Thursday, February 28, 2008

Morals and Ethics

Almost every day I'm faced with a moral dilemma. Or an ethical dilemma. I dunno. I once had to learn the difference between morals and ethics for some high school or college class, but I've pretty much used the two interchangeably after correctly defining them on the test.

Every day after my kids leave, I look at what's left over on the floor. Before getting knocked up, I would pick up the pencils (as they are a valuable commodity in a classroom), even if that meant crawling halfway under a desk to get it. (Now, not so much.)

The dilemma comes when I find something on the floor that I know a student NEEDS, like an assignment that's due tomorrow or a signed field trip form they forgot to turn in. My options are, of course:

A.) to pick whatever it is up and put it on their desk
B.) to leave it on the floor to be swept up with the other refuse.

Option A is easier for everyone involved. Their assignment will be handed in on time the next day (and I don't have to deal with grading late homework when they finally redo said assignment or inform their parents that there is a missing assigment to begin with) or I don't have to dig out another field trip form. I can just pick the damn thing up, put it on their desk, and be done with it.

Option B actually teaches them a lesson. You will have a missing assignment because you were too lazy to put your assignment where it belongs. You will not have a field trip form if you don't manage to hand it in when I ask for it every effing morning.

So occassionally I just stare at whatever the found object is until I reach my decision about what to do about it. And every time my decision's the same.


Every time.

Perhaps I am why we have generations of lazy people who can't manage to do anything how and when it's supposed to be done, like submit their taxes on time, causing the post office to stay open late every April 15. Because I am like the post office, bending over backwards to make sure shit gets done, just because it's easier for everyone involved. Stupid me. Stupid post office.

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