Hey, Sometimes it’s Just a Matter of Ethics….

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Henrietta Lacks

About two months ago, a friend of mine loaned me a very interesting book entitled The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.  It is the story of a young African-American woman whose cells were basically stolen from her shortly before her death in 1951 and used for research purposes that has generated billions of dollars for companies and individuals, but nothing for her surviving family.  It is a story which I highly recommend as a must-read.  But while reading her story, it made me think about our world today and the simplicity of right versus wrong. 

When I think of government, like many Americans, I get downright angry.  I know I am not the only one who feels this way because recent Gallup Polls confirm that I am not.  During the government shut down, while I must admit it did not affect me in particular, I began to think about those who were affected and their families.  More importantly, I thought about the burials of soldiers who were put on hold because our government could not authorize or pay for their internment due to the shutdown.  Although it was for a short period, it was sickening to watch our congressmen point fingers at each other on the various media outlets.  Truth be told, they should have just placed the blame where it belonged—simply on themselves.

Like most other people who keep up with the news, I am appalled by the stories I hear.  Death, failure, and war tend to dominate our surroundings.  While death is absolutely going to happen to all of us and because none of us are infallible, failure will happen.  However, it is disheartening when we choose to fail rather than do our best whenever we can.  Why is it that our politicians rarely seem to want to do the right thing by those of us who have elected them?  Have any of them ever heard of leading by example or that they were put in office to work for us?  Obviously, all of this has been forgotten.

Sometimes, it is simply a matter of right versus wrong.  For those of us who possess a conscious, ethics actually matter.  For others, they do not exist as is apparent when discussing our elected officials.

However, there is a fraction of hope left for our government.   During my preparation for this blog, I found a story which discusses the Lacks family and their attempt to right the wrong that was done to their beloved Henrietta.  To read about one government agency’s attempt at trying to do the right thing, please check out this story.  I was actually pleased to read some good news for a change.

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