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Everyday Ethics

Everyday Ethics

August 2009 Archives

The Act of Giving — Who Does It Best? Men or Women?

posted by Padmini Mangunta

Three studies recently released brought a new twist to that age-old competition, man vs. woman–the question of generosity and charitable giving.The series of studies, published in the August 2009 Journal of Consumer Research, examined how men and women gave to […]

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Jaycee Lee Dugard: Should We Be Nosier Neighbors?

posted by hfields

One pictures the kidnapping of young Jaycee Lee Dugard, pictures the little girl snatched from her family, and the mind simply goes blank with horror. Worse–unimaginable even–is the 18 years of slavery and sexual torture she must have endured in that […]

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Anne Heche: Great Example of the Grown-Up Bully

posted by Padmini Mangunta

You can dress a schoolyard bully in a fancy dress and put them on national television, but their true nature still manages to shine through. Anne Heche reminded me of this last week when she tore apart her ex-husband Coley […]

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Failure Friday: I Ignore Unpleasant Things

posted by hfields

At the risk of living up to our “popcorn” reputation, here’s a truly trivial confession: There are days when I walk right past stuff I simply don’t wish to see. Like the cat puke I don’t want to clean. We’ve […]

What Do You Consider “Everyday Ethics”?

posted by hfields

Today, Everyday Ethics had its first major plug… if you can call it that. USA TODAY gave us a mention in their Religion blog, but it wasn’t exactly pretty. “This is ethics as popcorn, tasty and quickly forgotten.” Or maybe […]

Can You Sue For Anorexia? Apparently, Yes. But Should You?

posted by hfields

Last week, the Associated Press reported the story of a Pittsburgh mother who is suing her daughter’s school district under Title IX after her daughter developed an eating disorder. The disorder, she claims, came about because of bullying by boys […]

What-If Wednesday: Would You Forgive a Cheating Spouse?

posted by Padmini Mangunta

Ok, I admit it — I don’t think I have it in me to forgive a cheater. Oh, I’m a forgiving person in general, believe you me. But forgiving a cheater? Nope, no way. Future significant others beware — don’t […]

Kennedy’s Example: Ethical, Not Perfect

posted by Padmini Mangunta

I agree wholeheartedly with Hillary’s eloquent argument (see post below) that we should remember a person for who they are, not simply who we wanted them to be. I’d also like to add another point – I see Kennedy’s life […]

Remembering Ted Kennedy: Are We Doing It Right?

posted by hfields

It is seldom that we lose someone of such legendary stature as Senator Edward M. Kennedy. Though the media may try to play up every death as a Cronkite or a Mother Theresa, I honestly don’t feel the need to […]

How To Say “I Quit”–And How NOT To

posted by hfields

First off, don’t do what I did. I think I have mentioned the mean boss I once had. Well, after several months of being browbeat, the day came when I couldn’t take it another minute.  What’d I do? I literally […]

Does Lying on Your Online Dating Profile Get an Ethical Pass?

posted by Padmini Mangunta

If there were ever an area where the little white lie came into question, it would be online dating. Oh, you’re not 6′ 2″ with abs of steel? Or petite with the body of a goddess? Whoops. And funny how […]

Enjoying Chores *Is* Possible. Who Knew?

posted by hfields

The other night I was driving home with my husband from the cottage owned by my extended family. It was late, and we had a lot of Sunday stuff still to take care of: laundry, food to plan for the week […]

Caster Semenya: Should We Take “Her” Word For It?

posted by hfields

What is gender? Apparently, as the case of South African runner Caster Semenya is proving, it’s less absolute than penis versus vagina. As controversy swirls over whether the gold-medal-winning 18-year-old is wholly female, I wondered, should it even matter? Assuming this […]

Scam Artists, Fear My Wrath

posted by Padmini Mangunta

Comeuppance: a deserved rebuke or penalty. Well. I certainly got mine. I think I can safely say I’ve never intentionally been patronizing or condescending in my quest to solve my own, and others’, ethical dilemmas. However, we often forget that […]

“Skanks In NYC” Blogger Unmasked As 29-Year-Old Rosemary Port. Liskula Cohen Can Rest Easy Now, But Maybe The Rest Of Us Should Start Worrying.

posted by hfields

So much for my hopes the ‘unmasking’ of the anonymous blogger in the Liskula Cohen defamation lawsuit would remain between the two parties and their lawyers.   The blogger’s name was revealed today as Rosemary Port, a 29-year-old acquaintance of Ms. Cohen’s […]

Failure Friday: I Ratted Out Penelope Cruz & Javier Bardem To A Paparazzi

posted by hfields

As a Native New Yorker, I pride myself on being cool when I have a celebrity sighting. But there was no being cool yesterday as I sashayed past Penny Cruz and her beau Javier Bardem on a Manhattan sidewalk. Not […]

Can Liars Become Leaders? Disgraced Reporter Jayson Blair Is Now… A Life Coach?!?

posted by hfields

The AP is reporting disgraced ex-reporter Jayson Blair – famous for plagiarizing (and in some cases, completely fabricating) the news while a New York Times reporter back in 2003 – has a new career these days: Life Coach. Blair, who was […]

Lockerbie Bomber Freed: Is Showing Compassion Ethical?

posted by Padmini Mangunta

Compassion and ethics. Can they co-exist? I say yes, though certainly not in every situation. Take this one, for example: Today, Scottish authorities released Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, the convicted Libyan “Lockerbie bomber” on compassionate grounds. Al-Megrahi was sentenced in 2001 […]

Barney Frank Town Hall Video: Was His Response Appropriate or Unethical?

posted by hfields

I have to admit, I got quite an ethically-challenged guffaw out of Barney Frank’s comments to the woman who compared President Obama’s healthcare plans to a ‘Nazi policy’. Take a look at the video and see for yourself:   I […]

Google Forced to Reveal Blogger’s Identity After “Skank” Comment Riles Model: Ethical Or Anti-Freedom Of Speech?

posted by hfields

Liskula Cohen, a NY model whose face has graced the cover of Vogue, among other mags, didn’t appreciate being called a “skank” – and worse – by an anonymous blogger on the website “Skanks In NYC” (since defunct). So she […]

What-If Wednesday: Would You Steal Office Supplies?

posted by hfields

Studies show something like 60% of employees have stolen from the place where they work. Whether it’s something little like a box of paperclips or a Post-It pad, or something big like that awesome ergonomic chair the boss is always swiveling […]

The Ethics of Self-Love

posted by Padmini Mangunta

I was reading a former coworker’s excellent blog today, MyBrownBaby, and her words struck me in ways I didn’t expect – emotional, practical, and yes, even ethical. The post, “My Time to Shine: What I Love Most About Me”, is […]

Woman Pregnant With 12 Babies: Outrageous Or Awesome?

posted by hfields

Never mind the stretch marks; what on earth is this woman thinking? If the UK’s Sun can be believed, a Tunisian woman is vowing to carry all twelve fetuses to term after having several heartbreaking miscarriages in the past. Honestly, […]

NFL Forgives Vick’s Sins

posted by Padmini Mangunta

Time to re-visit the question of Michael Vick, now that he’s been signed by the Philadelphia Eagles. In my original post, I asked if–having paid his dues– he should be welcomed back into the NFL with open arms. The reaction […]

Moral Monday: “Joshua’s Heart” Is In The Right Place!

posted by hfields

As Moral Monday rolls around again, I just had to share this story, which comes by way of the Miami Herald. An 8-year-old boy named Joshua Williams has, along with his family, created a foundation to feed the homeless and […]

A Little Sci-Fi, A Little Ethical Pondering: District 9

posted by Padmini Mangunta

I know at least one of my friends will roll his eyes at this brief post. I just exited a movie and one of the first comments I made concerned how ethically-challenged (yet somehow still sympathetic) the main character was. […]

Tasered Mom Sues Cop–I Should Hope So!

posted by hfields

According to this MSNBC article, Audra Harmon, a 38-year-old mother of three, was stopped, Tasered, handcuffed, and arrested while her kids were left frightened and unattended in her minivan for something like 40 minutes.  The incident began like this, Harmon told the […]

Failure Friday: I Jump To Conclusions

posted by hfields

Ass. U. Me.  Mostly me. This week I made a jerk of myself when, all impatient, I emailed a clothing company to which I had returned a couple pairs of jeans, wanting to know where my refund was. Now, I […]

Is the Burqini Unethical, or is Banning It?

posted by Padmini Mangunta

The burqini, a full body swimsuit, may have been created to allow Muslim women the freedom to partake in the joy of cavorting in the water alongside everyone else, but in France it’s causing another flare-up in controversy over Muslim […]

Health Care Reform: An Ethical Issue?

posted by hfields

I’ve been hesitant to wade into any discussion of health care reform because, frankly, it feels too big for me. For a lot of Americans, I suspect. And besides, what exactly are the ethical angles to examine? Too many to […]

What-If Wednesday: Catching a Coworker in a Lie

posted by Padmini Mangunta

The workplace is fraught with ethical dilemmas, isn’t it? I have a question for you: what would you do if you saw a coworker’s resume – and saw that it was full of lies? I was recently asked…. What if: […]

Dirty Laundry: An Open Letter to the Laundry Room Goniff

posted by hfields

An Open Letter to the Laundry Room Goniff:  WTF, lady (or gent)? Not only did you at one point apparently, inexplicably, open my dryer and let some of my socks and towels fall outside it in a heap, you then later […]

Moral Monday: Speaking Truth To Power

posted by hfields

Doing the right thing. Speaking up. Looking out for those less able to defend themselves. These are qualities embodied by a man I grew up knowing, and, throughout high school, was proud to call my friend.  In fact, he was […]

A Question About Infertility

posted by Padmini Mangunta

I came across this infertility post today. In it, the author, Melissa Ford, questioned a Dear Abby column responding to a reader on the subject of financing infertility. Ford found Dear Abby’s response to be ignorant. The reader was asking […]

Failure Friday: Whining 101

posted by hfields

So, I whine. When I was a kid, my parents even had a name for my kvetching ways: “the wip.” As in, I would pooch out my lower lip as far as possible (which in my case was rather astonishingly […]

New Feature! Failure Friday: We Take a Look at Our Weekly Ethical Fails

posted by Padmini Mangunta

They say confession is good for the soul. We’re going to find out, starting today, our first Failure Friday! Last Monday, Hillary debuted our new feature, “Moral Mondays“, honoring those who put their words into action and act in an […]

That Other “Ism”: Ageism

posted by Padmini Mangunta

I had a conversation last night that really got me fired up. I was chatting with a friend of mine, and she mentioned an offhand comment her boss had made during a staff meeting. It irritated her and infuriated me. […]

What-If Wednesday: Would You Stop A Crime?

posted by hfields

Thanks again are due to our Beliefnet Entertainment Editor for this one. She emailed me the other day with the following ethical dilemma. While shopping with her fiance, she saw a well-to-do woman with two preteen daughters ‘forget’ to pay […]

The Thank-You Note Attempt That Went Up in Flames — No, Really

posted by Padmini Mangunta

Please don’t call child services after you read this story. So, I’m great with saying thank-you — I’m horrendous with a thank-you note. My poor mother tried her best, but sending out thank-you notes….well, it just never took. I dislike […]

The Thank-You Note Nazi

posted by hfields

I have a friend I affectionately refer to as “the Thank-You Note Nazi.” No sooner does she return from a dinner party than she dispatches an elegant and exquisitely chosen card expressing the most effusive (and quite sincere, as far […]

How NOT To Behave At A Funeral: Ryan O’Neal Hits On Daughter Tatum At Farrah Fawcett’s Grave

posted by hfields

Sometimes a headline says it all. Or at least enough of it to make you mildly ill. Apparently, Ryan O’Neal freely admits to having accidentally propositioned his own offspring, estranged daughter Tatum O’Neal, during Farrah Fawcett’s funeral. Yuck. So much […]

Moral Monday: Homeless Man Bequeaths Millions to Non-Profits

posted by Padmini Mangunta

Happy Moral Monday! This morning I wanted to share a story that warmed my heart when I read about it on NPR last week — a homeless man leaving millions to several non-profits, including NPR. When NPR’s Richard Siegel heard […]

Unsolicited Advice from a Stranger: Creep or Good Samaritan?

posted by Padmini Mangunta

A friend who tells you you’ve got spinach in your teeth is a friend for life, but then there’s the stranger in line at the grocery store who reaches over and fixes your dangling bra strap (this has happened to […]

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Can Ethical Companies Do Business With Unethical Leaders?
Coca-cola has been accused of "propping up a notorious Swaziland dictator" whose human rights abuses and bilking of the national wealth has long been criticized by human rights activists. According to Guardian UK reporter David Smith**, Swaziland's King Mswati III is Africa's last absolute monarch w

posted 3:49:39pm Jan. 02, 2012 | read full post »

New Years Resolutions: Are We Lying to Ourselves?
I know it's become popular, but I've become suspect of using traditional goal-setting strategies and business process techniques to change personal habits and pursue a meaningful life. While I can admit that there's something invigorating--even exciting--about casting a new vision, writing that list

posted 10:51:42pm Jan. 01, 2012 | read full post »

Is Craigslist Who We Really Are?
Raise your hand if you're familiar with Craigslist.org.  Chances are, there's one that serves your community.  And it's extremely handy for job listings, housing, dating, selling your old crap or buying new old crap.Really, it's ingenious. But why's it also so darn discouraging?  

posted 9:15:55am Dec. 18, 2009 | read full post »

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