Ethics is the key in troubled times

Because ethics involves us all. Marketing is today’s buzzword. It is the driving force in this century. One could sell real estate to a teenager, hairspray to the bald, paradise to an octogenerian, stem cells to a newborn, botox to a ten year old, youth to the foolish, energy drinks to the aneroxic, arms to mercenaries, sell principles for gain, sell the morning fog to unsuspecting tourists, sell sand as the spaspecial. And there is always someone willing to buy it, doesn’t matter whether they needs it or not. To drive home the point, let me cite an example.

I was walking in the colony when I read this sign outside a newly constructed multi-storey building, “Pest Control-for Life!” This bespectacled man was telling another colony resident that their company offered a pre-Diwali contract for pest control treatment. To cut the long story short, three of us signed up. We got a treatment done and after a week I noticed these creepy crawlers daring to come out in the dark of night. I phoned that man but could not get through for a few days and even the office phones were ‘out of service’. Irritat

ed, I tried to contact the other colony residents who had taken the contract. To my horror, I learnt they faced the same problem I did and all the twenty other contracts he had signed up were left high and dry.

The office was shut and we could write to the head office in Bhubneshwar! I was so angry I could have couriered him the dead cockroaches in my kitchen.

Jokes aside, it is important the intent of whatever we sell must be correct and decent. The acid test of the integrity of the common man is when he chooses to do the right thing for himself and for the society he lives in. The outer world is only a reflection of your inner world. When greed and anger takeover honesty and integrity, anarchy will follow. I think there is a pressing need to view the world through clean lenses. Because ethics involves us all.

(The writer is a theatre director and novelist)

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