In a recent news release related to teen choices and ethics, I stated: “It seems that some things never change. As adults, we hear through the media, about the lack of ethics and the consequences of ethical lapses. They capture attention in almost every venue – from broadcast to internet to print. Whether we hear about Enron, HP, or Martha Stewart – one thing we know is that the choices we make can have a profound impact on the consequences we live.”
I stand by the statement! There are many who capture the attention of the media, Paris Hilton, Richard Scrushy, and yes – in the not so distant past – Martha Stewart. All, including me, have suffered negative consequences for the choices we made. There is, however, one common demoninator…we all made a choice that became an example.
Well…I must have hit a nerve. Today I received this e-mail response – a portion I am reprinting here. In the press release, “That First Bite: Success NoMatter The Cost – A Real Ethics Issue?”, the firstparagraph asserted: “Whether we hear about Enron, HPor Martha Stewart…”Invoking the name of Martha Stewart in the pressrelease is a “real ethics issue” because this was acollateral attack upon a namesake company thatrepresents the jobs of hundreds of employees and anamesake brand that is the source of livelihood forthousands of families.
The author goes further to say, “Ms. Stewart made a small, inconsequential personalinvesment stock sale that had nothing to do with hercompany or her corporate position. Her small personalinvestsment trade was perfectly legal under the plainlanguage of the securities laws. She owed no one anexplanation for her legal investment sale, and she didnothing wrong in connection with this personal matter.”
Well, first I respect people’s opinion and the willingness of the writer to express his/hers. However, a “small inconsequential” CHOICE earned her the right to join the ranks of those who are convicted felons and, short of a presidential pardon, will keep that mark for the rest of our lives. Martha (a fine human being) made a choice and endured the consequence. THAT’S THE POINT! Every choice has a consequence!
The e-mail author goes further to state: “Clearly, this foundation is nothing more than thebogus use of a non-profit organization by a snake-oilcharlatan and fleecer who is living a parasiticexistence through total fraud.”
O.K., everyone is entitled to his/her opinion, but I would say that checking the facts might be beneficial overall. Fact, Martha Stewart broke the law and went to jail. To her credit, she has recoved nicely and, through that recovery, has provided a positive example for others to follow. Fact, the Choices Foundation brings presentations to our Nation’s youth in a effort to help them avoid bad choices that do have very real negative consequences. If we can make an impression on the life of one…it will be worthwhile. You know, I may be wrong, but I would bet that Martha would agree.
Martha Stewart is just as much an example of choices and consequences as Bill Gates is. Both made choices and have received the consequences. Martha to prison and Bill to extreme wealth. And both are living examples that people will use as examples.
As the founder of the Choices Foundation, let me encourage you to get active in helping our young people understand the benefit of making choices in their lives founded on a firm ethical foundation. For more information on presentations to youth and young adults visit: http://www.chuckgallagher.com/foundation.php
For a copy of the news release the e-mail author was referring to visit: http://www.expertclick.com/NewsReleaseWire/default.cfm?Action=ReleaseDetail&ID=17395