Causes of a Lack of Compassion

Last time I blogged about the lack of compassion of some leaders and among them engineers that seems to play a major role in the suffering of many comminutes, specifically minorities.

A lack of normal empathy is often associated with mental issues, often leading to antisocial behavior, but for me this is differentiated from what people are experiencing today. Nowadays, the most common thing that we can observe in many places is that people show compassion when their interests are threatened or when their family, friends or organization are facing problems. Otherwise, they are completely insensitive. Would we qualify such individuals as being mentally ill?

No they are not, they are just simply biased or influenced by their environment; this is so widespread, that many people at many levels are normalizing things that are completely abominable. Showing antisocial behavior seems to be ‘à la mode’, and people trying to behave differently are sometimes discouraged, and give up, becoming just simple spectators.

I think ways to think and care about others and enable people to improve and enjoy decent conditions of life can be incorporated into an engineering curriculum, but I also agree with this statement from the article The Heroic Engineer of Taft H. Broome, Jr and Jeff Peirce “the prevalence and persistence of these cancers result from a curable defect in our culture”, (The Heroic Engineer of Taft H. Broome, Jr and Jeff Peirce, 1997). I agree, because I do not believe that the root of the problem originated from only how or what students are taught, it originates as well from their own homes, circles of families and friends. To illustrate, the Selfish or “Me” generation, hate speech, and racism are not taught in schools or universities, but are still major problems that multi-cultures or multi-racial countries are facing.

Everybody has a desire to live happily, be loved, and accepted by the community where he/she is living. Aren’t these some rights that everyone deserves? How one can be willing to fully enjoy these rights while not managing to help others enjoy their life, and to completely ignore their suffering?

In my opinion, if people want to see some changes or experience peaceful environments, they need to cut the evil at its roots. We rarely see people who grow with minorities or people of a different color being insensitive to their cause. The ability to behave in a wrong way or hate are not innate, they are acquired from the environment. Why not just teach children manners that can help them live without anger in their heart while thinking about others, and not blame other for being as an obstacle to their path?

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Fighting water scarcity, more compassion, more efficiency.

We have learned a lot on ethics and ways to handle crises going through real stories that innocent people have experienced by using public drinking-water systems managed by reckless people. I want to mention the cases of the District of Columbia, water lead contamination of 2001 with all the health risk associated mainly to children, but also the Flint Michigan case.

These are issues that resulted from the reckless and unethical behaviors of some people from the regulatory agencies in charge of the management of the public water supply in these specific cases. However, there are other overwhelming moral questions that surround drinking water that really need more ethical approaches for good outcomes.

It has been proven since a long time that water is a vital element, important for public health and that our body needs to function properly. That is why it is among its priorities of the United Nations which has made access to clean and safe water is a basic human right, and this can be read through this statement: “On 28 July 2010 the United Nations General Assembly through Resolution A/RES/64/292 declared safe and clean drinking water and sanitation a human right essential to the full enjoyment of life and all other human rights” http://www.un.org/waterforlifedecade/pdf/human_right_to_water_and_sanitation_media_brief.pdf. However, since then, water scarcity and water health related issues are still overwhelming and many people on all continents are affected by these problems. Because water occurs naturally, water scarcity should be avoidable, given the amount of freshwater available that can cover the needs of seven billion people. http://www.un.org/waterforlifedecade/scarcity.shtml Unfortunately, people are experiencing water scarcity and its health related consequences because of a number of problems including wasting of water, increasing pollution, poor water management systems, etc.

What are our responsibilities as engineers who tomorrow can deal with issues related to water scarcity in some areas of the world?

Will we wait till problems surface for us to start pointing out these problems to people or finding solutions like the Washington DC, Flint and other lead in drinking water crises?

Is there anything we can do now to alert leaders and attract their attention?

I think we have tremendous responsibilities and one of my classmate has blogged about the problems that people are experiencing in some California areas. He made a good point: by talking about the situation, people in that area who are experiencing water scarcity while the farmers are getting enough water to carry out their businesses, supplying the U.S market and even selling produces and goods abroad. Entrepreneurs capable of carrying out such big businesses are often very rich people who get authorizations and whatever else they need from authorities, while hurting innocent communities. Engineers often get jobs that allow them to travel around the world attending international conferences, seminars, etc. What is more contradictory than holding a seminar on water scarcity that can last a week in a luxurious place where the participants have full access to expensive food, bottled water, and pools; shouldn’t they have stayed in a less expensive place and save money that can be used to help local communities get connected to a safe water supply facility?

Will you feel comfortable attending such an event, even while just a few miles from that meeting you can see a little girl carrying a big jar of water on her head long distances?

I think in addition to knowing good ethical practices, more emphasis is needed asking people to sacrifice one’s comfort for just a short time to make a difference on people life. Another thing that we should speak out against is the much money that leaders, engineers and international agencies are wasting in the name of people who need help, and to eradicate this behavior.

And unfortunately it not only on water related problems that this is happening; It is the same for education, health, etc.  I am always shocked when I see people holding those kinds of events in so expensive places in name of education while in other places pupils are studying under temporary shelters.  On my own experience, many seminars that happen in Senegal are organized at Saly Portugal, please visit Google to find out how luxurious the hotels are there to get an idea.

 

Battery Recycling and its Consequences in Dakar, Senegal

In 2008 I was in Senegal and, as I always love to do during my free time if I am not in front of the TV, I was listening to my radio, when I suddenly heard news that was really alarming. Lead poisoning affected many families among those living the neighborhood of Gagne Diaw, a small locality of Thiaroye-sur-Mer in Dakar, the capital of Senegal. That place is not that far from where I was living with my brother and his family. Many animals and people died during a short period of time.

When the problem happened, clinic research on disease that are more likely to kill such as malaria, polio or AIDS were carried out. But the results did not show that the crisis was related to those illnesses. In the old days, all knowledge was based on something that you have experienced. So every phenomenon was interpreted as bad or good based on a given outcome that arose from previous facts. So if they do not have an explanation, our ancestors would just interpret these deaths as mysterious. Nowadays, some people still have those beliefs and interpretations, sometimes even before waiting to hear from physicians. So some people just started speculating, saying that the houses or families where unexplained deaths were occurring were cursed. Although Senegal was opened to modernism for a long time, has a great school of medicine with respected physicians, although sometimes a lack of material poses problems. Another problem was also that they have not faced a situation like this before. The situation echoed in the news (mainly when a press conference was hold by a young father who lost his four year old daughter) talking about the desire of parents and relatives for more explanation after having spent a great deal of money on lab tests. And finally, the doctors found that the problem was lead. Amounts of lead in the blood of mothers and siblings of the already buried people were far higher than the than levels that can cause brains damage. This is illustrated by this statement: “In April 2008, the Ministry of Health in conjunction with the University of Dakar Toxicology Division conducted blood tests among 41 children of Thiaroye-Sur-Mer. All children tested had blood levels that exceeded WHO limits of 10 µg/dl, “  (http://www.blacksmithinstitute.org/senegal-lead-poisoning-and-car-batteries-project.html)

In fact, the lead was coming from the work that local communities were carrying out in order to make money by extracting lead from old car batteries that were discarded in a site close to their neighborhood. This lead, they would sell to dealers at very low prices, who would then export the lead to developed countries. Overwhelming and horrifying symptoms were shown by those affected. In a New York Time article of 2009 entitled “Lead poisoning kills children in Senegalese town” a mother tried to explain the symptoms that her child showed: “It started with a fever. Her skin was hot. She would tremble and her eyes would roll back. She would drool. Her legs would splay out. She cried all the time” Heidi Vogtjan (2009). She was fortunate hat her daughter was affected after the cause was discovered so she was saved.

Who is responsible?

In this case the local government did not try to hide things. It was just that this was something they have never experienced before and that is why they have spent so much time on it. And after finding out what was going on, the authorities have ordered a cleanup of the site where this happened. They are also taking charge of all of the costs for health diagnosis and follow up of those who were affected, so nobody can say that the local politicians responsible didn’t handle the situation in an acceptable manner. But that does not imply that the authorities are guilty of nothing.

Authorities allowed such toxic substances to be discarded where innocent people can have access.

Are they regulating recycling of batteries like the U.S and Europe?

Are they in collusion with the producers who choose to make batteries for car where the regulations are less rigorous?

The residents of Gagne Diaw this small locality of Thiaroye-sur-Mer in Dakar, have also a responsibility because when the government tried to find them another place where to move in in order to stay far from the polluted zone, some of them did not agree. They said that the government maybe wants to get their land rich in lead that they can use to make money.  Some parents also because of cultural considerations did not wanted autopsies of the dead children when local health authorities and World Health Organization wanted to do so. This was the reason why autopsies were not conducted and researchers just examined siblings and other family members that were living in the same area (Carol Potera, 2009).

Sources:

Heidi Vogtjan (2009), The New York Times Lead poisoning kills children in Senegalese town http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/04/world/africa/04iht-batteries.1.19064480.html?pagewanted=all(consulted on 10/25/ 2017)

Blacksmith Institute Solving Pollution Problems Saving Lives http://www.blacksmithinstitute.org/senegal-lead-poisoning-and-car-batteries-project.html(consulted on 10/25/ 2017)

Carol Potera (2009), Mass Lead Poisoning in Dakar: Battery Recycling Exacts a Heavy Toll at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2897224/ (consulted on 10/25/ 2017)

Children paying for parent’s unethical behavior

Children paying for parent’s unethical behavior

Reading one of my classmate, JAY LISOWZ`s blog “we don’t know our own badness” (http://tolessenwar.blogspot.com/2017/10/we-dont-know-our-own-badness.html) has reminded me an history some Rwandese students who came to study in Senegal, my home country, at the Interstate School of Veterinary Science and Medicine (EISMV). Created in 1967, the Institute of Veterinary Science and Medicine of the University of Dakar, which later become the Interstate School of Veterinary Science and Medicine (EISMV), is a higher education institution which serves as an element of integration for African countries that have French as an official language but also as an element of cooperation with western countries mainly France who helped create this institution but also Belgium, Canada, etc. The African country members are: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Congo, Gabon, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, and Togo, but the school is open to other countries as well. This Interstate School trains veterinarians and technicians in animal production and animal health who are key players in agricultural development.

This is a brief history to show how Rwandese students came there.

My sister and my niece studied at this institution and were in the same program as many Rwandese students. In 2010, I have stayed with them for several weeks to get ready for my engineer thesis defense. My sister would everyday bother me with their coming end-of-study internship trip to France and how her classmates were excited about the idea. She explained to me that at the end of their training, each class promotion of students gets support from the school and its partners for an end-of-study internship. Years before their promotion, students used to do their internship to Mali or Mauritania, countries which are more involved in livestock production. With their promotion, the school wanted to innovate by sending them to do their internships in France. Willing to have more money for the trip, my sister’s promotion started a poultry farm during their first year. All member of the promotion were involved, they split the tasks of the whole steps of the process of chicken production. They would sell chicken live or slaughtered on campus and outside the campus. They would also carry out other activities such selling food during some events in the campus. It works so well that they made a lot of money.

Unfortunately, when come the time to apply for visa, some of the Rwandese students were refused the visa to France. It was a shock for them and many of their friends. When I asked, I could hear versions such as “it is because some of them have parents who were involved in the Rwanda genocide” or “all those among the Rwandese student who have names that sound like typical Rwandese, were refused the visa”. I used to see some of them around the school and felt so sorry when I met them. The Rwanda genocide was horrible and everybody should condemn. But I felt so bad when I heard about those student case and based on what I was told, I still cannot find answers to questions that keep coming to mind, such as:

Which rule in the world makes children pay for their parents’ bad conduct?

How one can be so insensitive to case of innocent students who for some years have worked hard to get her/his degree and contributed in so much work for an end-of-study internship abroad?

How can a country that has been involved in the slave trade (with all what we know about this dark, nasty and unethical practice) treat students who were kids during this Rwanda genocide of 1994 (which by the way everybody should condemn) this way?

Horrible things have happened during that trade. I am from Senegal, the country where Gorée Island (around 30mn by board from Dakar, Capital of Senegal) the house of slaves is located and feel very bad whenever I go to that place.

This Island is where slave, collected from many other countries, were housed before being shipped to Europe or America. That Island has a door called “Porte du non-retour” or “Door of no return”, a door that is in direct contact with the Atlantic Ocean. What that means is that once slaves were brought to that island and go through that door, there was no way for them to come back into the island nor to their countries. When they were sick they would just be thrown away in the ocean. Worst were the conditions they were living in after being captured. Once at Gorée you will find some rooms called the rooms for the recalcitrant (those who dared to disobey the masters…). They are really small and very short space where even a four-year-old child can barely stand up.

How can a country involved in such behavior, inflicting pain to people for so many years, turn around and refuse these students visas?

References

http://unsdsn.org/where-we-work/members/interstate-school-of-veterinary-science-and-medicine-eismv/

http://www.eastchance.com/uni.asp?id=8017,

Rwanda: Background to Genocide. Years of ethnic hostility brings the African nation to the brink at http://www.history.com/topics/rwandan-genocide (see on 10/17/ 2017).

https://www.pinterest.de/pin/528187862529972443/

http://www.esclavage-memoire.com/lieux-de-memoire/ile-de-goree-senegal-97.html

 

Acquiring ethics at an early age

Most of the time, trainings required for employees focus on leadership, communications, and conflict resolution. All of these areas are more related to ethics than the engineering or other material that people learn at a younger age.  It is not rare to hear adults complaining that they forget too much. This raises questions such as do you sleep enough? Do you eat well? Do you exercise?

Are these the only reasons that impact adults learning and retaining information?

It has been reported that many American corporations invest much money on training their employees while not getting the expected result and this might be related to the fact that the trainers do not know well how the brain operates (https://www.questia.com/magazine/, Use It or Lose It: The Neuroscience of Learning, Retention, and Transfer by Kohn, Art).

We all know that the brain is part of our central nervous system that allows us to process information, to adapt in new conditions, to learn new things, etc. Researchers have suggested that early neuroscience studies were only of interest to health related sciences such as medicine and biological sciences, but today this research area has drawn the interest of people from more diverse fields (Dale H. Schunk (2012), Learning Theories, An Educational Perspective). In his opinion, the shift is justified by the fact that the results from brain study can lead to developments in other fields. Based on research findings, people now recognized that students do not all have the same learning styles: visual, aural, verbal, kinesthetics (https://www.learning-styles-online.com/overview/), This means their brains might process and store new information differently. Therefore, it is not rare nowadays to see educators creating and incorporating new ideas such as organizations, elaboration and using models that learners can benefit from.

These considerations suggest that the brain plays a crucial role in learning processes and people are paying more attention to the neuroscience of learning. Chunk has explained very well the organization and structure of the different parts of our central nervous system as well as their different function and implications in our learning (Dale H. Schunk (2012), Learning Theories, An Educational Perspective).

One part of this that brought me to think about ethics while reading Schunk was when he mentioned children have far more synapses than adults, but they lose those them over time, and about half of those neuronal connections do not exist anymore at 18 years old. This they called it “use it or lose it”, and this occurs during development of young children, meaning that all neuronal connections that are not used during that age will be lost (Dale H. Schunk (2012), Learning Theories, An Educational Perspective).

So my point is why not teach young children as much as possible instead of letting that capacity to learn and process information disappear?

Because children and the young seem to be more adept at learning, memorizing and using what they have learned more easily than an adult would, would it not be more rewarding to teach them about the ethics related sciences while they are still students?

Ethics and interest around European Union Geographical Indication policies

While taking our course on Global Food Laws and Regulations, each two weeks, we have would a Discussion Forum on a given topic related to the class. The most exciting topic for me was that on the EU Geographical Indications policies that restrict common food names. Here the foods in question were cheeses. While sharing our views on questions brought by the professor regarding the issue, I can see reading though people discussions how strong were their feelings on this topic.

To the question do you believe that there will be billions of dollars in losses to the U.S. dairy industries and other industries?  Or, are there other food industries that may suffer if these geographical indication names are enforced? The answers were almost unique. People argued that the losses will be considerable because consumers will be buying the product they are used to and the product with a new name will not sell the same. They also thought that restricting common names will negatively impact other sectors such transportation, restaurants, grocery stores, bakeries, veterinary businesses, etc. And some said that it is okay to just indicate where for example a “Feta” or “Mozzarella” cheese was made from instead naming the cheese made in the U.S by another names.

To the question how should the United States respond to “abusive” EU geographical indications policies that restrict common food names? It was as if Europe has declared a war on the U.S. Among the answers, words such as resist, oppose were used and other challenging approaches. I know after going through the readings that were provided that this is really a very delicate issue and a very devastating news for actors involved in dairy production and supply chain. But at one moment I have thought about the other camp.

How would someone react if he/she was a European?

What if he/she is aware that in term of food trade, fair practices should exist between nations according to the Codex Alimentarius?

What if he/she knows that Washington State Apples and Idaho Potatoes are appropriately protected by geographical indications? Would they feel the same if something sold as Idaho potatoes were grown in Prince Edward Island, Canada?

When those questions came to my mind, I realized that many students were biased because they only thought about one side’s interest.  I have even mentioned in my discussion that the better way to manage the geographical indication names enforcement that the European union are claiming was to negotiate, in order to end up with better trade deals, because obviously changing names after so many years of use will not be simple.

Today, I am more comfortable with my contribution to that forum discussion because what I have started learning in ethics did not contradict the way I thought. And I wish some of my classmates could have access to the resources I have now for them to better understand my position and realize that this kind of issues require more than nationalistic sentiments. It requires approaches such as questioning, gathering information, and analyzing for a better outcome.

There is no doubt that geographical indications follow well established rules by experts from all around the world and they are here to benefit all actors, not just one side.

 

http://www.fao.org/fao-who-codexalimentarius/en/

http://www.commonfoodnames.com/economic-study-shows-billions-of-dollars-in-losses-to-u-s-dairy-industry-under-abusive-eu-geographical-indications-policies-2/

Living in a dilemma after taking this ethics course

I always love studying and remember how excited I was when my dad first told me you will start going to school.  But learning can sometimes be stressing, and I think that is what I have been experiencing since I have started this engineering ethics and the public course. Going through the lectures and the material provided for reading, I cannot stop thinking about which career path that might be more helpful for me. I am an engineer in food industries who would love to work for big corporations or international organizations such as Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, etc. But I am also now pursuing a program that would provide me with the skills required for pursuing an academic career.

Everybody loves all the qualities that engineers are associated with, such as serving society, solving problem, implementing solutions, translating thinking to reality, working effectively and efficiently for the welfare of communities, etc. Seeking happiness in the population mean also to reject anything that can harm them or their environment.

How must engineers proceed?

I think this is achievable by just being honest, fair, staying authentic, listening to themselves but also being able to stand up against unethical practices in their work places. This seems simple right! So one can ask why to be afraid to embrace this career?

Well it is all seem perfect and this is what is ethically acceptable. However, standing up when things are not going right is not easy. Going through the reading what C Fred Alford talked about regarding the struggle of whistleblowers in his book entitled “Whistleblower Broken Lives and Organizational Power”, one can be afraid. The way he has explained how organizations can break one`s life and the way entities supposed to defend whistleblowers fail to do so. Isn’t this scaring? I think it really is.

How about that academic career?

I think it is a great career path as well and in which one can give the best of himself/herself. I think professors, and teachers are really delighted when they see that their students have done well in exams, are graduating, have found good jobs, etc. I think this is more satisfying while happening in context where students face hurdles and social challenges as seen in underdeveloped countries, where an ineffective educational system is one of the main factors that undermines economic development. Being aware of that and also willing to be an actor in the progress that is being made in my country in order to overcome the difficulties in the education systems is one of my goals in pursuing an academic career.

 

Will it be easy for me? I do not know and this makes me nervous. Furthermore, whiling reading the article Learning and Teaching Styles in Engineering Education of Richard M. Felder and Linda K. Silverman, my feelings have worsened. I was choked when I read about the consequences of this statement “Mismatches exist between common learning styles of engineering students and traditional teaching styles of engineering professors”.  These mismatches lead to consequences such hostile classes, students being inattentive, discouraged, bored, changing curricula, dropping out, society loosing potentially excellent engineers, etc. After reading all this, my reaction was oh no that will be too much for me. I will feel guilty for my whole life if I am to experience this, I would never tolerate being myself the source of students’ poor performances.

So what career to choose?

 

The one in which if it happens that you blow the whistle you get in trouble for good, or the one in which the few mistake can lead to eternal self-questioning.

 

Unethical practices remaining from colonization hold a continent back

This course Engineering Ethics and the Public is helping gain more insight on how unethical practices during the colonization period have held African countries back.

I hope that the majority of people who read this blog understand what African communities have gone through during this dark and nasty period of history. I hope so, because in Africa, even children can explain what this period meant for their countries.

Unfortunately, parts of Africa continue to experience poverty, hunger and war, facts that represent the main images that western countries have of Africa.  Western media tends to continue this negative portrayal.

One asks why the situation is still difficult if the colonization period was a long time ago?

Aren`t students (future leaders) well trained to become good leaders?

Well colonization over, but the blueprint of the colonizer is still there, ready for the repetition of same scenarios. Students get a good education, some of them even graduate from Western countries’ best universities with higher education degrees and better knowledge. For instance, it is just recently that students have started doing their PhD studies in Senegal; all students used to go abroad, mainly France, for PhD and post-doctoral studies. Some even work abroad for many years before coming back home to serve.

However, the knowledge and skills that African students gain are not always used in a manner that can benefit local communities. Once in positions of power, you would think that they are coming from another planet. They do not act in manners that their parents educated them. Some leaders act just like some robots, executing some orders, with no authenticity, no listening to, or dialog with the populations regarding major issues. Their actions and the way they make decisions reflect the exact attitudes of the colonialists; dictatorship, categorical refusal to embrace open-minded approaches to problem solving. And not only is there a refusal to try to put things together for better outcomes, but worst, the major decisions these weak leaders take often focus on former colonizing country`s needs. They think about their own communities only during election time. Moreover, if they are in a position that allows them to hire people, the first unethical practice some of them will start doing is to hire their parents, relatives or friends to fill strategic positions such as mines and industries, general attorney, infrastructures, commerce secretaries, etc. I think they do so just to very early eliminate any contrasting ideas coming from their immediate environment that would block their agenda. And worse, you will not hear comments or opinions from former colonizers regarding these practices unless they start feeling that their interests are being threatened.  Observing things like this playing out, you will think that it is a road map just to hold back underdeveloped countries and keep them dependent upon wealthier countries.

The unethical practices the Westerners used to manipulate, dominate and divide Africa is still having very bad consequences on the local people. Relationships between populations were broken down, and since the time of colonization, connections between different African populations are becoming more and more lifeless. Some people kill each other because of ethnic or religious considerations, or for borders or land issues. In days before colonization, these issues were discussed, agreements made, and there was peace. Look at what is going on in the Congo Republic. Thanks to the BBC News that has provided an interesting report on this nation so devastated in a long lasting conflict. According to the report, the Congo should be one of the richest countries in the world, as it has abundant water, a very fertile soil with a lot of minerals (diamonds, oil, copper, uranium, gold, cobalt, coltan, a mineral required for production of electronics), but unfortunately is has been experiencing terrible economic and societal conditions.  And according to the same report, this is the result of past decisions and actions taken by European colonists hundreds of years ago.

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-24396390 (see on the 20th of September 2017 at 3:10pm)

 

Are ethical behaviors and practices natural or related to our education?

While exploring the chapter on Listening as a Best Practice in Engineering and Science for our class Engineering Ethics and the Public, something capture my attention and since then I cannot stop thinking about it. It was when the professor asked questions like “what would you do if your boss ask you to do unethical things such as not revealing results that he/she doesn’t really want the public to be aware of?” What if revealing such findings can cost your job while you have family to feed or will have a hard time to find another job?

I was shocked when hearing some arguing that they will do what their boss asks them to do in this case. What in the world would bring somebody to do something (such as allowing high lead content in water) that can harm others to preserve his/her job or for the welfare of his/her family? Sometimes I wonder if people realize that something can happen in just one minute and cost one`s life.  What if one dies before the getting his next paycheck? What if your family perishes in an accident? Look at how sudden and devastating natural catastrophes such as hurricanes are. Do they give us time to think or take care of ourselves? Absolutely not. Therefore, there is no need to care too much about tomorrow and put innocent life in danger as the future is uncertain. There are no excuses for somebody having this kind of consideration. He/she should be taken accountable for his wrong doing just as somebody hiding or discarding some sample results just to help or please his/her boss or friends.  Life is too short to be egoistic or let people have leverage on us. As engineers and scientists, the amount of responsibilities we have regarding the safety, health and well-being of our communities require more than caring about just one or a small group of individuals who just care about their own personal positions or interests. In my opinion we must manage our lives in a way that can help us stay authentic, able to resist pressures and to listen to ourselves in order to keep our integrity and ultimately society’s integrity. I truly believe that one cannot suffer, get harmed or exposed to problems while just doing the right thing. I am saying this because I have experienced being fired because of my refusal to do unethical practices while working as an intern in a quality control lab and since then, I am moving forward in life not backward. After I left there I was able to finish my engineering degree with success, get another internship and from there get a scholarship to study abroad, and today doing my PhD.

At the time I was making the decision to do the right thing, I did not learn about ethics in a classroom or though seminar or conferences. That is why, when some argue that they will obey their boss at the work place while taking class in ethical behavior, I was comfortable with my thoughts; ethic is not only learned in a classroom but mainly in the influence our environment has on us in our early childhood. I think the education our families gave to us and our personal faith are the key elements that can bring us to listen to ourselves and do the right thing. I was taught to tell the truth and always do tasks well and with passion, in any circumstance. For me it is like if I am in any occasion hearing the voice of the “Teacher Within” that Parker Palmer has described in his book entitled: The Courage To Teach. by saying: “Any authentic call ultimately comes from the voice of the teacher within, the voice that invites me to honor the nature of my true self”.

We should be always animated by the sentiment or a need to be ourselves and listen to our heart. One must be free; freedom has no cost and helps us to stay authentic, make wise decision and do the best we can for our community. It is immoral to harm other people while pursuing our own pleasure, luxury or welfare.