My latest example comes from a company being closed down in the Philippines. I have known these people for some time. I respect their aspirational values, but combined with religion it takes on a particularly ugly path. Charged with responsibility for disposing of company assets this woman (lets call her Jane) has taken it upon herself to take possession of the company's future, some $US20,000 worth of it, arguing that it was scrap. A deal had already been done to give the furniture to the Church in exchange for storage of tax files, but a good dose of rationalisation saw the charity receive only the junk and the good stuff (the majority of it) disappearing into a vacuum. So the church came up second best. Well God Bless!
More interesting was the fact that Jane was going to make me the God father of her child until she learned that I was an atheist. Well, why should that erk me. Well I know it was never my value system she was interested in, but the fact that I was a foreigner....presumably with money. The politics of getting money in the Philippines (at least by these methods) get very ugly indeed when you see such people blatantly denegrate any person who holds them to account. This is common practice in the Philippines. It is played out in the media constantly in the Philippines. It would be nice to think that there was a clean cut good & evil side, but often its all just ugly shades of grey. This makes it really hard to establish the truth. There is just no reality to these aspirational people who cling to the hope of getting their hands on money, with no long range sense of purpose which might actually incline themselves to EARN it.
It is to easy to find cases of moral greyness in the Philippines. The unfortunate reality is that the good people just end up leaving the country, and the place is left run by despots and wannabes.
Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com