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Everyday Ethics

Everyday Ethics

Personal Ethics Archives

A Decade of Morals — Have Yours Changed?

posted by Padmini Mangunta

As the decade winds to an end, it’s natural for us all to look back at the years behind us. Last night I shared a drink with a friend and reminisced about Y2K. I thought back to the friends I […]

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Mooching Off Your Parents: An Adult Child’s Perspective

posted by hfields

In my family, love and money sometimes get confused, and I’m sure I’m not alone there. My folks have been known to show their affection and concern, though not exclusively, in the form of cold, hard cash.

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On Black Friday, Would You Push Other Holiday Shoppers Out Of The Way?

posted by hfields

We all know what’s just around the bend: Black Friday! Even as I write out my shopping list of Thanksgiving cooking ingredients, I know that the day after, stuffed with turkey, I’ll be eyeballing the 2009 Black Friday sales. And this year, with the recession hitting so hard, there are sure to be incredible deals for those who can lift their somnolent selves off the couch (even to get to the computer and shop online) and engage in some hardcore retail therapy.

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Butting In — Yea or Nay?

posted by Padmini Mangunta

Yesterday I completed my move from New York City (a move that began 3 weeks ago and paused for a moment in the Midwest) into San Francisco. I was feeling pretty great when I landed; friendly, accommodating people, easy trip, […]

Small-Time Ethics: Are My Priorities In Life Out Of Whack?

posted by hfields

Ah, folks. In a world full of Louisiana officials who won’t marry interracial couples, celebrity chefs battling it out with their fiancees, boys failing to fly off in balloons, and politicians winning premature prizes, why is it I care so much more about my own little quibbles?

The Wal-Mart Addiction: Can I Break Free?

posted by Padmini Mangunta

I went to college in Columbia, Missouri, and though it’s been years since I lived here, my mom has since moved to town, and I still consider it home. Columbia is approximately half way between St. Louis and Kansas City […]

Friday Failure: Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should

posted by hfields

That’s one of my favorite sayings. Now, I’m not a slogan sort of a gal. I hate aphorisms as much as I love alliteration. But I really think it’s great advice in so many situations. Like: just because you can […]

Nice People Rock… And I Want Them To Know It!

posted by hfields

I just have to give a shout out to a woman named LuJean. I don’t know her last name, but I do know she’s the single nicest, most helpful sales lady I’ve ever run across at Macy’s.  We all know […]

My People, the People of Wal-Mart

posted by Padmini Mangunta

A few weeks ago, Hillary wrote about the website, peopleofwalmart. At the time I refrained from commenting because, well, I felt bad. I grew up in small towns around Missouri where Wal-Mart was the primary source of…everything. And while the people […]

Is There a Free Pass When People Are Just Plain Annoying?

posted by Padmini Mangunta

I wish. So, I’ve been hounding my friends like crazy lately. Why? Well, lately I’ve felt fresh out of ethical dilemmas. My solution was to post a status message on Facebook and instant messenger, begging people to send any ethical […]

Here’s To “Justice!” Harvard Moral Philosophy Class To Appear On PBS!

posted by hfields

Fascinating news! I just read that PBS will air a series based on an edited version of a wildly popular Harvard philosophy class on ethics and morality. The class, called “Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?” is the brainchild […]

Readers: Help Us Define Ethics

posted by Padmini Mangunta

Ethics:1.    (philosophy) The study of principles relating to right and wrong conduct.2.    Morality.3.    The standards that govern the conduct of a person, especially a member of a profession. Hillary and I were chatting today about ethics. “So what else is […]

Moral Monday: The Savage’s Decision to Give Birth to the Wrong Baby

posted by Padmini Mangunta

When I first read the MSNBC headline, “Woman Implanted with Wrong Embryo to Give Birth”, I moved straight past it, thinking it sounded a bit too much like a supermarket tabloid to interest me. I’m glad I took a closer […]

Pedicures: Why Do They Make Me Uneasy?

posted by hfields

Call it a case of white liberal guilt, but I’m uncomfy getting pedicures. I love how they look, and I’m hopeless at giving them to myself. Since I was a kid, I’ve tried; tongue caught fast between teeth, brow furrowed […]

Whose Life Would You Save?

posted by Padmini Mangunta

I think I need to take a mental break from the race question, truly frightening schoolyard violence, health care reform, civility and the handful of other topics America is getting itself enraged over this week. So, let’s play a game.  […]

I Wish Everyone Would Shut Up About Patrick Swayze

posted by hfields

But it’s not because I didn’t like him. I actually loved the guy, as much as one can love an actor one doesn’t know personally. I thought he was great, sexy, funny, a man’s man and a woman’s heartthrob. I […]

Kanye West, Serena Williams, Joe “You lie” Wilson: A Trifecta of Public Figure Tantrums

posted by hfields

Paddy and I thought we’d toss in our two cents on the whole civility debate. After all, we’d hardly be an “Everyday Ethics” blog if we didn’t have an opinion on everyday cultural behavior trends. So here goes. Hillary: The […]

Should We Be Judged by the Bad Behavior of Our Friends?

posted by Padmini Mangunta

Well, friends, I hope you’ll bear with me for some good ol’ Monday angsting. As we all know, it’s tempting to navel-gaze, but I think that my questions for you just manage to miss the self-indulgent mark (I hope?)… Some would […]

The Sick Traveler: An Easy Person to Hate

posted by Padmini Mangunta

Last weekend I returned from a lovely, restful weekend trip to San Francisco. As I boarded the red-eye back to New York, I found myself hoping that just this once, I would have the ideal flying neighbor–the non-existent one. What […]

Failure Friday: I’m A Pessimist

posted by hfields

Is pessimism a moral issue? I am honestly not sure. I think it is a character issue, however, and for today, for me, that’s close enough. Why do I want to talk about it? Because “Failure Friday” is where we […]

What-If Wednesday: Your Doctor Cheats the Insurance Company — For You

posted by Padmini Mangunta

Dental plans are the worst, aren’t they? Some of you may remember my worst-date story in which I also described an accident that resulted in a mouthful of broken teeth – after paying more than half those costs out-of-pocket, I […]

Emily Post’s Etiquette Daily and Everyday Ethics: A Natural Fit

posted by Padmini Mangunta

Where does one go when they need a little Etiquette 101? Why Emily Post, of course! We’re pleased to introduce Daniel Post Senning, moderator of the Emily Post Q+A blog – Etiquette Daily.com, as a new guest blogger. Our belief […]

What-If Wednesday: Would You Skip Work On Your Birthday?

posted by hfields

When I ran the idea for this post by Paddy, she snorted and said, “Ha, do people really?” And I mumbled something like, “Er, I’m sure some unethical crumb bums must.” (Skip work on their birthdays, that is.) Truth is, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Best Worst Date Story Ever

posted by Padmini Mangunta

One of the fundamentals of ethics is honesty, I’d say. Yet, I’m kind of a dishonest person. I consider myself to be basically morally sound, so why do I say this? Well, I tend to tell people what they want […]

Racism — Not as Important as Healthcare!?!

posted by Padmini Mangunta

When Hillary wrote her post about Obama speaking out on Skip Gates’ arrest, I mentally applauded her for tackling the topic- from beginning to hopeful end, the whole fiasco gives me a headache. However, many of the responses to the […]

Being Mean To Telemarketers: Unethical Or Understandable?

posted by hfields

I was just on my way out the door, rushed for time as usual, when the phone rang. Caller ID said, “000-000-0000.” I had a pretty good idea who it’d be (in a general sense) but I was expecting a […]

An Etiquette Roundup for the Ethical

posted by Padmini Mangunta

One of the many things I love about my friends is their unflagging enthusiasm – since I started writing for this blog, countless dinner conversations and happy hour chatter have ended with the refrain, “Hey! A new ethical dilemma perhaps??!” […]

Is it Unethical to Live an Inauthentic life?

posted by hfields

Sorry, folks, I’m in an existential angst mood today, perhaps even an existential crisis mood. I’m feeling like a phony, if only in the sense that my day-to-day existence feels inauthentic. But by inauthentic, what do I actually mean? Well, I’ve […]

Father’s Day, Obama, and Me

posted by Padmini Mangunta

A few years ago, my father passed away, and since then I’ve tended to keep my distance from the Father’s Day blitz each summer – too many bittersweet, confused feelings.  Today, however, due to work, I read President Obama’s thoughts […]

My Credibility or My Friend? The Ethics of a Recommendation

posted by Padmini Mangunta

I wish I could blog about the weather here in New York lately. I must say, I believe continuous rain for two weeks in June to be completely unethical! However, I’m distracted from the slow drip by other concerns. I’m […]

How Sacred Is the U.S. Mail… When It’s Your Husband’s?

posted by hfields

Here’s my quandary.  It’s been a long day.  I’m tired and grumpy.  My husband, who usually brings the mail upstairs, is home sick so I’m the one swinging by our building’s mailboxes on the way back from work.  This in […]

An Ethical Update–It’s Working! I’m Blogging My Way To Becoming a Better Woman

posted by hfields

Guess 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 […]

Do We Tip To BE Generous, Or To SEEM Generous?

posted by hfields

And does the intent matter? I’m settling in to do some writing at my local coffee joint, getting all prepared to talk…you know…ethics ‘n’ stuff. I make sure I buy enough (a black & white cookie and a large decaf latte) […]

When Do You Tell a Friend Her Boyfriend’s a Jerk?

posted by hfields

When I say this happened to a friend and not me, I really actually mean it. My friend had a dinner party at her summer place with some old friends–two couples, plus herself and her own boyfriend. Drinks went around […]

When Does Bad Etiquette Become Immorality? On the Subway, of Course.

posted by hfields

I’m pleased to announce that Part II of our Underground Ethics “Subway Series” comes to you from our very first guest blogger: Beliefnet’s own Entertainment Editor, Dena Ross. I asked Dena to write a post for us because, well, Dena has […]

The Great Guilt Debate: Is Using Emotional Blackmail to Get What You Want Unethical?

posted by hfields

“Not if you’re Jewish,” is my mom’s answer. And indeed, it’s been my experience that we Jews ingest guilt with our mother’s milk (not that I’d know, since my mother didn’t find it ‘convenient’ to breast-feed me [ha, see what […]

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do…Over IM?

posted by Padmini Mangunta

Hillary and I promise this will be the last dating post for…well, at least a little bit. I recently went through a breakup. It was tough, especially after almost a year of this person being in my life. Blogging, however, […]

Underground Ethics: A Subway Series. Part I: How the Emergency Gate Shames Me

posted by hfields

Welcome to Part I of our exciting new series, Underground Ethics. As the name implies, we’ll be talking about things that take place far below the day-lit realm, things dark and ugly, seamy and salacious, perhaps unholy. Yes, that’s right. […]

The Rules: How to Date Honestly (Or Too Honestly)

posted by Padmini Mangunta

You’re on a first date, gazing into the eyes of the perfectly lovely (or handsome) person across from you, when they casually mention that they don’t have plans to marry, ever. Or to marry someone white. Or perhaps Jewish. Or […]

Controversy Over New Hugging Trend Among Teens Leads to Hug Bans in High Schools

posted by hfields

Yep, that’s right, now affection is illegal. The New York Times today reported on the new fad for hugging among teens in an article entitled For Teenagers, Hello Means ‘How About a Hug?‘ Kids these days are embracing all over […]

Still Room for National Boundaries?

posted by Padmini Mangunta

I recently got into a somewhat heated discussion with a close friend. It wasn’t meant to be heated – I’d asked a pretty simple question, “Do you think you care more about what happens to an American vs. what happens […]

Why Can’t I Recycle? A Case of Grocery Bag Guilt

posted by hfields

Why, oh why, am I so completely and utterly incapable of remembering to bring recyclable bags with me to the grocery store? It’s not like I haven’t got any…. Heck, I have canvas totes from conventions past and beach vacations […]

Should I Facebook My Way to a More Authentic Self?

posted by Padmini Mangunta

One of the reasons this blog came to be was a desire to be more authentic while searching for the answers to our ethical dilemmas. While we’re far from the experts on how to be authentic, we are on a […]

Keeping the Tags On That Dress–Just In Case

posted by hfields

My brother’s wedding is right around the corner, and what do you know, I’m a bridesmaid. Luckily, my fantastic sister-in-law-to-be chose a great dress for her bridesmaids (thank you!), which is very wearable and wasn’t too expensive either. Just another […]

Gotcha! Google Chat Teaches Me a Lesson

posted by Padmini Mangunta

Oh the shame! I was caught, my ugly side bared on Google chat, saved to the “Chats” history for me to re-live the disgrace for eternity. Today I fell victim to my catty side, as well as to Google chat.  […]

The Acupuncture Appointment From Hell–And How I Weaseled Out of Another.

posted by hfields

Today I took the coward’s way out.  Two days ago, I had an appointment with an acupuncturist–someone I hadn’t been to before. I’d been suffering from migraines, and was told the treatment might be a good holistic alternative to some […]

Sweet Revenge: Wanda Sykes vs. Rush Limbaugh

posted by Padmini Mangunta

When I first heard Wanda Sykes’ jokes about Rush Limbaugh this last weekend ( “I think maybe Rush Limbaugh was the 20th hijacker. But he was just so strung out on OxyContin he missed his flight,” “I hope your kidneys […]

Is It OK to Dabble (Respectfully) in Religion?

posted by Padmini Mangunta

I recently fielded a call from my mother about my ring size. Though my immediate fear was that this might concern my still-unmarried status, it turns out she was more worried about my health. How does my ring size involve […]

Dropping the F-Bomb–Or Not. Is it Sometimes More Ethical To Have a Dirty Mouth?

posted by hfields

I didn’t expect my first post to excite much controversy–from my friends, at least. But to my surprise, even my mother, who was in part the subject of it, had a criticism. “Nice post,” she said. “But it would have […]

Carrie Prejean–Role Model or Rogue Model?

posted by hfields

  Every day, it seems there’s another Carrie Prejean story in the news. For those who haven’t been paying attention (and I kinda wish I was one of you), she’s the Miss USA pageant contestant from California whose answer to […]

Manners or Me First? A Tale of Ethics and the Native New Yorker

posted by hfields

By way of introduction, I’d like to share a little about myself. (I’d promise not to do it again, but I undoubtedly will.) I was raised by a family who assumed I’d always instinctively understand the difference between right and […]

How far would you go to get rich quick?

posted by Padmini Mangunta

Standing in an especially long line at my bank yesterday, my wandering mind intersected at two points: my poor, beleaguered bank account (sob, tear) and the summer bank heist movie, Public Enemies, starring Johnny Depp and Christian Bale. Where did […]

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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

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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?  

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