As promised, and although it, too, is posted on the CESJ website, here is the CESJ Code of Ethics that we mentioned last Thursday. Note that when CESJ members have a meeting, there is a participatory reading of both the Core Values and the Code of Ethics . . . except for Number 17, below, when everyone joins in saying, “persistence, persistence, and persistence.”
- Courage. Overcome fear to test your ideas with others or to raise questions about ideas you don’t fully understand.
- Competition of Ideas. Nobody has a monopoly on the Truth. Resist the feeling that your ego or dignity is being attacked if others severely challenge the ideas you bring to the table. Ideas are meant to be challenged, so that bad or defective ideas can be replaced with better ideas that will advance Truth, Beauty, Love and Justice for the good of all. Challenge will also sharpen our ability to communicate our ideas.
- Dignity of the Person. In challenging someone else’s ideas, don’t attack or insult the person who advances the idea. Separate the message from the messenger.
- Tradition. Don’t lightly discard ideas accepted in the past. The burden of persuasion is on the person challenging old traditions or decisions previously debated and agreed upon, not only to point out the errors of the past, but also to offer a better alternative.
- Inquisitiveness. There may be bad, ignorant or even absurd ideas, but there are no bad, ignorant or absurd questions. Treat every question as a good teacher should, with respect for the person who is seeking to understand the Truth.
- Enthusiasm. Fear not the heat, excitement or intensity of debate. This passion is healthy and natural for those committed to the pursuit of the Truth. Don’t throw cold water on the normal exhilaration and emotions people feel when they are reaching out to the borders of reason and new ideas.
- Compassion. If you have problems with the personality or behavior of any member of CESJ, avoid even subtle criticisms of that person with others. This breeds distrust and divisiveness. Take him or her aside privately and discuss your observations and concerns on a one-to-one basis in an atmosphere of mutual respect, solidarity and compassion.
- Charity. Everyone in CESJ is human and therefore imperfect. To strengthen the unity of the movement, it’s better to strengthen all our members and help them become more effective in reaching out to others, than to exclude or pull anyone down.
- Solidarity. We should continue to perfect ourselves and CESJ as models for those pursuing Truth, Beauty, Love and Justice for all. This means we need everyone pulling together to attract the rest of humanity to CESJ’s core values and new vision for a more just and humane future for all.
- Humility. No one is an expert on how to gain widespread acceptance of a truly revolutionary advance in moral philosophy, as represented by CESJ’s core values. We are all amateurs in the process of communicating revolutionary social thought.
- Patience. As an advocate of new and revolutionary ideas, discipline yourself to the fact that acceptance and implementation of our ideas will necessarily be evolutionary, somewhat unpredictable and highly experimental.
- Tolerance. Without losing your enthusiasm and passionate commitment to our core values and principles of justice, be patient, friendly and tolerant of others who have not yet internalized these ideas.
- Maturity. In the “war of ideas,” adjust your level of expectations in our global justice movement to each distinct phase in CESJ’s evolutionary development– the “guerilla war” phase, the “beachhead” phase, the “victory” phase and the “institution building” phase–and to the realities of who and what are committed to carrying out that phase.
- Commitment. Presume that every other person in our core group is 100% committed spiritually and intellectually to the principles of CESJ. But also acknowledge that each of us must be the sole judge of how to allocate his or her limited time and resources to CESJ, as well as to family and other commitments. Therefore, accept graciously whatever anyone has contributed in the past or is willing to contribute in the future.
- Initiative. If you are ready to propose a new initiative, be prepared to assume responsibility to carry it out, if no one else volunteers.
- Integrity. Don’t promise what you can’t deliver. If you do commit yourself and then discover that you can’t deliver, ask for help. If you’re uncertain, don’t promise but try your best.
- Persistence. There are three keys to gaining acceptance of revolutionary ideas: Persistence, Persistence and Persistence.