Being Ethical

- Article by Mr. Vikram Patel (Chairman - Bombay Cambridge Gurukul)

Life is not a chance, not a ship in the sea without direction, not a ship at the mercy of winds, not without an aim and purpose. Human beings are gifted with intellect and have the responsibility of realizing their purpose and destiny.

It is very important to learn your nature and select your vocation accordingly. Then it will bring you true happiness and minimum conflict in life. Your contribution will be such that it will benefit and bring happiness to the society as well.

 “Better is one’s own duty (though) destitute of merits, than the duty of another well-performed. He, who does the duty ordained by his own nature, incurs no sin”.

When you learn yourself, then there is awareness, an empowering consciousness that enables you to decide. A careful decision; made with an awareness of yourself and all options available before you, will bring no regrets and help you realize your potential.

There are times in life when one faces a conflict of ethics; when the distinctions between the right and the wrong, the good and the bad, are not clear. Consider the technology of acquiring nuclear-generated energy or the act of building dams over rivers; both have an impact on our environment. Electricity is a necessary evil in our civilized society and building dams helps bring in irrigation. One course of action leads to depletion of natural resources and the other brings self-sufficiency and growth.    

There will be times when people will not support your action, irrespective of the course you take; times when you have the responsibility of decision-making and taking an action. The action you take must benefit the people and the economy of the nation. Action and enterprise that is purely self-serving and which brings misery to the people is not dharma; does not help one realize their purpose for living, nor leave their positive mark behind.    

Knowledge by itself is essentially materialistic. The implementation of all knowledge demands that the ethical principles be adhered to and the outcome gives way to common good. Knowledge, when combined with love and care for other lives, is wisdom. When you have the wisdom, you will become aware and recognize your instinct; your dharma; your guiding compass that will show you your direction and help distinguish the right from the wrong (and the wrong from the right).