As promised, here is the second installment to my mini-series, Ethics With Em! You can read the previous post on feminism here!
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As human beings, we are constantly faced with decisions. Chicken or beef? A burger or a salad? Run the water while brushing your teeth or conserve it? Have a positive or negative attitude? Feed your dog or just wait until the next day? Help the old lady cross the street or look the other way? Use several water bottles a day or use a refillable one?
When making decisions, it is important to be mindful of our ethical duty. It is convenient to buy a case of water bottles at the store, but it is better for the Earth to use a refillable one. Every decision we make has the potential to have an effect on somebody or something else. People often give the advice to only worry about myself. I have a hard time accepting that advice. Being in a big family has taught me from a young age that what I do and how I behave affects the people and beings that surround me. If I drive recklessly and crash my car, my parents’ insurance goes up and then they have less money each month for food, bills, tuition, or other costs of the household. If I use bad language, my younger siblings will learn bad words. If I turn my lights off, my siblings will see the “green” example that I have set. I constantly have three impressionable sets of eyes watching my actions. It is part of my duty to make good decisions in order to teach them to make good decisions, as well.
We have an ethical duty to make decisions that do not harm the Earth. As a Catholic, I believe that God was the artist behind all of the beautiful creation. I believe that God put humans here as stewards of the Earth. Because of us, the world is going to run out of resources. It is our job to conserve water. It is our job to limit our use of energy from unclean sources. It is our job to recycle.
It is our duty to not only live “green” lifestyles, but to teach others who are unaware of ecological issues of their responsibilities and ethical duties. One has no ethical duty or responsibility if he or she is not aware. Being aware comes with the responsibility to teach our friends and family the importance of caring for the environment that we live in. I believe part of being a responsible steward is making more people into responsible stewards.