Spreading Light

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has been shocked and dismayed at the news reports of our military’s horrific treatment of Afghans. The recent outbreak of these stories on top of an onslaught of reports regarding the poor treatment of US citizens at the hands of fellow Americans causes me to ask the question, “Is America becoming heartless?”

The Economic Collapse Blog certainly thinks so. The article, “19 Signs that America is Becoming a Heartless Place,” argues that as America has fallen on tough times with the down-trending economy and seemingly endless wars in which we are engaged, Americans have become more cynical and heartless. It then backs this claim with 19 recent American news stories.

The business world especially faces claims of being “heartless.” There are numerous frauds, Ponzi schemes, and immoral decisions led by business professionals that have led to the public perceiving business as “heartless.”

The thought that our country and the business world have become heartless makes me very concerned for the future. Obviously, my peers and I only have so much control in changing the future of our country. Yet, I do have faith in our ability to turn the tide and make the business world a more caring and considerate place.

I say this because McCombs instills the importance of ethical decision making. We value the needs of company stakeholders and community participants.

Thus far in my McCombs career, I have taken three classes that train students on applying ethical theories to a variety of situations to make ethical decisions. According to my academic advisor, I still have two more classes that will further develop my ethical decision making skills. I feel these skills will be invaluable to me and my peers when we join the workforce, because we will be trained in how to counter difficult situations with ethical solutions, and avoid some of the traps that have ensnared prior business people.

Many of my McCombs classes have also taught me that it is just as important to keep the interests of stakeholders, as well as that of shareholders, at the forefront of my mind when faced with difficult situations. There is an increased importance of the “triple bottom line” (profit, people, planet) among business students, which I feel will positively affect the future of the business world.

McCombs also demonstrates the importance of giving back to the community. As students, we are expected to help improve the greater Austin community through  personal initiative, student organization, and community focused classes. I have worked side by side with other enthusiastic McComb’s students on numerous volunteer projects to help our neighboring communities and have experienced the sense of  fulfillment from these efforts. This is a value that many McCombs students bring with them into the business world. We  now look at a company’s corporate responsibility as an important factor in our ultimate career choice.

In conclusion, our country doesn’t have to be a heartless place. We can choose to be the light of the future.

“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it” –Edith Wharton

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