Aviators' Thoughts

My job search and business aviation as seen on AviationWeek

Diogeneses’ Search for the Honest Man 2009

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Today is my 40th Birthday. I have much to be happy for, I still have my house (as long as the money dosent run out), I have a wife I love and that adores me after 3 years (I AM VERY VERY LUCKY) and I am still healthy. Actually I look quite young for 40 which I see as an advantage.

Still, I am extremely frustrated by the current state of affairs. Every day it seems theres another person who is a swindler, a cheat, a liar. It seems the only way to get ahead is to lie, decsive and steal. What has happend to us? I was always taught to do the right thing. Is the only way ahead to do the wrong thing?

It reminds of of the tale of Diogenese. He lived in Athens at the time of Alexander. His claim to fame was that he walked the streets at night looking for an honest man. HE NEVER FOUND ONE!!! What would he have thought about honestly in this day and age? I think his wanderings would have been slow and very lonely. Its seems nearly everyone will do ANYTHING to get ahead. Billions of dollars lost to swindlers, people of wealth and power who convienently “forget” to pay their taxes, sports players who suddenly admit to taking drugs. Its enough to make you throw up your hands. Perhaps with the downturn in this economy all the excesses are being exposed., but I cant help to think that the “little guy” like me just cant get a break.

I have spent my life obeying the rules, I am certainly not perfect and dont claim that I would pass Diogeneses’ test, but I have always tired to do the right thing. There are some days it dosent seem to be working. Everywhere I turn, people are trying to take what little money I have (or dont pay me at all, a whole different story), trying to trick you out of the things you cherish. I am not going to preach about religion, but I believe that people have simply forgotten their basic ethics.

As a pilot, I have tried to instill  good ethics in my students. For a while I trained Chinese ones. Whatever you might think about their politics, I found these young men to be some of the nicest and most ethical people I have ever met. I became friends with these men because the still have the basic ethics I find so lacking in American society now. They are true friends, they will do anything to help you, “just because”, and in turn you help them. As I have taught them, I have also tried to put the concept of “pay it forward” in their heads and they have taken it to heart. We as pilots should expect to uphold the highest ethical standards, not only in the cockpit, but in our personal lives. Though the position may feel like we are little more than “glorified bus drivers” sometimes, we are entrusted with the safety and security of our passengers and crew and we should NEVER take the responsibility lightly. Living an ethical life, no matter what religion you are and especially as a pilot is essential. Remember to help your crewmembers and support your captain or first officer, show the world what it means to be a pilot.

Perhaps in this new economic age, we pilots can set the example again of what a “role model” should be and recapture a little of the pride and glory we have lost.

Perhaps Diogenese would be proud.


Written by tdwnds1

September 4, 2009 at 9:44 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

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