By Diego Nascimento
Since I started producing articles on Professional Ethics, I have had the “feeling” that “bombs” could explode. Far from giving any moral lesson, I always seek to share personal experiences to show that honesty is worth it. Individual or group attitudes go through a process of choice, and even knowing the consequences, there are those who prefer dangerous and traumatic shortcuts.
Whoever thinks corruption is tied to large sums of money or to deep negotiations is wrong. With great regret I say that this kind of occurrence begins inside the homes of many people. Not reporting the full amount on your taxes, taking a parking space that does not belong to you, “cutting” in line, parking your car in the handicap spot (when you are far from handicapped), committing plagiarism and practicing the famous “white lie”—these are all some of the things that fill up a huge list and that also offer an open door to the bad habit dubbed the “Brazilian ‘creative solutions.’” It is apparent garbage that kicks into corruption no matter the scale or social class.
I recently met with a friend, and the hunger to “grow the company” was visible. My advice was firm and straightforward: “Never give up your family values and honesty to take the higher ground. Better a safe takeoff than an imminent and fatal crash.” The corruption factor is ancient, as is quoted in Culture Matters by Lawrence E. Harrison and Samuel P. Huntington in 2000, both professors at Harvard University. In one of their chapters we find an account that shows the relationship of cultural factors to this sad and disappointing practice. Complementary studies also show that honesty allows the creation of sustainable values between companies and people, and that there are ways to fight against this harmful practice that is corruption.
Integrity does no harm to anyone. Try to imagine how many arguments would not have occurred if absolute truth and common sense were regular characteristics inside and outside the work environment. I know that the happy world, where everyone is smiling and singing happily and skipping is a utopia, but we can do our part so that the daily life of the present generation is different and worthy of being emulated. Regardless of your age, profession, time of employment or home address, I suggest the practice of a Biblical recommendation recorded almost two thousand years ago: “Therefore, each of you must stop lying and speak the truth to your neighbor, for we are all members of the same body.” Book of Ephesians, chapter 4, verse 25.
Corruption begins slowly and almost harmlessly and, as I said at the beginning of the text, with “insignificant” actions in the home. Run from it.