Recently I came across a discussion on the TED group on LinkedIn. It starts with a simple looking question asked by Henrietta Decruz:
Do you think living by values and having integrity is a thing of the past?
We live at a time when scams are just too numerous and ever increasing. Corruption has spread its tentacles everywhere. It has affected every area of our lives... Do you think living by values and having integrity is a thing of the past?
This thread has attracted more than 2000 comments within a time span of 6 months and is still active. It shows the universality of the issue. Reading this thread exposed me to variety of opinions about values and integrity from people all around the world. Like many Indians, my thought process was recently agitated by Anna Hazare about similar issues. I would like to share what I posted there.
I think that "living by the values of the past" should be avoided. Values change. Some might change in 10 years. Some might change in a 1000. The important thing is not to have blind faith in whatever our forefathers told us or wrote. Our scriptures are one of the sources of our "values" but they have been interpreted differently by different scholars at different times and places. Rethinking and re-evaluating our values is very important. A value does not become irrelevant just because it is old, but it can surely be re-read, re-thought upon and re-interpreted. Our ancestors applied their minds while defining those values, and we should not refrain from doing so.
Some of the responses I got:
Redefining what we want and what we value is important if we are to grow intellectually. ... As in the case of the institution of human slavery, values can, and do change. Even entire belief systems can change (though with difficulty) thus bringing about paradigm shifts in what some of us think about "bedrock values."And another Interesting comment.
Even bad values are values, corruption is just a sign that the value we teach each other the most is that money is the most important thing.
Makes me think.
What do you think?