Ethical gaps often exist between who we are and who we think we should be. I have often been through this dilemma. I know that it is a moral hypocrisy that happens when my behavioral standards stoop below my own beliefs. When I evaluate others, I do it at a substantially different elevated plateau while, my own self-evaluation of me is done at a different lower, fluid environment. Why?
It is true that a self-examination of my thoughts and deeds will throw an interesting picture to me : I am sympathetic to my failures, while I cannot contain others failures. In any public discussion on corruption, I have often thought how bad those who take money and do favors for others are. But I have eliminated me as a person who sometimes ‘tips’ others to have a job done ‘in speed’. The other day when I drove to put in air in my car tires, there was a clear signage which told: ‘No Tips Please’. Still, I gave the staff a small tip and he accepted it with all smiles. The ‘tip’ culture doesn’t start at the local garage or ends there. It goes on, especially in the everyday service sectors I utilize.
Sometimes, I have to re-frame a decision as a ‘general decision’, ‘group decision’ or as a ‘multiple head decision’ to increase the likelihood of disposing it unethically. There is always a simple thought that argumentatively support my conscience, when I take a questionable unethical stand: I may tell others, and myself “I did it for the world…. I did it for the organization… I did it for the committee.” Yet, I ask, “Did I incorporate all the questions and answers when I took that decision? Or, did I brush aside and suppress some of the controversial aspects of the discussion away from the discussion table? ”
Someone said that there is a behavioral internal conflict between the ‘want self’ and the ‘should self’ in everybody’s life. At the time of a decision-making, it is the ‘want self’ that dominate while the ‘should self’ is discounted. Moreover, if the matters go well, 'want self' is reinforced in my heart, forcing me to take a similar stand when the next similar occasion arises.
Sages took to prayer and penance for containing double standards. How about me? I believe that only a self-examination and a conscious correction of this silent behavior will enhance my conscience from the double standards that I foster here and there.