Posted in Beyond Facts

Saying “no” to Unpricipled Acts

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Spreading rumors. Backstabbing. Crab mentality.

These things usually ail the corporate field today. People even those who declare themselves professional or educated, in one way or another engage in mudslinging or let their selfish desires rule over their ability to show respect to each other.

Many might have already been a victim of gossips and unwarranted invectives which were probably brought about by an achievement or a noticeable progress. And many have also tried to retaliate and failed; some have tried their best to ignore the cruel actions of their colleagues toward them and maintain their peace but also failed.

The question is: How can such predicament be avoided in the workplace? I would say that adhering to strong professional ethical standards is imperative. And what does this entail? I want to emphasize two of the things that we should always strive to do.

Let me start with the need to avoid envy. Envy is defined as “the painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another, accompanied by a desire to possess the same advantage.” It is but normal and acceptable for a person to notice someone’s accomplishments and nurture the desire to emulate him or her. What isn’t appropriate is when one’s progress has already started to annoy us.

I have read from a magazine that we need to constantly ask ourselves: “Does a peer’s successes delight or deflate me?” Envy pushes one to engage in an unhealthy and hurtful competition with the aim to trample on someone just to emerge victorious. Instead of being irritated when a colleague has been praised for one job well done, we should learn how to be happy for and proud of him. Instead of nurturing the desire to deprecate one’s achievement, we should learn how to commend him.

There is also a need for us to maintain a positive view of ourselves and the people we work with. Any institution or company can be likened to a body. The body has several parts. All of these parts play an integral role, even the smallest of them. And just like the body, a company or an institution we belong to or work for is made up of several individuals who play significant roles. And whether we would agree to this or we won’t, we need each other. The company’s survival and its chances for obtaining its goals depend much not just on a few individuals, but on each of its member.

Each one needs to contribute something good; each one must be viewed as significant. One’s success is the success of all members. One’s defeat is the failure of all members too. Unless we learn to accept this fact, camaraderie among colleagues will always be in danger.

I believe that most of the ethical standards set by a certain company are not just meant to be written on a manual or memorandum. They actually remind us of the basic values we first learned at home under the supervision of our first mentors, our parents. Our parents surely wouldn’t want to see us pulling one person down, saying and spreading injurious words about him so we can be noticed and loved. Our parents would surely throw us a scrutinizing look with their arms crossed if they had known we had tried to mar someone’s reputation just to improve our own. Our parents would have surely expected us to do better than that.

Ethical standards don’t actually encourage establishing selfish pursuits and hurtful schemes. Ethical standards are supposed to inspire us to cultivate love for the company we are working for and the people we are working with. I believe that is something we should always bear in mind. This will not only eliminate unprincipled behaviors in the workplace but will also enable each one of us to maintain his peace and sanity.



Senior High School Teacher from the Philippines.

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