Most of us know the Golden Rule. We learned it as young children.
“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.” ~ Matthew 7:12 (NLT)
That statement is credited to Jesus Christ in the Bible, but the Ethic of Reciprocity, as the philosophy behind it is known, has a long history that predates Christ, and has been found in almost every ancient culture, including Babylon and China.
Do unto others what you would have others do unto you.
When exactly did it become defensible to not only ignore the Golden Rule, but to revel in doing so, to be elevated and celebrated for doing so?
When did the Golden Rule morph into, ‘He who rules gets all the gold, even if he has to crush others to get it’?
When company CEOs fire hundreds, sometimes thousands of employees, and then accept millions of dollars in bonuses, what do we call that?
When Farid Suleman pays himself tens of millions of dollars to drive Citadel into bankruptcy and is rewarded with a new multi-year contract, a big, fat, golden parachute and tens of millions of dollars in stock options, how do we view that?
When hedge funds and investment banks slice up risky mortgages, re-package them as investments, sell them to less sophisticated buyers, then make billions of dollars by deliberately betting against these very investments — then watch as the economy, and the lives of millions of people collapse around them, what do we think of their ‘work’?
Don’t we call it success?
Don’t we view him as smart, shrewd?
Don’t we wish we had invested our savings with them and made a killing too?
Don’t we put these people on the covers of our magazines and envy their million dollar homes and extravagant, private jet lifestyle?
Don’t we turn our heads so we can claim we didn’t see?
By our very silence, are we not complicit?
My God, what is wrong with us?
What has become of our concept of shame?
“We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people.”
~ Dr. Martin Luther King
*If you haven’t already read Mickey Luckoff’s interview with Ben Fong-Torres in the San Francisco Chronicle, you can find it HERE. On behalf of thousands of lower level radio professionals, I want to thank Mickey for his candor. Unfortunately, we’ve not only lost one of our most skilled and experienced executives, we’ve lost one of the best human beings in our business. Mickey cannot be replaced.