Here I am, getting the first Ethics Alarms post up after 2:00 am, and feeling guilty. There are about ten important ethics issues and stories to be covered, and I feel I am obligated to get them covered.
But it’s going to be more difficult than usual. We just learned that two members of our household have tested positive for the Wuhan virus. I am sick with some other damn thing, basic flu symptoms plus traveling, intermittent pain in the muscles of my back and legs (no fever, no dry cough, really no Wuhan symptoms at all other than being tired). I also have a sudden backlog of paying consultant work, which takes me twice as long as it should when I’m drugged and run-down, and I am really drugged and run down.
My father and the various cultural and historical models that formed my own values, caused me to place soldiering through these kinds of obstacles high among my life’s priorities. My dad went though his post-military life walking, hiking, playing with his children and other activities with a roughly reconstructed foot—the result of a W.W. II hand grenade’s carnage—that looked like some kind of demonic potato. He never complained or used it as an excuse to beg out of what he considered his duties; I remember saying to my mother, “It’s amazing that Dad does everything he does with a foot that looks like that. I would think it would hurt him.” She said, “Are you kidding? His foot hurts him terribly all the time.” My father’s attitude was that tough times, seemingly overwhelming challenges and misfortunes were inevitable and were such intrinsic aspects of life that to overreact to them or allow yourself to be paralyzed in their wake was foolish. One of his favorite quotes was
“One day as I sat musing, sad and lonely without a friend, a voice came to me from out of the gloom saying, ‘Cheer up. Things could be worse.’ So I cheered up and sure enough—things got worse.”
He didn’t expect any cosmic reward for not giving in to adversary; quite the contrary. He just believed that if you let bad luck and tragedies defeat you, you were doomed, because they were coming, and would keep coming.
My heroes exhibited the same determination: Teddy Roosevelt delivering a speech after being shot in the chest; Winston Churchill holding to his personal motto of “Keep buggering on,” General Eisenhower ordering the D-Day invasion under the worst conditions imaginable; Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling taking the mound in a critical play-off game with a displaced tendon roughly sewn to the back of his foot. My parallel life in theater absorbed “the show must go on” ethos as a life mission, though admittedly I took it to extremes sometimes, as when I insisted that an outdoor performance go on during a lightning storm, or when I refused to end a rehearsal after the building we were rehearsing in caught fire.
All of this is to say that I apologize for the limitations on my activity here, and hope readers understand that nobody feels worse about this than I do.
And I assure you that if a lightning storm won’t stop me, whatever’s happening now won’t either, at least not for long.
41 thoughts on “Bad Day Ethics”
OF NOTE: 3 of the 4 comments posted after 09:50 p.m. last night were from WESconsin residents.
Passionate interest in ethical concerns and concern for fellow humans; heck, what’s not to like?
We Like It HERE!
I assume you already included me in that count? I must have mentioned it before, but I forget when. When this pandemic is over, I’m tempted to suggest we all meet up somewhere to hang out.
That reminds me, I’d noticed I haven’t seen any comments from Zoltar Speaks! since I returned from hiatus. Do we know how he’s doing?
Extradimensional Cephalopod wrote, “I haven’t seen any comments from Zoltar Speaks!”
He’s using his real name now, see if you can figure it out on your own. 😉
Ah, that’s good to hear!
”I assume you already included me in that count?”
Sure did; you’re north of the 77 Square Miles Surrounded By A Sea Of Reality, yes?
“When this pandemic is over, I’m tempted to suggest we all meet up somewhere to hang out.”
That’d be nice; to my knowledge, Steve’s the only one down this way, La Sylphide is up along the St. Croix. Shoot, in the interests of bringing that about, I’d even agree to leave my Amway literature at home…
Zoltar Speaks!? One thing I know for sure, wherever he is, he hasn’t lost that fine edge!
I’ll bring the Spotted Cow. And a nice hot dish.
My youngest goes to school at Lawrence. I should check out this B&B the next time I’m in Appleton.
That there Lawrence is a pricey place, am I right?
Speaking of hot dishes, if you like parsnips (I LUV ’em!), consider trying a Schlecht household fave: Parsnip Potato Gratin
Yes, $57k per year. However, he’s an extremely bright kid whose grades brought him scholarships and merit money; so much so that it was less expensive to send him there than it would have been to send him to a state school. And that’s saying something considering U of M gave him a full ride his freshman year.
Thanks for the recipe! I’m all over anything with Gruyere in it.
Speaking of expensive, my Dear Nephew just finished up his MIT MBA; $32 large…per semester.
Mercifully, Boston’s quite affordable…
Errata: Make that $37.5 large per semester.
Depending on the timing, I’d love to participate. I just recently finished up my professional development courses but I’ve still got precious little spare time right now and it looks like that will continue until sometime in late July or possibly into early August. I can confidentially share my email address via my blog contact form.
Steve; if you have the interest and/or desire, you may make my email address available there as well.
Soldiering on is well and good. It can also have consequences. I worked with a Latino guy who always came to work when sick or hurting, even when he had oodles of accumulated sick time. We all got sick from him and it was often more complicated to have him there in partial capacity rather than have someone else fill-in for him. Get some rest so you can become more robust when ready.
Hoping you and your family recover soon.
On that topic, I found out a while back that the practice of attending work while ill is called “presenteeism”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presenteeism