CoruptionJust turn on the news and you will hear of cases involving corruption. It is done every where and often is considered acceptable. What is corruption? We consider it a dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery. But why do we consider something dishonest? What is honesty? It is about being fair and truthful. However what is often fair in the eyes of one person may not be fair and honest to another.

If we consider one of the oldest stories from the Bible of the twins, Jacob and Esua, we can learn that what is seen as fair can also be seen in another way. Before we look back in time, let’s consider this. Often times companies will shower with “gifts” certain people who are both influential and have the ability to make decisions. Is there anything inherently wrong with that? What about when these gifts are in the form of cash or special benefits such as preferential treatment at hotels, events or even escort services? What is the difference between giving someone a gift bag full of products or a free meal? Is this corrupt behavior? Are we not allowed to try and influence someone to favor us over someone else?

Now let’s jump back in time: Jacob did treat his brother Esau to a fancy restaurant but he was using the power of persuasion to get something he wanted. Did he bribe his brother with the meal? And Jacob said: ‘Sell me first the birthright.’Only then would he be willing to hand over the stew. And what about later? Were the actions of Jacob and his mother not wrong by preparing a meal, dressing Jacob up and essentially deceiving his father? Jacob was trying to be fair and just as he said to his mother: “My father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a mocker; and I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing.” Yet, he follows the instructions of his mom and goes before his father not in all fairness.

Each day we are face with ethical choices. We try to figure out right from wrong. But how do you do it when people have different standards. What one person may call gifting, another will consider it bribing. The United Nations fights to stop corruption around the world. In 2000 they passed the Convention against Corruption. Corruption can be prosecuted after the fact, but first and foremost, it requires prevention. Prevention is best done when we are able to instill values in people. And Jacob said unto his father: ‘I am Esau thy first-born; I have done according as thou badest me. Arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me.’

In his song Honesty Billy Joel wrote “But if you look for truthfulness you might just as well be blind. and he goes to say Everyone is so untrue Honesty is hardly ever heard. How honest are you with yourself?Beauty and the Beast 2017 film download