Saturday 12 May 2012

How Much is Your Price?

RM 100? RM 200? RM 500? RM 15,000? Not for sale? Well, I just cooked these numbers. Unfortunately, the common believe now is that everybody has a price. It is the price for doing something against what he or she believes in, if the person has any principle in the first place. In the absence of any values, anything goes I suppose.

If we are honest and sincere enough in observing people's behaviour, we could see these sort of trading happening everyday in many forms. Trying to encourage our children to do something? Offer him or her cakes or chocolates. As they grow older, the value of the incentive get larger. I'm not saying that we should not reward our kids for behaving in the way we want but there could be a line somewhere where this sort of practice may not be sending the right signal to them.

As they grow older and have more key decisions to make in their lives, they may need more incentives to behave "appropriately". Sometimes I just wonder what is the different between this practice from offering our cats and dogs food for doing things that we want them to do?

People have many needs and wants in their lives. In the words of Gordon Gekko, a character in the movie the Wall Street "Greed is good". In fact, it is greed that get the Wall Streets of the world going. The lessons from the recent global economic crisis is pretty obvious about how people will go all the way to make money even by selling bad debts with fancy names. In the movie, greed resulted in Gekko to be sent to prison. In the real world, this may not necessarily be the case all the time. In contrast, those committing evil could be cheered by the society and their hands got kissed instead.

Some people could be poor enough that they are willing to sell anything including their mothers, just to live. While there are people who will do this without blinking, there are others who will try to camouflage this by calling these sort of behavior with more respectful names. We see this being done around the world. Instead of admitting that they are corrupt, abuser of power and outright crooks, they create images of being benevolent after illegally obtaining the wealth at an insulting proportion. Some may even feel they are Robin Hoods!

While we could not prevent other from selling their souls to the devil, we could control ourselves. We have to be honest enough to accept that there are rights and wrongs. There is a line somewhere where right become wrong. It does not matter how we sweat talk ourselves, getting kickback for the favour we give is corruption. Further, corruption is evil irrespective of the reasons behind the despicable conduct. We cannot use a good cause to justify corruption and abuse of power. Don't sell ourselves to the devil, at whatever price.

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