This is an archived blog from when I ran Conscious Public Relations Inc. from 2008-2018. Excuse the potential outdated-ness!
On a breach of ethics that no one else knows
Class last night was on values and ethics, a topic I’m keenly interested in especially in relation to media, marketing, and business. We were asked to share a time in which we traded one of our strongest values for something else.
It has been a long time since I have felt a serious breach of my own ethics, but I thought back to something I did which no one else knows, except for my brother. He probably doesn’t even remember it because a few years after the incident he didn’t seem to remember what I was referring to.
In my first year of university (about 2001) we had parked at our local KFC to get food. As I was backing out of the small parking lot, I bumped into another car. When I went to assess the damage, I saw that I had broken someone’s tail light and dented the bumper of my parents’ car. Instead of going into the restaurant to check to see whose car it was and do the usual reporting to ICBC, I took off.
My brother was with me, so he had clearly seen what I had done. When I came home, I proceeded to tell my dad that I had backed into a planter. The funny thing is that the bumper ended up inflating again after a year or so, so you could barely tell that an accident had even happened. But I never fessed up, apologized, nor made things right for the other car owner. And I made an example to my brother that it is okay to do things like this and ignore the consequences. Also, I always remembered it because I had traded honesty (a value) for escaping fear of consequence, of both the car owner and my father.
I’d like to take this opportunity to say I’m sorry to that driver, for any pain that I might have caused. I know what it is like to drive a damaged car, but have never had to pay for it. I hope that they’re at peace now.
Are there things that you have done that have breached your ethics that only you know about?