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Responsible Employment

Make a living without harming others or yourself and complete the work you are paid for

Getting a job or generating an income through other creative ways is as essential as breathing.    We all have to enter the job market, become entrepreneurs, invest wisely, or make money in other creative ways, so one can provide for food, shelter, and other necessities.

Whatever one decides to engage in to make money, they become responsible for the actions they take as part of that occupation.  Most people when they look for a job, or think of a career path, they want to do well – want to get promotions, pay-raises, and live happily ever after. However, a small percentage of job-seekers habitually mix work with “pleasure.” 

Some activities on the job might seem harmless to the employee, like watching movies or browsing social media for hours during work time, or take a quick nap while supposed to be on guard-duty. However, if you think of it from the standpoint of your employer – or even just from an ethical standpoint – would you want someone you pay for a job to spend a significant amount of their time with something other than what you paid them for…?

The above are a softer “slip-ups” that can get you a warning, or perhaps even fired if repeated; however, when we engage in egregious activities other than what our job description entails – something that is completely unreasonable and we would not do in front of our boss – that’s considered stealing. You are stealing your employer’s money. 

It’s crucial to stay away at any cost from activities that can get you in worse situations, such as in handcuffs or even years of jail…

Getting in legally sticky situations, unfortunately, happens 1000s of times every year, and the employee is not always the initiator of the act. In eyes of the law, though, that does not make a difference.

For instance, one cannot commit a crime and when asked why they did it, say “my boss instructed me to do so.” Your superior can tell you to do something that you know is illegal, but you also know it’ll result in some good amount of money in your pocket; you still have the final decision over whether you follow through with the request or not. You may not like your options – especially if it’s between complying or getting fired – but we always have a choice.

Dealing drugs, for instance, is an ongoing plague in many workplaces, causing harm to millions, as well as lost productivity and other damages. For example, from 1999 to 2017, more than 700,000 people died from a drug overdose in the US (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC, 2019). That is a lot of lives lost as a result of illegal substance use. On top of that, countless more deaths occur in the drug trade for various other reasons, considered hazards of the drug-dealing “occupation.” This kind of income-generation should be avoided at all cost if one wants to lead a just life… or even just wants to stay alive.

Criminal activity requires being really good at deceiving others. This incongruence with reality leads to causing unnecessary pain for victims and others in the perpetrator’s life.  Profiting off other people’s vulnerabilities causes trauma to them and their families, all for the pursuit of money and a moment of thrill. This line of income-generation is greedy and selfish. Individuals attempting to conduct their lives honorably do not prey on their fellow citizens like a lion hunting gazelles. The goal within any relationship between business owners/employee and their customers should come down to service, not exploitation.

The above are some extreme examples of earning an income through unlawful activity. There is a spectrum of how much one is “comfortable” with crossing the proverbial line. Perhaps take home a few paperclips once in a while, or some printing paper… while others might feel comfortable getting creative with the books and embezzle some funds.

Maintaining employment within an honorable line of work covers an essential aspect of responsible jobs, but it does not stop at that point. Another critical criterion revolves around treating people with respect. One should seek to behave with proper conduct towards the individuals they serve. If one thinks about it long enough, most of us have experienced terrible customer service. The feelings one experiences in those moments probably are similar among most human beings. Having compassion for the offending individual does not change how one feels in those moments. It impacts how often or if one will return to the same establishment again. 

Everyone can have a bad moment; however, someone paying for service did not come into an establishment looking to deal with your issues.  It is our responsibility to check our problems at the door; if not, maybe one takes time or the day off to address the concern. 

Using disrespect to customers as a form of therapy or treatment for one’s problems does cross the line into irresponsible behavior.

Taking ownership of the occupation we work in and our behavior while doing the job mitigates the pain for all parties involved. There is so much in life that we can control; exercising discipline in these areas secures what we can do to stabilize our lives and the communities where we live. If nothing else, it is clear that we did everything within our power and did our part to engineer civility.

Life will throw at us challenges no matter what. For those of us, though, who want to live a centered, happy, and drama-free life, it is important to stay on the “straight and narrow” to avoid any type of situations where we can end up facing the law, or worse, putting our or other people’s lives in danger.

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