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On eagles wings: our recovery from Coronavirus (XLVI). Ethical codes in action

Today is the celebration of our Independence Day in El Salvador. 199 years of Independence from Spain. All our local parades and celebrations have been cancelled because of the COVID19 pandemic, but I would like to share with you our National Anthem. Written by Juan José Cañas, and composed by Juan Aberle. The version that I upload here is a recent ad produced officially by our Government, performed a cappella, by the singer Florence Umaña. Interesting video for you to watch, it reflects very much the ethical values of the current Government team that Salvadorans have.

Initiating our ethical codes.

Today we will begin with the basics on how to implement all the theory from the last three months on practice. Since the month of June, I have led you through an ethical values journey. On June 12th, we displayed the general information about ethical codes, visiting several examples of them. On June 18th, we also shared an introduction abstract of the three moral theories: The Utilitarianism, the Kantian deontologism and the Human Nature Ethics theory. I also explained to you that Eleonora Escalante Strategy sticks to the traditional third moral theory: Human Nature Ethics, which is the best way to apply ethics in reality. Many contemporary philosophers have high-lighted that “Both, utilitarianism and the Kantian moral theory are deeply implausible because of their integrity undermining effects”. Eleonora Escalante Strategy follows the theory of “human nature ethics”, considering the virtue of integrity as a cluster virtue concept that agglutinates the most relevant 10 virtues of all our times. Our purpose in life is to learn ourselves to live a life of ethical virtues in everything we do, loving God, ourselves and others in the intent.

I am painting this agapanthus. I thought it was finished as you can see it on your left. Nevertheless still required some improvement. Still is a Work in Progress. The image at your right shows you the adjustments I have done over the weekend. Watch the difference between the two images. I will post the final oeuvre on my next post.

The time has come, in which we will learn to exercise how to make ethical codes. Given the latter explanation, I will show you through simpler basic examples, about how to prepare ourselves in our journey to become persons of integrity, accepting that integrity is a cluster virtue composed by: (1) Humbleness, (2) Meekness and Peacemaking, (3) Mourning, (4) Hunger for Righteousness, (5) Mercy, (6) Courage under Suffering, (7) Purity of Heart, (8) Love, (9) Faith, and (10) Hope. We will do it from inside out: beginning at the individual level, then family, organizations, projects and governments.

Remember that an ethical code is nothing else than a systematically arranged and comprehensive collection of ethical values or virtues that give us a meaningful guideline to rule our behavior (actions), ideas and thoughts, traits of character, practices and endeavor creations. Once you read the last definition, it is obvious that an ethical code is not a legal collection of laws, neither a republic constitution charter (a body of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state is acknowledged to be governed). Please do not confuse ethical codes with legal codes. I have to remark this. Ethical codes last an eternity, meanwhile legal charters can be amended.

Characteristics of ethical codes:

  • An ethical code can be a phrase or a set of words, that can be easily memorized. These can be a set of acronyms too.
  • Ethical codes are the nuclear moral values of each person, family, enterprise, projects, government and societies.
  • Ethical codes are concise and punctual.
  • Ethical codes can be written in different forms and styles. It is preferable to write them on an optimistic positive lyrics format. As long as they show the values and ethics virtues of the individual.
  • Ethical codes are the core of human balance and stability. “Norms or laws may evolve with time, but every one of us must have “core invariants” reflected in the ethical codes that can stand the test of time”. Ethical codes are not flexible.
  • Ethical codes are absolute in the context of timing. Ethical standards do not change over time, neither are impacted by the evolution of our new technologies.  As C.K Pralahad wrote it: “ We need our anchors clean and clear. We must not forget our values -business, ultimately is about it. If values are lost, everything is lost”.
  • Ethical codes are built with the correct core ethical virtues. Bad values or vices can kill you, or can provoke horrendous disasters with inventions, and they can sink your endeavors.

Examples of personal ethical codes for individuals. Everything starts from inside out. So we need to begin with ourselves, as individuals. Have you asked yourself if you have an ethical code? Probably you already have it, but not written, neither officially framed in your bedroom. Nevertheless this is your time to set it. Let´s see some random examples:

  1. “ I am committed to live a life of love, truth, fairness and respect”.
  2. “ Each member of the family Taylor-Green is known because of its solidarity, thrive for perseverance and courage”.
  3. “Be kind. Be respectful. Be truthful. Make a difference”
  4. “Everything I am and do is made with love and conscious respect for me, others and the environment”
  5. “Our search for wisdom and integrity is the motto of our family”
  6. “Giving H-E-A-L: Giving Hope in Everything with Appreciation for Liberty”. H means Hope, E means Everything, A means Appreciation, L means Liberty.

When people are still dependent of their parents (kids, teenagers) the first ethical code in which enfants live is the one that is established by their parents. That is why family ethical codes are required. Before a man and a woman marriage, the couple must exercise, and define the ethical values or virtues that guide their future family ethical code forever.

Example of Family Ethical Codes:

  1. “Our family searches for integrity, always and continuously”
  2. The family Carter-Schwarzenegger acts always with love”
  3. “First do not harm; Second, learn from mistakes; Third, learn to forgive”
  4. “Our family will do all what it takes to live by love and respect”
  5. “Jesus Christ virtues are the core values of our family: Humbleness, Meekness, Solidarity, Hunger for Justice, Mercy, Courage under Suffering and Purity of Heart”.
  6. “We are guided by the alignment of love between our head and our heart”.
  7. “Our family walks the talk of the blessings of Christ”
  8. “Our family is FAITH” : F means faith, A means Amour, I means Integrity, T means transparency and H means Honesty”.
  9. “We are being trained to become persons of integrity”.

The idea of preparing ethical codes in our families is extremely crucial. Many families need to do this exercise. The first step to establish family ethical codes is always to define the common or fundamental values shared by the parents, that then later will be shown and trained to their kids.

On my next publication we will continue with other ethical codes examples that can be applied to organizations, education entities, projects (private, public, NGOs) and the governments. I also will demystify the notion that an ethical code is the same thing than a code of conduct or a code of honor. An ethical code is not a mission statement either. You will see why. For my salvadoran readers, have a beautiful Independence day. Thank you.

Disclaimer: Illustrations in Watercolor are painted by Eleonora Escalante. Other types of illustrations or videos (which are not mine) are used for educational purposes ONLY.  Nevertheless, the majority of the pictures, images, or videos shown on this blog are not mine.  I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated.

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