Three Five Seven – # 211

Three, five, and seven
3 5 7
By Stan Shapiro MD, Grand Lodge Education Officer G.L. of MN

“If the firms that employ an increasing majority of the population are driven solely to satisfy the owner’s greed at the expense of working conditions, of the stability of the community, and of the health of the environment, chances are that the quality of our lives will be worse than it is now.”— Mihaly Csikszentmihaly

“I do not believe maximizing profits for the investors is the only acceptable justification for all corporate actions. The investors are not the only people who matter. Corporations can exist for purposes other than simply maximizing profits.”– John Mackey

What can Masons do to influence the moral conduct in the business community?

No one is perfect. However, a business is directed by individuals who can choose to be ethical or unethical. Business ethics includes the business’s effect on employees, the community and the environment.

Our Masonic principles hold us to a high standard of behavior. Yet we have seen businessmen, some of whom were Masons, who have not always followed the ethical principles we profess.

Masons expect each other to maintain a high standard of ethical behavior. When we discover what appears to be unethical or dishonest behavior in other individuals or our community, it is our responsibility to stand up for the principles we profess. However, sometimes it may be difficult to confront our company for fear of losing our job or it is difficult to ascertain the truth about what took place because we do not have all the facts or what is reported is biased.

It is easy for us to find fault or blame others in these difficult economic times. We hear reports about the fraud and injustice that some bankers or businessmen are alleged to have done. Often it appears due to greed or a desire for power but they rationalize it as the need for profit for the investors (in reality it is more for the owners or executives).

As Masons we strive to improve ourselves and our society when we model our concern for others and teach the moral principles we profess. We are obligated to recognize the uniqueness in every human being, protect them against oppression, be charitable, accord them justice and freedom and treat them as equals.

Our community would improve if businessmen would also adhere to these principles.

Words to Live By: “I believe, indeed, that overemphasis on the purely intellectual attitude, often directed solely to the practical and factual, in our education, has led directly to the impairment of ethical values.”– Albert Einstein

“If you don’t have integrity, you have nothing. You can’t buy it. You can have all the money in the world, but if you are not a moral and ethical person, you really have nothing” —–Henry Kravis

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