How effective are attempts to change the world?
- October 22, 2018
- Posted by: kajo
ACTIVITY Consider the story of the young Australian woman, Nikki Lovell. She has worked extensively in Uganda and has established a foundation called One Village. She was only the same age as our students at ACU when she began. You can listen to her being interviewed OR explore the One Village website to gain an understanding of how the common good is served in this project. Task: As you review this resource, consider the power of one person to make a difference. 1. What motivates people to try to change the way things are? 2. How are the principles of human flourishing evident (or not evident) in this example? 3. How effective are attempts to change the world? How would we measure effectiveness in different instances? Might there be different types of effectiveness? (Think about different contributions that people might make: advocacy; financial aid; consciousness-raising; solidarity; practical assistance through the contribution of professional skills such as teaching, nursing, or building, and so on.) 4. There are many aid organisations and charities operative in the world. What sorts of activities best respect the dignity of the persons who are being assisted? What sorts of activities by such organisations and charities might undermine that dignity? If you support one of these bodies, how do you ensure that you are helping to bring about the common good and respecting human dignity? 5. ACU offers a number of volunteer opportunities for students. What difference will you make to better serve the common good? Copyright (c) Australian Catholic University 2015 6 3.4 The principles at work 3.4 ACTIVITY Many organisations and corporate bodies identify strongly with the principles we have been investigating. Look at three of the following websites to identify how they bring the principles to bear in their governance and work. What principles are specifically named by these companies? One well known example of a company that espouses these principles is The Body Shop. Look for the values they claim and the campaigns they endorse. The Cotton On clothing chain is another example of a global company – first established in Geelong, Australia – that takes good global citizenship very seriously. Look for their overseas development programs. The Westpac Foundation is a charitable trust that provides grants to not-for-profit organisations. They express a strong belief in sustainability and stewardship. KPMG Australia is part of a global network of companies providing accountancy, auditing, tax and financial services. Henry Davis York is a Law firm that does pro bono work, and engages in student mentoring programs and community partnerships such as with Open Family Australia on homelessness and young people at risk. A final example comes from Staples, an office supply company. As you can see, many different types of organisations espouse these principles. This is just a small sample. You can find more examples of organisations and corporate bodies that publically articulate a commitment to the principles promoting human flourishing. Of course, you always need to ask yourself about how well these principles are actually lived out in practice… Copyright (c) Australian Catholic University 2015 7 3.5 Core values—me and my profession As you complete your studies and move into a profession, you will come across many situations where you will need to consider your values and those of your profession before making a decision and moving forward. Most of the time your values and those of your profession might be similar, but there may also be times when these values are in conflict. At times you may be asked to compromise your own values, or put them aside for the benefit of the company or profession you work for. Consider, for example, the case presented here by New York Times Ethics Columnist, Jeffrey Seglin (read transcript). In this case, the owner of the company chose to compromise his values in order to maximise company profits and, ultimately, he was unhappy with his decision. Consider these questions in relation to the above example: Why do you think the company owner was ultimately unhappy with his decision? What role did the owner’s values play in his decision-making process? What role did the values of the profession play in the owner’s decision-making process? Do considerations of the common good come into play here? Was his decision the best course of action to bring about the common good? How might the common good have been realised in this situation? At the end of this section of the module, you will be asked to think about the role of the common good in your personal and professional life and to consider how making the common good a priority might form a particular personal or professional challenge for you. Copyright (c) Australian Catholic University 2015 8 3.5 ACTIVITY The following exercise is designed to assist you to identify your own values and compare them with the profession to which you aspire, so that you can come to understand the important role that values play in decision-making for the common good. In this activity you will bring together the values and principles of ACU, your own personal values and those of the profession you aspire to join. You will need to map your values and those of your profession. This activity will consist of several parts, and is particularly relevant to the demonstration that you have acquired graduate attributes 2 and 5. Before you start, look again at the reflection guide to see how you process parallel values leading to the synthesis/evaluation of Parts 4 and 5 below. 1. The values of ACU You have already identified the core values embodied in ACU’s Mission and Profile and lived out in the programs it sponsors. Have this material in front of you as you complete the activities below. 2. Your personal values The Oxford Dictionary defines “values” as “principles or standards of behaviour; one’s judgement of what is important in life.”1 According to the Business Dictionary, values can be defined as: …important and lasting beliefs or ideals shared by the members of a culture about what is good or bad and desirable or undesirable. Values have major influence on a person’s behavior and attitude and serve as broad guidelines in all situations. Some common business values are fairness, innovation and community involvement.2 Keeping these definitions in mind, complete this activity from MindTools to help you identify your own values. Make notes and keep them nearby for the rest of Activity 3.5. 3. The values of your profession Do a web search for the professional regulatory body for the career path you aspire to (eg. Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership; The Institute of Chartered Accountants; Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency; Nursing and Midwifery Board, etc.). Locate the vision or values statement or ethical standards information on the website that best represents the field in which you will be seeking employment. Take careful notes on the values articulated and the principles that are outlined as ethical standards required.