by David Truman

Get this! Ethics is the key to the whole enchilada for the humanity. All planetary progress, and even human existence, depends on ethics, 100%. Here's why: although people may be willing to be selfish, and in their selfishness, unethical, all human beings hate immorality. More than anything.

And you know exactly what happens when human beings are immoral with each other: relationships break down. Resentment results.

And in the people who have any sensibility -- which is just about everybody -- guilt results. Then, when guilt and shame arise, blame follows. People resort to blame, even wrongful blame, to reduce their personal shame. But this, too, is wrong.

Wrongful blame destroys affinity fast. And if their associates don't throw them out, people who are guilty will remove themselves from relationship. They are running from the scene of their own crimes.

Love is the source of ethics

So, if people want love relationships to work, or relationships of any kind on any level to work, then the answer is ethics. And guess what -- the only source of true ethics is love. Love is the only element that sufficiently transcends self-interest to allow for a truly ethical orientation, a truly giving orientation, a truly self-sacrificing orientation.

Love is pure ethics, and immorality is pure selfishness.

So now we understand: Ethics counts, and love is its cause. That is the magic formula, the key to success for humanity -- and there is no other. In other words, when it comes to love, and the high ethics that love allows for, there's no replacement in the basement. That's the truth.

Look at this matter of ethics -- feel it. Remember how you respond to ethical failures. Everyone responds the same way.

That's because selfishness itself -- a self-centered life, a life that is less than loving -- always offends the heart. Someone cheats or steals? Aversion! Someone lies or denies? Aversion! Someone is selfish? That's right -- aversion! Aversion arises whenever a human being puts their own small self-interests before others.

Ethical failures mean relationship failures

Can't you just feel how ethical failures are the number one cause of failed relationships, failed loves. Whether it be marriage, friendship, business? You name it. "I'd like to help you move, but I don't want to miss my favorite TV show." It happens even in the marital bed, when one person puts their own pleasure ahead of their lover's pleasure. It happens when someone deceives, doesn't keep agreements or promises, withholds love, energy, attention.

Whether it be in international relations, or in corporate politics, self-interest leads people to do things that may be considered "normal," but which every heart finds reprehensible nonetheless.

Whenever someone ignores what would be right for their friends, companions, lovers, it will dishearten all who hear of it. And it will cause their associates to lose faith in them, and lose affinity for them. That's what causes the breakdown of friendships, families, business partnerships. It causes the breakdown of cooperation on every level you can name. And again, this is because unethical behaviors and values are deeply hated by all humankind.

Selfishness, immorality -- living out of self-interest, living out of self-protectiveness, stinginess, in a spirit of self-service -- it is all hated, universally. And of course, the only apparent exception to the rule that most people are willing to make is -- you guessed it -- themselves. In other words, I can be selfish, but you can't. Like that.

But let's think about that. What if every individual is willing to make such an exception for themselves? We may as well consider that possibility, because it's pretty close to the truth. So: If every individual is willing to be immoral even though they will deplore immorality in others, then everyone has a great reason not to get along with anyone. Now think: if everyone does not get along with everyone, the world is in fact as good as finished.

At every level of society in which selfishness is perpetrated, at every place where self-interest, self-protection, and greed raise their ugly heads, relationships are destroyed. Gone are good will, cooperation, trust -- and there goes the ball game. And here come the gross inefficiencies of the every-man-for-himself lifestyle: every man must have his own home, his own transportation, his own television, his own everything.

And without ethics, every country tries to get the best of every other country; every corporation tries to get the better of every other corporation; every mate has to get the best of their partner. And watch where the money goes: infinite money wasted on competition, squabbling, lawsuits, broken business associations; on divorce settlements and the heartbreak and displacement they cost.

All because unethical conditions are depressing, demoralizing, and heartbreaking for all observers, and guilt-producing and problematical for the perpetrators.

Ethical victories are victories of love

Friends, for all ethical shortfalls, the only real answer is love.

"We would do for love what we would not do," says the song. True! In the spirit of love, all the great things are done. And it is out of love that a beautiful lifestyle, love style, relationship style, all good can be created. Everything that anyone could accept as beautiful, or even acceptable, comes from love.

For the salvation of humanity, and for the protection of our planet, our home, our habitat, we must look to moral and ethical improvement -- improvement that can only be created by love.

We all know, beyond a doubt, that narrow self-interest is bringing down the house. It will bring down the house as long as self-interest is the dominant motivator in individuals. Everything flows from motivation outward -- every form, every structure, and every association of humanity: individual, couple, family, friends, businesses, corporations, states, nations -- all of it. If the DNA is wrong, the offspring at every level are wrong.

There must be a right blueprint. There must be a right formula. And the only rightness that could possibly make the formula true is love. Love is it. No other idea or motive can ever work.

Even the word ethics is inadequate, because love alone defines ethics truly. You can't make a viable rulebook of ethics, as some religions have tried to do. Only love can guarantee true ethics, context-sensitive ethics, humane and appropriate ethics -- dynamic, living ethics. Nothing else can.

So friends, love, as if all lives depended on it, because they do. And if you have any question about what love means, ask God. God knows, because God is love. Ask, listen, and God will tell you.

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