Ways to Aid Sleep: Values & Respect
This Sharepost stems from several conversations and comments. Maybe it's come about because of those huge bonuses and big pay awards we see splashed across our TV screens. How, we ask, in times of job losses, the economic downturn and pay squeezes, can some people justify giving themselves a multi-million dollar bonus? These conversations are bad for your health - I suspect - if some of the red faces and anger I've seen is anything to go by. It's quite possible to become enraged by the lack of basic morality we see on display and that's just at the macro level.
Closer to home, we've all got stories about our stress levels jumping off the scale when we discover we've been ripped off. Even worse, for me at least, are those moments when you discover a frail and vulnerable member of the family has been duped into buying something they didn't need or want, but were too polite, scared or confused to say no.
It's happened in my family. Picture a widower living alone. His weekly routine is to drive to the shop, two miles away, and stock up for the week with the same few things. This is the sum total of his driving apart from the once yearly car service at the garage of an old friend. Imagine our shock and dismay when we discover some young hot-shot salesman has talked him into buying a brand new car when his previous car was barely dusty. The salesman is rubbing his hands. He's finally shifted that electric blue car with low-profile sports wheels and the word ‘surf' emblazoned over the back, that nobody wanted. They didn't want it because the car was over-priced, underpowered and the company that made it had collapsed a few months earlier. To say my sister-in-law freaked is an under-statement! She contacted the ‘old friend' to explain the situation, certain he would help. To our further dismay it appeared business had become more important than years of friendship. Our relative had made his choice, paid the money, and that was that.
When we talk about stress we often mention environmental triggers. Is it a sign of aging that these triggers appear more and more related to basic standards of morality? Every day we pick our way through shady offerings, email boxes full of spam, irritating cold-calls from somewhere overseas and stuff telling us we've won a fortune.
"How do they sleep at night?" It's become a bit of a mantra. I guess if your moral compass is all rusted up and stuck on ‘me', the insensitivity and selfishness that comes with this helps you sleep like a baby. I've always liked to think that ethical values pay off in the longer term, because a relationship of trust is likely to result in well-satisfied customers who will come back for more. Our values, those core beliefs that guide our actions, are constantly under assault. It makes life more stressful than it needs to be. I personally know of one or two people who have left employment because they can't reconcile the activities asked of them with their personal values. Good for them, I say. Life is stressful enough without signing up to other people's undesirable modes of behavior.
Historically, the really big companies that folded because of dodgy business practices could be counted on your hand. These days the earth must have shifted on its axis. In my view, big or small companies, have a duty to encourage moral behavior. The Co-operative business group, use ethics as a marketing tool, so we know it can be effective. Unethical practices seem much more likely when the focus is on profit within an environment of intense competition. Adequate controls begin to suffer, policies become blurred, and customer needs are met with increasing insensitivity. It's stressful dealing with companies like this and it's no doubt stressful working within them. When it all goes wrong it seems the workers are set adrift and those at the top get the lifeboats - liberally stocked with champagne and a financial cushion for additional comfort.
Now's the time to say it as you see it. Use our comments section to vent off some steam.