Ethics in “7 Habits”

May 27, 2008

Throughout the entirety of the book, several quotes and excerpts stuck out to me, striking me on a personal level, forcing me to think and reflect for awhile. For the next couple of posts I plan on putting these reflections into words, and posting them a long with quotes, so that I can share the important ideas I was taught.

Just as junk food and lack of exercise can ruin an athlete’s condition, those things that are obscene, crude, or pornographic can breed an inner darkness that numbs our higher sensibilities and substitutes the social conscience of “Will I be found out?” for the natural or divine conscience of “What is right and wrong?”

This section in particular was important to me, and forced me to reexamine values that I have in life. In different parts of my daily life, there are things that I do because I fear the consequences if I am found out, where as other actions I take because I know, deep down, that is it the right thing to do. Stephen Covey urges us to become self-aware, of our surroundings and actions, and be conscious of why we do the things we do . Additionally he states that we should choose a set of principles to base our life off of, so that when situations present themselves, and we are able to choose our actions based not on consequences, but rather what is the right thing to do, reverting back to our standard set of life principles. Looking back on the philosophy class I took last Autumn, this essentially is contrasting virtue ethics and consequentialism.