The Challenge of Living Ethically in an Unethical World

Updated: Oct 23, 2020

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Have you ever relied on someone's words just to find out in due time, what they had said they would do or the promises they made, were nothing but words, no sincerity behind their statements and actions?

Most of us have at one time or another experienced disillusions and let downs from people, friends and even loved ones, that did not follow through from what they assured to us they would do.

All the things we thought they not perform, or the adverse actions we did not anticipate and the outcome we did not prepared for if we had known their interior motives in advance.

We've might've been taken by surprise when these individuals went behind our backs, took advantage of the situation or made dealings that were deceptive for their self-gain, breaking our trust in not just them but in all of those around and involved with them as well.

Moments and circumstances where the people we were dealing with, their loyalty, greed, ego, envy, self-centeredness and a lack of moral and ethical character, found their way to the surface, there in the open and evidently clear for anyone to see, but by then it's often too late to and damage has already been done.


In a world that values material wealth and financial success at the expense of morality, wellbeing, and kindness - navigating our path towards an ethical lifestyle is not an easy task.

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering how to make the right decisions — you know that there’s no easy answer. How do you behave in kindness towards anyone that has done you wrong? How do you forgive and let go of those memories and experiences?

Answering to yourself these questions truthfully, in order to find a way and best possible solutions, does take some time - practicing patience, self-control, effort and will.

Moral philosophy is complex. Some decisions are difficult to make in a one hundred percent ethical manner when we are suddenly confronted with these decisions. Several factors usually come into play.

It is in our DNA to protect ourselves and loved ones first, by any means necessary, prior to acting in a proactive manner whenever the fight or flight response is activated.

When our livelihoods have been challenged by anyone or anything, it this case an unethical behavior, it is really hard to stop and think, in order to act in the best possible manner.

Yes, stopping to think before acting, avoids possible undesirable consequences, either at that very same moment, or in the near and not so distant future.

In order to do so, we need constant consciousness , and the reality is, we’re not always fully present in all of our every day actions and decisions. Therefore, building a strong ethical character over time, is what will help us all go safely through during these life challenging moments.

Patience, understanding and wisdom are some of the keys we need to better deal with unethical actions, words and behaviors.


There are so many topics that we could elaborate on regarding ethical behavior… Deceit by a colleague, mischievous activities by a business adventure, falseness of documents, twisting of words for someone's positional advantage and an innumerable number of inconvenient and dissatisfying circumstances throughout our personal and professional lives.

And the reality is, these unethical behaviors also extend to our societies and cultures as a whole; negatively influencing and affecting present and future generations.

Let’s take global changes for example. It’s an issue that affects us all as a whole. When are people and governments going to truly do something about changing our present situation?

Our world still functions with unjust wages, child labor, toxic working environments, power imbalances, violence, global warming and the relentless switch to conventional foods.

Millions of actions, that ripples out other unethical actions, affecting our lives and our wellbeing - now - and for centuries to come.


No, a lot of us have already taken several steps in the right direction. We strive to tell the truth, not so much for someone else's sake but for the benefit of our own self-esteem and the positive feelings about ourselves. We also do it to improve our image, our reputation and character. We do it as part of our personal development and self growth.

In respect to our environment, we conserve resources to build a better future. We recycle, we buy local produce, have already ditched plastic bags and ride-share whenever we can. Simple things that can be done every day and by everyone. Easy-peasy, right?

Well… Not for a lot of people out there for some reason. It’s a privilege to make these lifestyle changes. Buying an electric car, or biking instead of driving; avoiding buying harmful environmental chemicals, recycling and not wasting food, is something a lot of people do not practice very often.

When we live in a conscious manner, being thoughtful of our actions, we start making changes in our lives on all those little things we have the power to change. We do make a difference; it may be small, but it’s a difference that adds onto other ongoing positive changes.

Perhaps we can also all start by improving the way we interact with others every day. We can share our hopes and kindness everywhere; with family, with friends and especially with a stranger on the street.


Imagine a world with less unethical behaviors... A world where we would truly be looking for answers to our common medical, environmental, scientific and socioeconomic improvement and advantages.

A world with less restrictive nationalistic borders, monetary dominance, educational imbalances and instead more balance in our political and governmental powers and influential arenas.

These dreams are not new. They have been going on for thousands of years. John Lennon wrote a song about it, but throughout the past several millennial, nothing much has being done, so nothing much has changed.

Living an ethical life is about how you see and treat others. It’s about enacting changes wherever and whenever you can, even in the smallest of places and with the smallest of things. Think of the butterfly effect and watch our world change.


There’s no one-size-fits-all answer for an ethical living. Doing the right things when the occasions arise, is a choice we all have. You’ll have to find the right balance in your own life; and the more right choices you make, the happier and more content your soul becomes.

Living ethically not only benefit us as a person but all those around us in one way or another. As we've stated before, the more we do, and the more of us that do the right things in the right way, the greater the results we might accomplish as we move forward together.

Your subconscious knows and acknowledges the moments when you place others, and think of others, before you do of yourself. When you do for others what you would like others to do for you, practicing the golden rule, this admirable act and character trait, will give you a positive sense of pride, everywhere you go, wherever you are and with whom everyone you meet.


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