Wealth Shift: The Decline of Ethics in America
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Keeping An Open Mind

While reading this book, it is important not to get immediately defensive about conduct you engage in that might just be Wealth Shift behavior. Even if you are just sure that you are not Wealth Shifting, it is important to realize that someone else in your organization, your peer group, or society in general may see your actions quite differently from the way you do. Since relationships are based primarily on perceptions, we need to know the worst of what other people think about us if we want to have a shot at de-escalating the resentments that have built up over time in those relationships.

It is important not to immediately throw up barriers to accepting the possibility that your behavior isn’t all that it could be. It is far easier to start rationalizing and justifying than it is to change. But you need to understand that ethics doesn’t split hairs. Ethics doesn’t rely on scraping by on a technicality. Ethics doesn’t just mean complying with the law. It means doing the right thing -no matter what. All I am asking is that you read this book with an open mind. If you see truth in this book about others, then I hope you will also consider that there may be truth in this book about you. The health of our nation depends on it.

The Guy in the Glass

When you get what you want in your struggle for self,
And the world makes you king for a day,
Then go to your mirror and look at yourself,
And see what that guy has to say.

For it isn’t your father or mother or wife,
Whose judgment upon you must pass,
The fellow whose verdict counts most in life,
Is the guy staring back from the glass.

He’s the man you must please, never mind all the rest,
For he’s with you clear up to the end,
And you’ve passed your most difficult dangerous test,
When the man in the glass is your friend.

You may be like little Jack Horner and chisel a plum,
And think you’re a wonderful guy,
But the man in the glass says you’re only a bum,
If you can’t look him straight in the eye.

You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years,
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But your final reward will be heartaches and tears,
If you’ve cheated the Guy in the Glass.

Dale Wimbrow (1934)
As printed in the Coe College Cosmos (1954)

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