Being a world changer is incredibly exciting and a lot of work. Much of the work is internal as world changers are constantly looking inside themselves to find and build upon their strengths and to search out and overcome their weaknesses.
When people become strong, they gain power. Abraham Lincoln said, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Power can be used to change the world in a positive way. It can also be used by the powerful to take advantage of others.
Many people who have great influence in the lives of others (consider teachers, doctors, and lawyers) have a stated code of conduct that lists ways the person with authority should act and those things that should be avoided.
Anytime a person is required to put his/her trust and dependency in a professional, that professional’s code of ethics dictates correct actions in such areas as honesty, advice, and even sexual relations. It is the individual’s responsibility to adhere to this code of ethics.
Sometimes we find as Lord John Dalberg-Acton stated, “All power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
It is easy to look at someone else and judge his/her behavior, but what if your own life was open for everyone to see?
You too hold power over others, whether it is students, patients, clients, or dependents. Your personal code of ethics and your commitment to it must be strong enough to get you through situations that tempt you through money, privilege, beauty, and other desirable activities or things.
Why create a code of ethics that limits your “enjoyment” of life? If the things you do make it hard for you to look into your own eyes in the mirror or spend time in silence with yourself, you are in your own personal prison.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said, “Tell me who admires and loves you, and I will tell you who you are.”
If you would not introduce your companions to your beloved grandmother, they are not worthy of you.
Become who you want to be. Look in your own eyes and see the truth. Spend time in silence and listen to your own voice. The world needs people who will live their lives based on a world changing code of ethics.
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments and questions.
Beth Wheaton, Ph.D. is the founder of Equip the Saints, a nonprofit consulting organization, and an Economics Lecturer at Southern Methodist University.