By: Jaime Mejía (Translated by Jessica Schwartzman)
In the latest Neighbourly Conversations Dialogue Circle, we addressed the topic of how corruption has become boundless. It has reached a point that outrages us, causes fury, and makes us feel like idiots. And worse, they speak of a path forward, but nothing happens.
So, what is the point of having laws if we can look for loopholes and work around them? There is no point, not with the prominence of impunity, “good friends”, and “influence.”
Corruption’s grasp is very large and encompasses countless areas: business, sports, art, movies, and, of course, the government.
Questions that Resonate
Amongst the participants, we asked: And what happened to respect for the wellbeing of others?
Where were people taught that the State’s money belonged to those who govern it?
What is the principle that states that I should win at the expense of something that isn’t mine?
Where were they taught that cheating is the same as “efficiency,” in a positive sense?
So many questions that remain in limbo.
The dialogue circle brought answers to many of these questions. Mainly, that everything stems from being conscious of our values. For example, when you teach your child to properly greet older people and respect them for their wisdom, you instill in them, from a young age, the instinct to speak kindly to people instead of yelling, hitting, or swearing.
The same also happens when you model how to follow the basic laws of healthy coexistence: keeping your home clean, putting trash in its place, avoiding waste, being kind to animals, and having a pleasant environment for your family and beyond.
Another principle – the famous “golden rule” in fact – is that above all we should treat others as we would like to be treated ourselves. And let’s not forget that we should never take something that isn’t ours. (This one goes back to the Ten Commandments and many other belief systems!)
Simple and basic rules that have been lost over time, in school, at university, in life
The most important thing is to know that not all is lost. Each and every one of us are social beings and it is up to us to guide society toward a different course. Let’s not allow ourselves to be carried away by the “claws of corruption.” We need to commit to charge and to pay what is fair instead of resorting to “bribes”. If I break it, I pay for it. If I offend, I apologize. If I take something that isn’t mine, I return it. My path should always be the right one because taking advantage of loopholes ultimately leads to problems.
In conclusion, in this week’s Dialogue Circle we learned from the life experiences of the participants that bringing these simple principles into our lives will transform our homes, our community and our society overall: