Moral Compass ~ An inner sense which distinguishes what is right from what is wrong, functioning as a guide (like the needle of a compass) for morally appropriate behaviour. The full range of virtues, vices, or actions which may affect others and which are available as choices to a person, to a group, or to people in general.
From a very young age we are taught right from wrong, good vs evil. We are all born with a clean moral slate, that gets tarnished along our path in life as we live and learn. Tarnish isn’t permanent, what is beneath the tarnish can be polished to bring back the shine that comes from within, if we are aware of our own moral compass.
“Do unto others as you would have others do unto you” is so basic and rightfully labeled the Golden Rule! How is your moral compass these days? I think if we all checked in once in a while and asked ourselves what worked well and what we could improve upon in our daily lives, whether it be at work or personally, we might learn a few things about becoming better human beings and be more productive.
I think the teaching or guidance needed to differentiate between right and wrong is slipping between the cracks in the younger generations. We have lost the art of communication. No one take the time anymore to communicate and find out what we can do to improve ourselves. No one wants to hear the truth anymore. It’s almost frowned upon.
The days of a hand-shake agreement are lost. Ones word is no longer something you can take to the bank, so to speak. I hate to say it because I am a silver lining seeker, but I think generally speaking the human species moral compass is off kilter. Moral values, integrity, respect, consideration and honesty are becoming diluted in our society. People with their moral compass intact are becoming few and far between.
I leaned the term Kaizen at work the other day and I think its principal can be used at home as well.
“Kaizen” is a Japanese approach to the workplace that has proven to be a famously effective Best Practices strategy with companies like Toyota, Sony and Envision Financial among others. “Kai” is defined as continuous improvement while “Zen,” a more familiar term, is loosely translated as for the better or “good.” Therefore, kaizen is to make “continuous improvements for the good.” Make sense?
“Kaizen follows three principles: 1) process and results; 2) systemic thinking (the big picture); and 3) non-blaming, because to blame is counterproductive and wasteful in practice.”
How can you not improve by following this practise? It resonated with me and I plan on using it in my daily life.
“The two focal points of the principles are continuous improvement and respect for people. The principles for a continuous improvement include establishing a long-term vision, working on challenges, continual innovation, and going to the source of the issue or problem. The principles relating to respect for people include ways of building respect and teamwork.”
I like to think I have been on the right or good side for the majority of my life but I am human and have strayed to the wrong side on more than one occasion. Nobody’s perfect. There is a reason we are taught to do things a certain way and although it’s not completely clear as a child, it does become apparent as we age and grow into young adults. The right way is also debatable, and not always the short route. Being open to learn is a start in the right direction.
I used to tell my kids that they were not bad kids, sometimes their actions were not the best choice but in order for them to learn they needed to push buttons and boundaries to see the reaction that followed. Take away the ‘reaction’ and they have no compass to direct them along the right path. This is no different in the lives of adults. If you allow someone to treat you with disrespect, how can you blame them if you don’t give them an unfavourable reaction? That is how we learn. We do, we see and we either do again, or change to get the outcome we were hoping for.
Every action gets and deserves a reaction. Sometimes we are the one who acts and sometimes we are the ones who react. Both allow us to grow and evolve our human spirit.
So the next time someone reacts to your action, ask yourself ~ “What could I have done to get this reaction?” Think about how your actions affect those around you and put yourself in their shoes to understand and be aware that your word through voice or script can affect those around you in a positive or negative way. It’s your choice!