The Better Business Bureau Foundation has created the LIFT certificate program to help young people learn to make ethical decisions.
By: Stefanie Lasuik — Special to Canstar
A doctor swears at his patient. Political leaders are investigated by ethical committees for questionable decisions. A banker launders money.
These storylines plague society and fill newspapers. Tales of people making unethical decisions, and each one seems to surprise readers.
People ask themselves and each other how such things can happen when each new scandal unfolds.
It’s hard to understand how people can wake up in the morning and make such unethical decisions.
It’s even more shocking when such things are done by the people we think we can trust — the person prescribing our pills, the person making decisions for our city, the person handling our savings.
Yet it’s easier to do than many think.
Psychologists say humans make decisions habitually. People accustomed to doing small unethical acts they think won’t harm anyone are more likely to commit bigger, harmful ones, especially when under duress.
This is why it’s so important for young people to make ethical decisions even
when they think the stakes are low.
The decisions they make as young people will influence the decisions they make for the rest of their lives. While parents can tell their kids to "make good choices," is it really enough?
Good decision-making requires training. People stop at red lights because they’ve gone through driver’s education. They make their beds the way they’ve been taught by their parents. They play piano because their music teachers taught them.
So where is our training on ethics?
The Better Business Bureau Foundation has created the LIFT certificate program to fulfill this need in society. The foundation hopes that by teaching youth how to make ethical decisions, even when the stakes are low and the answer is unclear, young people can make tomorrow’s society better.
"Raising the ethical standards in our community benefits everybody. More
honesty means more trust, and more trusts means everyone can sleep a little bit better," said Len Andrusiak, president and chief executive officer of the Better Business Bureau serving Manitoba and Northwest Ontario.
LIFT offers students five one-hour sessions that focus on different approaches to ethical decision-making and how to critically think through difficult situations.
School boards and youth agencies interested in LIFT can contact the BBB by calling 204-989-9011 or emailing email@example.com
For more information on LIFT, visit http://www.bbb.org/manitoba/bbb-foundation/ or contact the BBB at 204-989-9011.