Beliefnet
Everyday Ethics

thumbs up.jpgGuess what? After my post on my failure as a recycler, I actually began to do much, much better at recycling. I now manage to remember semi-regularly to bring a ‘green’ bag with me when I shop. And, after I spouted off so sanctimoniously about the ethics of censoring my dirty mouth by watching where I drop my F-bombs, I’ve been ever so much more conscientious about cussing in print and aloud. (Your comments really helped me decide where my responsibility lay on that one, so thanks!) I’ve even begun to cough into my elbow instead of my hand to prevent the spread of H1N1 influenza after yammering on about Swine Flu Ethics.

All this is to say, I’m putting my money where my mouth is. Or my behavior where my blog is. Whichever. By publicly debating ethics so frequently these past few weeks, I’ve noticed a real change–for the better–in my actions towards others. Not to say I was an amoral wretch before (only during severe episodes of PMS, thank you!) but these everyday ethical reminders posed by the questions in this blog are really keeping me on my toes. I’m holding doors for practically everyone (downside: I now end up waiting much longer outside lobbies before I get my turn to enter!), leaping up while riding public transportation to offer my seat to anyone who looks the least bit pregnant, tired or is demonstrably sprouting a grey hair or two. I really don’t want to have to face my laptop when I’ve done something questionable, knowing I’m going to be blathering about the social contract in a moment or two. 
And lest I forget myself and devolve into selfishness, well, my husband is sure to point out the irony. “You gonna put THAT in your blog?” he’ll ask after I cut in front of someone in the market to grab the last mango, or elbow someone out of the way to catch a cab. (He’s not a New Yorker so he’ll never understand the struggle it takes for me to overcome these impulses.)
Maybe it’s merely pride that’s making these changes in me. Naturally, I have a vested interest in not being labeled a hypocrite. Now that I’m claiming some sort of moral high ground by adding the title ‘ethics blogger’ to my résumé, I don’t want to be caught shoving old ladies or stealing lollipops from tots.
But I also think it’s more than that. The truth is, bringing these questions of responsibility and ethics, morality, etc. to the forefront on a daily basis has kept the issue fresh and vital for me. Which was the whole point of doing this blog. 
Is it having the same effect on you? And, would you like to see other related topics covered here? We’d love to hear your comments.
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