auditor to fulfill its role properly. Assumptions about ethics and business are influenced inevitably by fundamental beliefs about the role of business in society. On the one hand, there are those who believe that the sole social responsibility of business is to generate profit. For some proponents of this view, profit generation itself takes on a moral dimension whereas others see profits as the key to wealth generation – the main way of addressing social issues (Davies, 1997, p. 88). On the other hand, others believe that the role of business is much broader than that of profit generation and that all those who are affected by the way a company operates – shareholders, employees, customers, suppliers, the local community, future generations (especially in relation to environmental issues) – have a legitimate interest and stake in the way a company conducts itself.

Many of these concerns are relevant to business whether it is domestic or international in nature. However, international business poses particular challenges and questions over and above those facing purely domestic business. In order to reconcile doing business internationally and remain ethical, the company should follow the main principles of human rights, comply with legal norms related to labor, avoid corruption and correspond to standards of environmental protection. Even though it is not easy to combine making profit and adjusting to ethical principles, sometimes failure to comply with legal norms and standards my result in negative public image for the international company and loss of customers. Therefore, international company can suffer even more damages if it decides not to follow the ethical principles.

The first issue related to ethics is human rights. It is a generally accepted principle that international company should not engage in direct infringement of human rights the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is commonly taken as the appropriate benchmark. However, some people would go further, preferring companies to refrain from doing business in countries known to infringe human rights on a systematic basis. Opponents of this view argue that if an international company abstains from conducting business in a country with an ethically dubious regime, the only concrete result is to hand over business opportunities to companies without such reservations (Barlett and Ghoshall, 1998, p. 110).

On coming to office in 1992, for example, President Clinton proposed to withdraw MFN status from China as a result of the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989 in which many pro-democracy demonstrators were killed (Kepstein, 2001, p. 108). Such action would have provoked retaliation against US companies operating in China and US business lobbied hard to persuade the president to change his mind. They argued that US business interests would be irrevocably damaged in a rapidly growing market and that the outcome would not be an improvement in human rights in China but a boost to the business prospects of American business rivals in China. The lobbying campaign was successful: the link between trade and human rights was broken and replaced by the doctrine that the possibility of bringing about change is greater if business and other links and contacts are maintained.

International labor issues can be linked with human rights, especially regarding matters of forced labor and child labor. Ethical labor issues also occur outside the framework of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in circumstances where certain labor practices may be legal and commonplace in the host country but do not necessarily represent fair and equitable treatment of the workforce. The issue facing an international company is: does it maximize its competitive advantage by locating in a low-cost/low-regulation country and adopt local practices or does it refrain from reaping all the labor cost benefits by adopting higher standards and more ethical practices than strict compliance with local legal norms requires? A firm may choose to take the latter path and still experience significant competitiveness gains.

Corporate codes of conduct governing general corporate behavior and treatment of the workforce in particular are not new. Their modern manifestation began in the mid-twentieth century in the form of codes from the International Chamber of Commerce and other collective codes (Donaldson, 1989, p. 55). Their popularity surged once more in the 1990s in response to pressure from NGOs, the emergence of corporate social responsibility as a key consideration for firms and the phenomenon of socially responsible investment and shareholder action. Additionally, discussion of the possible inclusion of labour regulation under the WTO umbrella encouraged international firms to assume greater responsibility for their own labor standards, if only to demonstrate that international regulation was unnecessary. Corporate codes of conduct take many forms. Many international firms have developed their own individual codes to cover their own employees and those of their contractors and suppliers. Some industries have developed their own codes. Whatever form they take, codes are necessary for the positive public image of international company and they demonstrate that the company reconciles doing business and acting ethically. Codes need to comply with a number of conditions before they can be said to operate equitably and with credibility (DeGeorge, 1993, p. 88):

1.the contents of the code must be clearly worded and, at a minimum, comply with core standards;

2.the company adopting the code must be committed to it and be prepared to provide the resources to ensure its implementation, including training, information systems for monitoring and compliance and staff to implement new procedures;

3.knowledge of the code throughout the organization is essential to its implementation: in particular, employees of the firm and its subcontractors and suppliers must know of the contents of the code and a reporting system must be established that enables workers to report infringements without fear of reprisals;

4.the code should be subject to verification by independent assessors who have access to the site unannounced at any time.

The application of such codes can enhance internal governance and facilitate internal management across geographically dispersed sites. There is some evidence to show that real commercial benefits can be gained from the proper application of fair and equitable labor standards, although more widespread research needs to be done on this (DeGeorge, 1993, p. 111). Provided the code of conduct adopted by a firm has external credibility, it can both protect and enhance a firm’s reputation, particularly important these days when more is expected of firms in terms of corporate social responsibility.

Levi Strauss is one of the world’s largest brand-name clothes manufacturers and also one of the first international companies to adopt a corporate code of conduct to apply to all contractors who manufacture and finish its products and to aid selection of which countries in which to operate (DeGeorge, 1993, p. 118). The Code of Conduct has two parts:

1.Business partner terms of engagement: Levi Strauss uses these to select business partners that follow workplace standards and pract
ices consistent with its policies and to help identify potential problems. In addition to meeting acceptable general ethical standards, complying with all legal requirements and sharing Levi Strauss’s commitment to the environment and community involvement, Levi Strauss’s business partners must adhere to the following employment guidelines:

-Wages and benefits: business partners must comply with any applicable law and the prevailing manufacturing and finishing industry practices.

-Working hours: partners must respect local legal limits on working hours and preference will be given to those who operate less than a 60-hour working week. Levi Strauss will not use partners that regularly require workers to work in excess of 60 hours. Employees should also have at least one day off per week.

-Child labor: use of child labor is not permissible in any of the facilities of the business partner. Workers must not be below 15 years of age or below the compulsory school age.

-Disciplinary practices: Levi Strauss will not use business partners who use corporal punishment or other forms of physical or mental coercion.

-Prison/forced labor: no prison or forced labor is to be used by business partners nor will Levi Strauss use or buy materials from companies using prison or forced labor.

-Freedom of association: the rights of workers to join unions and to bargain collectively must be respected.

-Discrimination: while respecting cultural differences, Levi Strauss believes workers should be employed on the basis of their ability to do their job

-Health and safety: Levi Strauss undertakes to use business partners who provide a safe and healthy working environment and, where appropriate residential facilities

2.Country assessment guidelines: these are used to address broad issues beyond the control of individual business and are intended to help Levi Strauss assess the degree to which its global reputation and success may be exposed to unreasonable risk. It was an adverse country assessment that caused Levi Strauss to cease its engagement in China in the early 1990s, largely on human rights grounds – a decision that has subsequently been reversed. In particular, the company assesses whether:

-the brand image will be adversely affected by the perception or image of a country among customers;

-the health and safety of employees and their families will be exposed to unreasonable risk;

-the human rights environment prevents the company from conducting business activities in a manner consistent with the global guidelines and other company policies;

-the legal system prevents the company from adequately protecting trademarks, investments or other commercial interests;

-the political, economic and social environment protects the company’s commercial interests and brand corporate image.

Levi Strauss is the example of the company that successfully combines doing business and following ethical practices. As we see, the company code of ethics demonstrates that Levi Strauss complies with the most labor norms and environmental standards; at the same time such actions of the company do not have any negative impact upon its business. On the contrary, since Levi Strauss has positive public image the customers should be more attracted to its products.

Some of the other important ethical issues that the company should consider is bribery and corruption. Bribery/corruption is not as clear-cut an issue as might first appear; indeed it can be rather a grey area. In some cultures, it is regarded as perfectly normal to give an official or host a gift (Asgary and Mitschow, 2002, p. 245). In others, only minimal value token gifts or no gifts at all are allowed. A problem arises when it is the norm for a contract to be signed only after the payment of a ‘commission’ to a key official or officials (Asgary and Mitschow, 2002, p. 240). Such circumstances place international companies in a difficult position: without payment of these commissions, the contract will not materialize and, if they do not make the payment, many other companies will (although that is not an ethical justification for going ahead with the commission). The position of the US is unequivocal about this: it regards all such payments as bribes and, as such, they are both unethical and illegal. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Law forbids US companies from making improper payments to foreign governments, politicians or political parties to obtain or retain business. Therefore, the only choice that American companies have regarding bribery is not to make any payments regarded as bribes; otherwise, it can be considered that a company violates the law.

The last ethical challenge that international companies face is related to environmental protection. Firms can encounter damaging publicity as a result of the environmental outcome of their activities as pollution attracts more and more media attention (Barlett and Ghoshal, 1998, p. 98). For many, environmental protection and corporate responsibility in this field has a clear ethical dimension. This debate is couched in terms of the ‘global commons’ in which all human beings have both a stake and a responsibility to ensure the well-being of the environment for future generations (Donaldson, 1989, p. 211).

In order to reconcile doing business and meeting environmental ethical standards an international company should comply with the following underlying principles in environmental policy.

The first norm refers to the “polluter pays principle.” It stipulates that polluters should pay the full cost of the environmental damage they cause (DeGeorge, 1993, p. 100). Environmental costs are often referred to as ‘externalities’ (for example, damage to health, rivers, the air, etc. arising from economic activity) that are not incorporated into the costs of a product but are borne by society as a whole (DeGeorge, 1993, p. 100). By making the polluter pay the full cost of its activities, including externalities, this principle provides an incentive to make products less polluting and/or to reduce the consumption of polluting goods. This internalization of external costs can be met through the use of market-based, policy instruments.

The other principle refers to prevention. If the company decides to follow the prevention principle it changes to products and processes to prevent environmental damage occurring rather than relying on remedial action to repair damage after it has taken place (Davies, 1997, p. 108). This implies the development of ‘clean technologies’; minimal use of natural resources; minimal releases into the atmosphere, water and soil; and maximization of the recyclability and lifespan of products.

In conclusion, international business adds an extra dimension to ethical issues within the firm. All organizations have their own culture based on common language and terminology, behavioral norms, dominant values, informality/formality, etc. This inevitably becomes more complex when an organization has a presence in more than one country. Some companies believe a strong corporate culture is a means of overcoming diverse national cultures whereas others evolve different cultures in different organizations and incorporate cultural diversity in their management strategy. Many organizations like Coca-Cola and McDonald’s do use core brands but still adapt their products for local markets and follow ethical standards, either out of necessity or to maximize returns. Ethics and corporate social responsibility are closely related. Debates about corporate social responsibility have been dominated by labor and environmental issues but a growing number of corporate governance scandals involving multinationals is increasing pressure for stricter regulation. International companies can reconcile doing business internationally and remaining ethical if they comply with labor and environmental norms enacted at the international level and establish and follow the code of ethics. In the long run, corporate co
mmitment to sound ethical principles and socially responsible behavior is good for business.

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Ethics in Education

Emily Wyschynskyj asked:

In a post WorldCom, post Enron world, should colleges be doing more to prepare graduates for what lies ahead in the ‘real world’? It is safe to say that somewhere along the line ethics education has failed within this country. One need look no further than the front page of their morning paper, or the quarterly update of their portfolio, to realize how desperate this situation has become.

            Not so long ago businessmen, and women, were looked up to; the title of CEO came with an underlying respect from the employees of an organization, as well as outsiders. It really meant something to hold the highest position within a company. Flash back to today and the title Chief Executive Officer evokes quite a different picture. Type ‘CEO’ into any popular search engine and within 5.8 seconds you will be bombarded with over 300,000 results. Many of which also contain phrases like: crisis, bailout or lawsuit.

            In an effort to remedy this situation, Universities have begun to integrate ethics education into their business curriculums, as well as into the regular curriculum for all students. In a study conducted by Angela Hernquist, doctoral candidate from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, 90% of responding institutions indicated that Ethics was part of their curriculum. Over a decade earlier the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy passed the requirement that all licensed Certified Public Accountants complete a four hour, board approved, ethics course (VanZante). This requirement was later supplemented by two hours or ethics courses every three years. Following the Enron, and subsequent Anderson LLP collapses, TSBPA required an additional four hours of ethics every two years beginning January of 2005 (VanZante).

            It is certainly nice to hear that things are being done to ensure that graduates leaving their field of study will be better prepared for the workplace, but are we really meant to believe that a five credit course, or a mere four hours can change who a person really is? From personal experience I can confidently say no, the ethics education that I have received in college has done nothing to influence what kind of person I am. A brief rundown of the course syllabus may hold the key as to why I do not feel that I got my money’s worth of ethics. While utilitarianism and other various philosophies may be at the foundation of a great education, what do they really have to do with ethics today? Will I make a better CEO because I understand Ayn Rand?

            Time in the classrooms of our Universities would be better spent teaching mathematics, writing, or even psychology. Perhaps if we understood why people behaved unethically we could do something to stop it. One thing is clear; the ethics we are being taught today are failing us. Failing us as students, and as citizens of the world. If we are really to believe that we do not learn ethics until college that what hope is there when nearly 25% of Americans never make it that far (Henry). Are we a nation of heathens running around like a ticking time bomb? I propose that we begin learning ethics much earlier than college, even earlier than grade school. Ethics begin in the home, the community, and the individual.

            People are beginning to recognize the need for early ethics education in children, and have started to do something about it. Patti Martin, B.S., M.A., Director of Ethical Education, has opened an ethics course for children ages 2-12. Her program is called Sunday Ethical Education for Kids, or SEEKS. SEEK aims to do what some parents apparently cannot, to instill ethics into the children of the community in one hour segments. SEEK meets once a week, on Sundays naturally, at the University of Missouri Extension Center, in Mid Rivers Missouri. There are no expectations, just the hope that parents will bring their children by to get some much needed guidance on becoming a better person.

            Maybe more programs are needed in colleges, or maybe the child ethics courses offered at the University of Missouri are the answer. Whatever that answer may be, one thing is for sure, we haven’t found it yet, and if we do not find it soon we are setting ourselves up for more disaster. I don’t know how the rest of the country feels, but I am not looking forward to a lifetime of paying the high salaries of today’s CEOs in what feels like a never ending stream of corporate bailouts.

Henry, Tamara. “Report: Greater Percent of Americans Educated”. USA Today 6/05/2002

 Hernquist, Angela. “A Survey of Ethics Courses in State College and University Curricula”. University of Nevada Las Vegas. February 2005

“Raising Ethical Children”. Mid Rivers Ethical Society. 11/28/2008 .

VanZante, Neal. “Improving Professional Ethics”. The CPA Journal May 2005

Right Use of Power: the Heart of Ethics

Cedar Barstow asked:

Both Meg and Rob were thinking about grief.  So a bit more about that.  Grief, of course, has it’s own rhythm and pace, and is a process….neither to be rushed nor clung to.  I’m reminded of the Sensitivity Cycle from the Hakomi Method.  The Sensitivity Cycle describes the process of becoming more and more sensitive and effective.  It has four phases:  clarity, effectiveness, satisfaction, and relaxation.  All four phases need attention and organically move on to the next.  In thinking of grief, for example, first you need to be clear about what you’re grieving, then take some kind of effective action, then find and integrate some satisfaction from the action you took, and then relax and let go—so that you will have made space for a new cycle.  It is easy to get stuck at each phase and with grief it seems that the most common place to get stuck is in letting go.  Getting unstuck and letting go when it is time seems to involves having a “gut” sense of the timing. It also involves trusting that letting go of the process of grieving for a person, thing, or event, doesn’t mean letting go of it all, but rather knowing that you have integrated it, or the learning from it, within you.

In responding to Sally who is looking for some more depth, I’d like to say something about two kinds of ethical decision-making edited from pages 59-61 of my book:  Right Use of Power: The Heart of Ethics.  I find that we as professionals most often think of ethical decision-making simply and solely as the second kind I describe as complex decision-making without putting conscious attention toward ordinary moment, every day kind of ethical decision-making.

Ordinary moments—ethical attention.

The basic ethical question is: Is what I am doing in the best interest of my client? With this question in mind, the preponderance of ethical decisions are made moment to moment in the ordinary process of sessions with your clients. Commitment to the best interests of your clients is the often unnamed and yet constant foundation that guides your interventions. Everyday ethical decisions involve both personal integrity and professional responsibility. For example, supporting your client’s accurate self-assessment of progress, conveying compassion for suffering, holding hope when your client has lost their hope, making sure you complete a session in a timely way. Ethical decision making is deeply embedded in your professional relationships. Moment to moment decisions create trust.

Ordinary Moment Ethical Decision-making

Let’s break this down a little further.  When being ethically sensitive and aware, there are two kinds of ethical decision-making. The first arises in everyday, ordinary service moments. These require tracking subtle energetic cues, attitudes of integrity, and attunement to being in right relationship. Here are some everyday, normal instances using client questions:

•How often should I be coming to see you?

•Will you write a recommendation for me?

•Can we go later today?

•Can I pay at a reduced rate?

•Would you meet me for coffee to talk about a business idea?

•Is this situation I’m in a healthy one?

•Tell me about your marriage.

Decision-making Using Ethical Codes & Power Spiral

Far less frequently, you are called to make complex ethical decisions that require time to think through your response, consulting with your supervisor, referring to your Ethical Code, and/or using the Power Spiral model in the Right Use of Power book. Examples of such ethical challenges might be:

•deciding how to manage an inevitable dual role relationship

•making a DSM4 diagnosis and considering the ramifications

•reporting impending or actual harm effectively and skillfully

•confidentiality exceptions

•deciding whether your client is being re-traumatized

•making appropriate referrals

•responding and adapting to cultural diversity

•use of touch

•self-disclosure

•handling sexual issues

•dealing with possible unethical behavior by colleagues.

In these non-ordinary complex situations, there are many forces and influences to consider. Some of these include: regional laws, ethical code, clinical assessment, gut intuition, standards of practice, transference, supervisor recommendations, cultural norms, risk to client and/or caregiver, employer policies, client wishes, client’s life circumstances, and your personal issues and feelings.

I hope you will find it useful to think in terms of these two different categories of ethical decision-making.  I look forward to hearing from you if you wish to respond.

Cedar Barstow

For more information about Right Use of Power see www.rightuseofpower.com

©Copyright 2007 Cedar Barstow, M.Ed., C.H.T. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org. The following article was solely written and edited by the author named above. The views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the following article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment to this blog entry. Click here to contact Cedar and/or see her GoodTherapy.org Profile

What is More Ethical Blogs or News Media?

Rob Glenn asked:

We are hearing more and more that readers believe the information contained in Blogs is more reliable than the print news media. (I don’t think a direct comparison between the electronic media and Blogs makes much sense, so my comparison is direct: written material vs. written material.) While I find this shift in ‘believability’ to be somewhat surprising, I must admit that I don’t think I personally know anybody that reads the newspaper without a nagging suspicion and a bit of doubt. Even more, I continue to be amazed at the growing number of people I know that do not even bother to read the newspaper.

Well, how does this relate to the subject of ethics?

I recently had the opportunity to speak with a person who serves on a national group that investigates allegations of breach of conduct by the news media. As a professor of journalism, it was clear to me that he wants the profession to uphold the highest standards. When does a misquote become more than a minor issue? How about reporters that leave out details because they don’t understand them or don’t believe their readers could understand them? Or, editors that cut out segments of a reporter’s story and completely lose the intent? And, headline writers that mislead the readers by sensationalizing the story? Worse still, how about reporters who know that their information and their sources are tainted? Do these issues rise to the level of an ethical breach?

While I am very new to blogging (and admit some consternation about putting my thoughts into writing for the world to see), I am extremely fascinated that blogs offer the opportunity to say whatever you want — in your own words — without any opportunity for misquotes, editing, media bias, etc. This is what our First Amendment rights are all about. I know of one elected official that has launched a blog for the purpose of making sure his positions on issues are not taken out of context, twisted, turned — or, even, unreported — by the news media. This is a very interesting approach! If the media wants his input on an issue, he plans to post their question and his answer.

Perhaps the question remains: what does the print media need to do to regain the public trust and perform consistently in an ethical manner?

Like most complex issues, I believe trust and ethics are directly related to the quality of the individual and his or her commitment to excellence in their professional life. Thirty years ago, I was a corporate media spokesperson at a frighteningly young age. I took the time to get to know the reporters, rely on them for guidance, explain the subject in great detail; similarly, the reporters took the time to understand the issue and double-check facts and figures. Intriguingly, I was never misquoted. Never. Not once. I considered these individuals to be seasoned professionals, mentors, and true professionals. No, their reporting was not always to my liking, but the manner in which they performed their job was beyond reproach.

But, that was then and this is now. What has changed? Everything.

I will offer one perspective on the issue of blogs vs. newspapers. A blogger, like me, is taking the time to write about an issue that I want to write about and that I feel passionately about. Question: so, what about the subject of ethics? Answer: I do not have a deadline, I have no editor that is biased, and I even get to write my own headline!

If we were to agree (for the sake of argument) to remove any allegation of intentional breach of ethics by the media, I would say that today’s journalist does not have the same commitment to the profession as their predecessors. They seem to be in too big of a hurry, they don’t take the time to get all the facts and double-check them, they are not well-versed in what is going on in their community and therefore have no context, institutional knowledge, or historical perspective. They very quickly make a public impression of themselves as either a credible reporter — or, one that won’t be in that line of work much longer…

Poor reporting, just like anything else, becomes a behavior that the public ultimately recognizes — and then the public reacts accordingly. For example, if the editorial page editor is extremely liberal, the public picks up on that, and filters (and, maybe, even ignores), the columns written by that individual (or his or her editorial team). Likewise, if a news reporter consistently ‘gets it wrong’ the public will pick up on that as well and tend to discount (or at least question) whatever that reporter writes. Once the public trust is lost, the situation spins further out of control because sources of information to the reporter become less and less willing to waste time with them; and, reporters, not knowing anything about the story they are required to write by their editor (to be fair), continue to turn out a work product (in this case, a ‘story’) that would be considered inferior by the standards of any other industry.

In the end, just like with any other job or relationship, you can forever lose your ethics in just a brief moment of lapse in judgment. Weirdly, this critical issue does not seem to apply to reporters — or maybe reporters just think they can say whatever they want to say without consequence or accountability — but, in reality, they are ultimately personally responsible (although not liable) for conducting themselves in an ethical manner.

As for me, I think the opportunity to say what I want to say about whatever issue is of importance to me tends to indicate blogging is the best source of information available to the thoughtful individual, both today and in the foreseeable future.

Ethics in Education

Emily Wyschynskyj asked:

In a post WorldCom, post Enron world, should colleges be doing more to prepare graduates for what lies ahead in the ‘real world’? It is safe to say that somewhere along the line ethics education has failed within this country. One need look no further than the front page of their morning paper, or the quarterly update of their portfolio, to realize how desperate this situation has become.

            Not so long ago businessmen, and women, were looked up to; the title of CEO came with an underlying respect from the employees of an organization, as well as outsiders. It really meant something to hold the highest position within a company. Flash back to today and the title Chief Executive Officer evokes quite a different picture. Type ‘CEO’ into any popular search engine and within 5.8 seconds you will be bombarded with over 300,000 results. Many of which also contain phrases like: crisis, bailout or lawsuit.

            In an effort to remedy this situation, Universities have begun to integrate ethics education into their business curriculums, as well as into the regular curriculum for all students. In a study conducted by Angela Hernquist, doctoral candidate from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, 90% of responding institutions indicated that Ethics was part of their curriculum. Over a decade earlier the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy passed the requirement that all licensed Certified Public Accountants complete a four hour, board approved, ethics course (VanZante). This requirement was later supplemented by two hours or ethics courses every three years. Following the Enron, and subsequent Anderson LLP collapses, TSBPA required an additional four hours of ethics every two years beginning January of 2005 (VanZante).

            It is certainly nice to hear that things are being done to ensure that graduates leaving their field of study will be better prepared for the workplace, but are we really meant to believe that a five credit course, or a mere four hours can change who a person really is? From personal experience I can confidently say no, the ethics education that I have received in college has done nothing to influence what kind of person I am. A brief rundown of the course syllabus may hold the key as to why I do not feel that I got my money’s worth of ethics. While utilitarianism and other various philosophies may be at the foundation of a great education, what do they really have to do with ethics today? Will I make a better CEO because I understand Ayn Rand?

            Time in the classrooms of our Universities would be better spent teaching mathematics, writing, or even psychology. Perhaps if we understood why people behaved unethically we could do something to stop it. One thing is clear; the ethics we are being taught today are failing us. Failing us as students, and as citizens of the world. If we are really to believe that we do not learn ethics until college that what hope is there when nearly 25% of Americans never make it that far (Henry). Are we a nation of heathens running around like a ticking time bomb? I propose that we begin learning ethics much earlier than college, even earlier than grade school. Ethics begin in the home, the community, and the individual.

            People are beginning to recognize the need for early ethics education in children, and have started to do something about it. Patti Martin, B.S., M.A., Director of Ethical Education, has opened an ethics course for children ages 2-12. Her program is called Sunday Ethical Education for Kids, or SEEKS. SEEK aims to do what some parents apparently cannot, to instill ethics into the children of the community in one hour segments. SEEK meets once a week, on Sundays naturally, at the University of Missouri Extension Center, in Mid Rivers Missouri. There are no expectations, just the hope that parents will bring their children by to get some much needed guidance on becoming a better person.

            Maybe more programs are needed in colleges, or maybe the child ethics courses offered at the University of Missouri are the answer. Whatever that answer may be, one thing is for sure, we haven’t found it yet, and if we do not find it soon we are setting ourselves up for more disaster. I don’t know how the rest of the country feels, but I am not looking forward to a lifetime of paying the high salaries of today’s CEOs in what feels like a never ending stream of corporate bailouts.

Henry, Tamara. “Report: Greater Percent of Americans Educated”. USA Today 6/05/2002

 Hernquist, Angela. “A Survey of Ethics Courses in State College and University Curricula”. University of Nevada Las Vegas. February 2005

“Raising Ethical Children”. Mid Rivers Ethical Society. 11/28/2008 .

VanZante, Neal. “Improving Professional Ethics”. The CPA Journal May 2005

Teenagers and the Ethics of Music File Sharing

gavi eskin asked:

My sixteen year old daughter is a typical teenager – sometimes she’s rude and arrogant, but most times she’s just asleep or grooming herself- If only she worked at math like she works on her hair.  Like mostteens she loves music. I have tried to broaden her appreciation of different genres by submitting her to music she wouldn’t normally listen to. I’ve had some success with Billy holiday and Louis Armstrong and even some classics like the Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd.

As well as musical appreciation I have also tried to give her an appreciation of ethical behaviour, and even though she exhibits none of her own, I think she gets the concept on the whole. Yet when it comesto downloading and file sharing, it all falls apart, after all ‘sharing is caring’ – what can you say to that? I tell her that she wouldn’t steal a CD from a friend. She tells me no but she would borrow one. I don’t reply because I can’t even remember if that’s legal or not. The way she sees it is that she’s simply borrowing music from other peoples files and not making a CD, and again I don’t know if that’s legal or not.

Now I’m trying to tell my kids to behave ethically but I cannot understand the technology and the legal implications. I’m beginning to appreciate the annoying piracy ads on DVD’s – at least you know where you stand. It’s hard to keep up with the changing technology and now it seems to be changing again. Now we have so called legal free download sites.

I know I’m stretching things when I ask my sixteen year old if she’s worried about artists maintaining their artistic integrity if they are being paid not for their work but instead for selling ad space on the internet. A little, she admits, well that’s something I think. But then she continues I don’t really care; I just want to relax and listen to some music. What about the message in the music? But I’ve already lost this one, and I don’t even understand the argument myself.

Not only that but I feel like such a hypocrite having enjoyed a few downloaded movies with the kids – it seemed too innocent at the time. OK I concede, let’s just try stick to the legal download sites, at least to avoid viruses.