We all have different views of the world we live in. It is our view point that colours what we do and why we do it in a particular way. But we must never forget that what we do will affect others in ways that we cannot foresee. Nothing we do is in isolation – other people are always involved in one way or another. What is the saying – ‘six degrees of separation’? If you know six people you will have a link to everyone in the world!! They will know six others that you do not know etc, etc. So anything we do or say may impact on someone we have never even heard of. It is therefore important that we are very careful in what we do or say, for that very reason. This means being ethical in our relationships with others. If we follow the six degrees of separation to its logical conclusion, what we say or do will come back to us in the end. What goes around comes around!
Ethics should be considered as a set of principles by which to live; a code of conduct for our relationships with all whom we come in contact. Ethics encompasses social mores, usually expressed today as good manners; our behaviour towards our fellow humans and fellow creatures; and trust. The world operates on trust. Trust is a belief that others will act in accordance with ill defined, but generally accepted standards of behaviour and respect for others. If trust is absent then very little of what we deem necessary, to allow the free flow of social intercourse and commerce, will occur. All these matters are governed by ethics.