Imagine this: You are at a McDonald’s drive through. You have ordered only one cheese burger, but when you drive up to the collection window, the young trainee hands you a big bag filled with food and a handful of change. There are two options, do you, A; tell the young trainee that you only ordered a cheese burger, (which cost you only $1.90) and give back to him the big bag of food and handful of change? Or do you, B; say thank you to the young trainee and drive off happily with the huge bag of food and all the change, feeling lucky that the trainee made a mistake with your order.
Of course, the first action suggested above, (A) is the honest and truthful way to resolve the problem. However, unfortunately, most of Austrtalia’s youth population would choose the latter option, and therefore taking advantage of the young trainee’s mistake by gaining extra food and a whole handful of spare change.
Below is the definition of ‘honesty’ from the Macquarie Encyclopaedic Dictionary:
1. Honourable in principles, intentions and actions; upright, as in an honest person
2. Showing uprightness and fairness, as in an honest method
3. Acquired fairly, as in honest money
4. Open; sincere, as in an honest face
5. Genuine or unadulterated, as in honest commodities
6. Truthful; creditable; candid”
Therefore, one can, by reading the definition above, assume the definition of ‘honest’ to be fair, truthful, trustworthy, earned fairly.
Another example would be: You are at a supermarket check out counter and you are paying for ice-cream, bread, fish, ham, and bacon which comes to a total of $43. It is your turn to pay and you hand the girl at the counter a $50 note. However, she is colour blind and carelessly mistakes your $50 note for a $100 note. She then hands you a big wad of bank notes as change. There is already a huge line forming behind you because it is 4:40pm (supermarket closes at 5:00pm). Once again, there are two options. You can (A) Just accept the fact that it was her mistake to not notice it was a $50 and not a $100 note. Therefore, you just take the change and leave the supermarket before the checkout girl realises her mistake. Or you can choose (B): Tell the colour-blind checkout girl that you actually handed her a $50 note rather than a $100 note and tell her to give you back the correct amount of change. But...
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...nd the world around them what is acceptable and what is not. The problem with this is that what the parents, or other types of media like films, communicate to their children that many things are acceptable whereas it is actually morally unacceptable. The article, “The Crackdown on Kids,” by Annette Fuentes in the New York Times, 17th May 1997 states that, “Kids are a national treasure and natural resource, the bearers of our collective dreams and hopes.” Most adults and parents do not view kids this way, they just think of them as cute and when they grow up into adolescents, they are viewed as daring troublemakers. If they did view kids as ‘national treasures’ and ‘bearers of our collective dreams and hopes for the future’, they would more carefully watch over their own behaviour to make sure they do not give their kids the wrong messages. Kids learn from parents and parents learn from their parents and so on, so logically one bad person in any given family at any time could produce a very long family history of morally unacceptable human beings. Our job nowadays is to stop this vicious cycle by thinking before we act to make sure that we d not give our kids the wrong messages.
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