I have observed four “myths” of our culture that blur ethical lines in business and life today. There may be more than these four, but these are the ones that are the most obvious.
Here are “snapshots” of each of the myths being touted as values.
The first myth pain:
Our culture is trying to teach us that pain must be avoided at all costs. Yet, there is a good in pain. For example, if your car is not running right, you don’t keep driving it. An alternator is cheaper than an engine. If you’re not feeling good, you go to a doctor to get medicine. These are good. They prevent additional costs and are proactive in being preventive. Avoidance is not the answer but to deal with it.
The second myth is Happiness.
Will Rogers once said that to be happy is to “know what you’re doing, believe in what you do and love what you do.” If one’s goal is to be “happy”, one could be terribly disappointed. It can be elusive.”If I can just get this job, if I could just get this raise, if I can just marry the right person, if I could just change jobs and on, and, and on.” Happiness can only come from being proactive, not wait for things to happen to you and be in control.
The third myth is a “me-oriented society.”
Being “me oriented” is all about money and materialism. It seems that our culture is telling us that our self esteem is solely dependent on how much money one makes and this is a lie.
Here’s a definition of self esteem that I use. Self esteem is my perception of myself in relationship to the world, not the world’s perception of me.
If people really believe that self esteem is based on what you make, how do you think those who are unemployed since the recession deal with their self esteem, family life, etc.?
The fourth myth is Competition.
“Winning isn’t the only thing, it’s everything!” is the battle cry. Really?? Is it? Win what?s
When was the last time there weren’t any steroid charges at an Olympics? What about Lance Armstrong? Win? win what and at what price?
Competition is good IF it is based on one’s natural ability, discipline, training, education, values and belief in one’s talents and capabilities.
One last thought. Read a newspaper, watch the news, sports, sitcoms, etc. and see if you don’t “see” at least one of these “myths” touted as a “value” and the way it is.
Time to call them what they are: myths not values!
Just something to think about.