It's that time of year. For lots of us, the post-Christmas, I've-eaten-too-much, spent-too-much, *fill-in-the-blank*-too-much blues set in and we're inspired to set ourselves goals to live to loftier standards next year. Maybe not even lofty, but at least admirable.
There's a lot to be said for that. I'm a sucker for a good goalpost, and for that reason alone, New Year's Resolutions are right up my alley. I know that New Year's Resolutions are renowned for being broken, but in the past I have cunningly circumvented that problem by picking sufficiently vague targets with equally hazy KPIs so that I can reasonably claim a good measure of success in keeping them for a respectable period of time. "Eat less rubbish", for example. Action plan: go organic, vegetarian and sugar-free. Actual action: switched from dairy milk to 70% dark chocolate. Mission evaluation: improvement achieved. You see how it works?
Anyway, this year, I'm feeling particularly challenged about the ethics of my consumption choices. (Running an ethical store will do that to you.) In my online travels, I came across The Ethics Guy blog by Bruce Weinstein who talks about ethical intelligence and the five principles he considers core to behaving ethically. These principles are:
- Do No Harm
- Make Things Better
- Respect Others
- Be Fair
Sounds good to me.
I've been giving the whole living ethically thing some thought, and I've decided that it really does deserve a bit more than an ephemeral commitment and my usual woolly yardstick. And these five principles seem pretty good evalution tools to me - a good way to measure whether that purchase, those consumer decisions, this lifestyle choice is one that upholds my values to live ethically. So here goes, 2016. Are you with me?