We’ve got to slow down and be like white lines on mountainous roads to each other, my Dad, the late Bill McHenry, once told me. Otherwise, how can we see and safely navigate the inevitable ethical fogs of work and life?
Even when I was very young, I knew that my dad had gone successfully through several huge ethical fogs. Several years before Dad met my mom, he turned down an unethical but lucrative job at the height of the great depression. When I was just six months old, he blew a whistle on his powerful embezzling boss, a college president. Four years later, soon after Dad’s testimony helped send the boss to jail, Dad turned down another lucrative but unethical job at a social service agency.
As a child, of course, I didn’t understand the full impact of these stories. As an adult, I got enough details about whistleblowing and its impact to fill a book.
In the end, Dad’s only regret was that no one had stopped the president when the wrongdoing was small, by saying simply, “No, Dr. Meadows, you can’t do that.” Over the years, I also learned a lot about the stress of Dad’s whistleblowing on our family, and I healed.
What was left after the forgiveness and healing were some very powerful life lessons in basic integrity. May they also serve you. Continue reading →
If all the expensive fallout from corporate, political or other shenanigans could be traced to a few greedy rotten apples, then it should be easy for all us good, non-greedy apples to toss out the rest.
But greed is just one variety of fraud, waste and abuse that have long been rampant in our world. All are supported by a culture that makes it equally hard to confront wrong-doing or to envision a culture based on honesty, sustainability, and compassion. Continue reading →
The Bible and other sacred texts are filled with prophets who blow the whistle on danger, fraud, waste or abuse of power. Other prophets alert us to the good news of hope and possibility.
Now that we finally have cable and decent streaming capability on our computers, my husband and I have become faithful to the late night fake news shows of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. We’ve also maintained our loyalty to Bill Moyers on PBS, whose prophetic guests are not always amusing.
The big difference between prophetic comedians and the people we usually think of as prophets is that we’re more likely to listen when we get to laugh first. Continue reading →
Spirit and work are meant for each other. Whether spirit comes from the religion you share with family and friends or from your own wondering, spirit provides a guide to purpose and the motivation to follow it.Spirit’s the generator of inspiration for hard times and the special fruit that comes from working with others.Spirit is the anchor of integrity that keeps us true to ourselves and on the level with others, the voice of conscience that helps us create an economy and world that is trustworthy and sustainable. Continue reading →