You are currently walking a highwire or tightrope called Life, while holding a balance bar with ‘Work’ (long hours, deadline pressures, chargeable hours under budget etc) attached to one end and ‘Your Life’(time with the family, that fishing trip you have planned, romantic engagements, etc) attached to the other end. And you are you holding on either side of a centre line mark called ‘Harmony’.
Or possibly there is ‘Shareholders’ (must maintain earnings ratio) on one end of the balance bar, and ‘Corporate Authorities’ (must adhere to standards of disclosure and corporate governance) at the other end – with you holding ‘My Job’ in the middle.
If the balance gets too far out of ‘wack’ you have to shuffle your grip on the bar more to one end or the other to regain your balance. Say your work is becoming ‘heavier’ (ie taking up more of your time), you will have to bring ‘work’ closer to the centre line which means that ‘your life’ is pushed further out and ‘harmony’ is getting further from your grasp.
The same or similar may happen if ‘Shareholders’ becomes heavier. Your job (as CEO) and adhering to the required standards of disclosure and governance required by the ‘Corporate Authorities’, will have to be pushed away to the other side, to balance things out. Not a good idea as serious consequences for both you and the company will eventuate!
This sort of imbalance generally occurs very gradually, over a period of time and it will take some effort to stop, step back and have a look at ‘your life’ to see whether any of this applies to you. It may be that this has become so much part if your life that it seems normal, you have become used to it – to this imbalance. Once you are aware of it, steps can then be taken to correct things, to restore some harmony and balance.
It sometimes happens of course, that the imbalance is so sudden that a slip or fall is inevitable – for a variety of reasons. This is not always a bad thing – it has its advantages. It may wake you up and show you that you have ‘been asleep at the wheel’ and that steps will have to be taken to restore the balance. A lot depends, of course, on how far you fall and onto what surface, or safety net, if you have one.
This is where relationships and ethics come to the fore. If you have a supportive family or good friends, or a network of helpful people, you will be able to get back on your feet fairly quickly after a fall. They are your safety net. You can get help and advice; certainly you will be given emotional support, which is very important.
Without a safety net of your own you must rely on the State to provide one. They have one – it is called the Courts (and possibly the one called Prison)! That certainly stops any further action, on your part, for the duration. On the other hand you can hide the pain, for a time at least, with substance abuse (alcohol or drugs) – which will need a safety net called a ‘detox’ clinic. But it is best not to go down either of those routes.
I know that no one ever deliberately tries to fall, but we are only human and poor judgements and mistakes are made. What minimises the height of the fall and the impact on landing is to be ethical. On reading this you might roll your eyes and say, “Easier said than done!” I agree, but what is the alternative? I know that people have been ‘framed’ and unjustly incarcerated. But note the word ‘unjustly’. The word ‘justice’ is vital in the understanding, and appreciating, the importance of ethics. I will go so far as too say that most of the current problems in the world today are as a result of injustice – somewhere and at some time (be it cultural, corporate, financial, pharmaceutical, or any other field of human endeavour that you can think of). The resentment lingers for generations. Just think of a few: the treatment of the North American Indian – (and how many years since slaves were freed?); the treatment of the Africans in South Africa; the treatment of the Jews during WWII; the annexation of Palestine after WWII; the declaration of Terra Nullus in Australia; the crushing of the ‘uprisings’ in Czechoslovakia and Hungary, in the 1950s and 60s, by the Russians. And then of course there are the many examples of corporate and professional mismanagement, corruption and fraud – just think Enron; Arthur Anderson; WorldCom; Mitsubishi (truck recalls) - and so on, and so on. Unfortunately the list is almost endless. All this because of a failure to understand the importance of ethics (and justice).
Nations, corporations and individuals all walk a tightrope, every day and in all situations. Has and unethical situation arisen or is an injustice being perpetrated – to anyone, anywhere, however remote, lowly and apparently insignificant? Who are you to judge; who am I to judge, if someone is so insignificant that it does not matter what happens to them? Am I more important? Are you? Everyone has their hopes and aspirations. Everyone bleeds when hurt. Everyone suffers distress – and what is important, everyone remembers the injustice, the hurt, the distress. It is burnt into their soul. They will not forget. Deny the existence of the law of cause and effect and you will, surely, live to regret it – what goes around comes around. Remember, if you deny or forget it, you might not see it coming back!!