Messages from the Masters
Ethics & Values by Zig Ziglar

Every time issues such as gambling, pornography, prostitution, sleazy television programming, etc., are discussed, there are those who say we cannot "legislate morality." The reality is we can, we have and we must. It's immoral to kill, and therefore we have laws against murder. It's immoral to steal and we have laws against thievery. It's immoral to abuse someone, so we have laws against assault. We constantly legislate morality; however, the legislation would be more effective if we conscientiously taught morality through the process of teaching values. You don't teach ethics--you teach integrity, because a person of integrity will do things in an ethical manner, provided he knows what the ethical manner is and that's why teaching it is critical.

Some experts argue that ethics and values are learned as a natural part of human development, derived from home, school, religion and other influences. However, they say that some authorities maintain that ethics, as the innate notion of right and wrong, cannot be taught to an adult. They're saying that an individual has been shaped as honest and upstanding or devious and venal long before he or she sets foot in the business world.

Certainly part of that is true. Some experts maintain that 80% of a child's character is formed by the age of five, but to say that ethics and values cannot be taught to adults is erroneous. People can and do change because, basically, all of us will act in our own best self-interest if we clearly understand what that best interest is. Evidence is solid that the "good guys," over the long haul, are the big winners in their personal, family, business and financial lives. Teach that and all of us will have a better chance to be AT THE TOP!

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