Value of the Week – Ethical

“These children’s future happiness will depend on humanity’s ability to act ethically”. Neil Hawkes

Their future?

This week we are thinking about the value ethical, which I would describe as a super value. Ethical, comes from the Latin erthicus. Living an ethical life implies living in accordance with a set of universal values, moral principles such as integrity, honesty and respect that supports the flourishing of humanity. Helping children to explore the meaning of such values helps them to grow into ethical adults.

When I am giving talks, I sometimes ask members of the audience to put up their hands if they think they are perfect? On one occasion, I remember a man at the back of the room raising his hand. I asked him, “Why do you think you are perfect?” He answered wryly, ” Because my Mum says I am!” Everyone burst out laughing, including the man who made the remark.  

The truth, in my experience, is that none of us is perfect. We are all on our life’s journey, which has its challenges and temptations, but most of us do our best. Life however continually demands responses from us.  The space, between our thoughts and actions, gives us the opportunity to use the energy of universal values to help us act ethically. 

We can all think of times when we have acted unethically, sometimes seeing similar traits in others. Watching the news can give lots of examples that show when people act unethically, human distress, even misery, is not far behind. 

How can we support ourselves to act ethically? There is a universal belief that can be seen as a guiding principle in many religions and cultures. It is, “Do to others what you would have them do to you.” This is a great mantra, which helps us to check whether we are acting ethically.  

I meet and read about so many people who, often very quietly and unobtrusively, are living ethically driven lives. They deserve to be acknowledged for their altruism. I would like to acknowledge as many of them as possible, by inviting them to be Affiliates of the IVET Foundation. IVET (The International Values-based Education Trust) is a charity that uses the energy of ethical leadership to support the development of values-based living. The world desperately needs ethical leaders and these wonderful people demonstrate it each day of their lives. I am sure that you, the reader, could be one too? Being a leader, is not necessarily about leading others, but is primarily about a person’s ability to lead themselves in an ethical manner. 

May I invite you to think about becoming an Affiliate of The IVET Foundation, becoming part of a movement that celebrates all that is life affirming? In deciding, have a look at

and follow the process for becoming an Affiliate. We would love to hear from you and remember you don’t have to be perfect!