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How Can We Fight Corruption? Types of Corruption, Reasons Not to Give Up & a Vision
There are many faces of corruption, many places of corruption, many cases where corruption plays a part.
Why does corruption exist? Man succumbs to greed, be it for power, for money, for glory or for personal gratification. Man succumbs to crime, maybe to support a drug habit or make money from those who have one, maybe to enact revenge, maybe in a crime of passion, maybe just to deal in 'dodgy' goods.
At a political level, there are those who seek power and will do anything to get it; they'll trample on anyone, they'll use underhand means, they'll make hollow promises, all the time charming and sweet-talking their way through the ranks, their public face always showing the right image, saying the right things whilst their private lives and discussions are quite the opposite.
Politics widens to the national, then international stage; the same tactics apply and, sometimes, are never exposed.
It happens, too, at a business level; banks, industrial companies, pharmaceutical companies, commercial business, right down to the individual businessman.
Sadly, too, it happens in our own private lives. We steal, we lie or (just as bad) withhold information, we cheat, we fight, we injure and some of us even kill.
Types of Crime
Some steal to make money; how does that affect those who are robbed? What about the elderly pensioner whose savings are then gone? Does she survive or does she give up and die? Does she have someone to help her or does her pride keep her quiet?
Some steal to support a drug habit or to make money as dealers. Can we understand those who have to feed a habit? Can we tolerate those who make it their business to supply the drugs, purely for gain?
Some plot another's downfall, or physically harm, or even kill in the name of revenge. Is this justified? Can we understand why this happens? Is it right to retaliate, to treat injustice with injustice?
Some have such strong feelings for someone, or such strong convictions, that they commit crimes of passion. Is that understandable? If someone acts without premeditation, can they be pardoned?
Then we have the cold-blooded killers, the rapists, the pedophiles. Can we possibly understand these people? Is there any way they can be forgiven, rehabilitated?
How Does it Start?
The basic instinct is the survival of the fittest;
- children instinctively push each other away to get to something they want, until they learn tolerance & kindness from their parents,
- they scream & shout in temper because they want something or don’t want to do something, until they learn, from their parents, that it gets them nowhere, that being kind and reasonable gets them rewards, the best of which is a kiss and a cuddle and told ‘what a good boy/girl!’,
- they cry more and more loudly when they are hungry, until they realise that they will be fed, they won't go hungry.
What happens, then, when a child is not given the tolerance and kindness, not taught that screaming doesn’t get them anywhere, not given kisses and cuddles, not ever told they’re good.
What happens when something bad happens, either in childhood, or later in life, that the victim sees as unjust or unfair and it seems that the only way to get anywhere is to take any means available whether or not that in itself is fair.
Have you ever stolen from the workplace? I’m talking about a pen, a pad of paper, a folder, some paper clips..... A little thieving is regarded by some as a ‘perk’ of the job; it’s nothing perhaps. However, like drugs which start with a little cannabis maybe, it can be the beginning.
‘I got away with that, so why not this? No one suffers, I’m not injuring anyone. Why shouldn’t I? I’m poor; no one gives me anything. How do they expect me to survive with little money?’
Then the slippery slope begins.
Those Who Suffer
- the pensioner loses his or her life savings through theft or deception,
- the mugged pedestrian falls, receives cuts and bruises and is afraid to go out again, or worse still, falls and has a heart attack, or is maimed for life, or dies,
- the child who is abused is scarred for life, may never be able to trust again, to have a loving relationship,
- the family of a murder victim are the ones who suffer through someone else's anger or other extreme emotion,
- the child or adult bullied at school or at work, loses self-esteem, feels abandoned, rejected, worthless and the repercussions ripple through the family.
There are many more.
How do we Deal with Corruption?
Why don’t we give up fighting corruption if it’s all around us?
We don’t give up because
- we’re natural survivors,
- we think we can make a difference,
- we hope the world can be a better place,
- we can make our own little corner of it a place which is better to live in by being kind to our friends and neighbours,
- most of all, we can teach our children how to go about doing all that.
Hopefully, the kindness and good examples will spread, the ripples will become wider and wider and drown the corruption little by little.
We don’t give up because we are in the majority! Despite the daily news telling us of wars, death, riots, murders, theft, poverty, disease and cruelty, there is much which is good in the world. People are being good parents, offspring, friends, neighbours, doctors, teachers...; they are making others’ lives better, richer, happier, healthier, safer. At least we do hear a little good news each day but not enough. There should be a compulsory hour or two on radio and television for good news, something to cheer us up, to inspire, to amuse, to give us a warm, cosy feeling. Yes, we need to know about what’s happening in the world but let’s have the wonderful with the dreadful, the amazing with the awful, the brave ones with the cowards. I was hard-pressed to find positive headlines when researching for this hub (and only one was in a newspaper!).
A Vision - What can we do?
Look to the ideal world? No, actually! That would be lovely but could we do without the challenge? Could we survive without something to strive for? Maybe. Let’s be realistic though, let’s take it one step at a time.
The vision for me is a world which is much more peaceful but at the same time is able to deal with crime, prevent most crime, understand the reasons for crime and deal with the perpetrators accordingly, humanely, with successful rehabilitation. We're getting there but it's still a long way off.
I believe the ideal world will never exist because mankind has free will and therefore will never be perfect. That doesn’t stop us trying to get close to perfection - what’s the point if we have nothing to aim for, nothing to give us satisfaction when we achieve it?
In my mind, it takes tolerance, understanding, forgiveness, faith in the good and the brave, faith in God if you like, whichever way you look at it. All well and good, you say; words are easy. All those good qualities are not so easy to keep in one’s heart. We are often stretched by bad deeds, bad words, bad situations, stretched to find any tolerance at all, any forgiveness when someone hurts us, any faith when a loved one is harmed.
However, if we can do our best to keep open minds and hearts, then we’ll be a step nearer to fighting the corruption around us. Corruption often comes from a wounded soul or a damaged child, a disappointed person who’s been cheated by a trusted friend, a person let down by a broken promise. Do we let them down further or do we try to understand why they act as they do?
I’d like to think I could help to make this a better world but I know I’m sadly lacking; what I do know is that it’s so important to keep trying.
Ways to Beat Corruption
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What's your View?
Please tell me your views on this issue; there are many ways to tackle a problem and many people with innovative ideas - what's yours?
© 2012 Ann Carr