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Mooring Minute – Situational ethics

Published on October 17, 2019 by Walter Johnson • In The Mooring Minute

Mooring Minute – Situational ethics 

What do you believe, what are your core values, what is it which makes you tick? Are they in alignment with those who you chose to spend your time with or do the people who you spend your time with change who you are and what you believe?

It’s difficult to have both as sticking with your core values often means you may not always popular and you may not always get what you feel you deserve or even earned! I always ponder who is “The Who” which decides what is ok, it seems today where ever we look we see examples of where someone might ask- how did that ever become ok, where did the moral compass go? 

The problem is most people live by situational ethics, as it’s easy, it serves their desire to be, as people are always seeking to push the boundaries, it’s those with a strong moral compass which are there to keep them in check, but even those with a strong moral compass will be moved as the group chooses to move it. They will continue to act as they “the group”, feels that no one will notice. And as the accountability needle moves, so will the group’s moral compass, and the longer the group is together the more the needle of what is socially correct will move with it! As the group will continue to frame the narrative, so they can feel good about it, as the definition of what was once wrong becomes right when the majority believes it to be so. 

We all remember the fable of the emperor with no clothes! It took the one with a strong core conviction to point out the truth, to meet a basic standard, to say what everyone in their heart knew to be true but just were not prepared to say before the group all realized what was – was wrong.

 To error is to be human, human nature is always short-sighted if everybody is doing it – then it must be ok. And then everyone just adjusts their compass to fit the new reality. We all need a strong long term vision to hold true when things get tough. For groups, It takes proper succession – fresh eyes to keep the team on track, to hold the old guard accountable to what they know to be true. As temptation is always their, the easy route.

In sailing, we run into this all the time, we find teams which are always working outside of the rules as they feel the rules don’t apply to them, but the village which holds true to the ideal of fair play, we are always working to hold those in check, while bringing new people into the fold. Fleets are a village which shares the same value, the value begins and ends with fleet knowing that the only way to sustain is to grow, that the load is lighter when the message is carried by the many, who are seeking to grow and recruit new members. Together the fleets share the same value and definition of fair play which is connected to a long term vision and core values of the fleet, class or organization where change takes time and is determined by the buy-in of many who all know what is true in their heart!

So untie the ties which are holding you back and head out and build your legacy once leg, one race, one regatta at a time!

 Its been a very busy six months its great to finally be able to get back to my passion for publishing my weekly blog. A big thanks to all of those who have reached out and encourage me to make it a priority and to pick it up again.

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