How are spirituality and ethical behavior related? While they are not entirely synonymous, the road to spirituality results in ethical behavior. Consequently, these concepts do actually intertwine. Below, we define spirituality and ethical behavior, seeking to explain how they fit into your life.
How are Spirituality and Ethical Behavior Related: An Examination
1. Spirituality vs. Ethical Behavior
At Indian offices, top executives are using religion and spirituality to make ethical decisions https://t.co/M0Lle9bN4k
— Quartz (@qz) September 5, 2017
By definition, spirituality and ethical behavior are not synonymous. In fact, it is difficult to compare the two based solely on what they mean. Scholars suggest that spirituality is a broad, subjective concept. It is the pursuit of something way bigger than we are. Simply put, it is a pursuit of the meaning of life. Comparatively, ethical behavior is acting according to what society considers to be good values.
2. The Spiritual Individual
Different people have different ways of discovering their spirituality. Some seek it through a higher power, nature, or art. Additionally, it can change as we grow older or as we reach milestones. Dr. Christina Puchalski at the George Washington Institute defines it as, “the aspect of humanity that refers to the way individuals seek and express meaning and purpose.”
Here are some characteristics of a spiritual person:
- Very humble and doesn’t feel superior to anyone.
- Strives to work his or her duty or task faithfully.
- Not attached to the material things.
- Not afraid of losing anything in life.
- Never looks at the imperfection of others.
3. A Person with Ethical Behavior
On the road to spirituality, individuals tend to become better versions of themselves. Therefore, they become more honest, content, peaceful, and fair. While these traits were born out of a desire to become more spiritual, they also contribute to the values that society agrees to be ethical.
4. Factors Affecting Ethical Behavior
Several factors affect ethical behavior. For example, family values affect how we behave and what we view as moral. Our ethics are a summation of all the lessons we have learned over the course of our existence.
5. Importance of Spirituality and Ethical Behavior in Society
A study by Steve McCartney and Rick Parent identified five points to explain why spirituality and ethical behavior are significant:
- They make society better. When we become better versions of ourselves as we get in touch with our spirituality, it helps build good relationships with others;
- They promote equality. As we grow as a society, we are slowly grasping the significance of treating everyone equally and affording all individuals the same rights;
- They secure employment. Today’s employers no longer just check one’s academic performance or job history. Our past behavior has become one important factor that will make or break a career opportunity;
- They help us succeed in business. Similar to how we secure employment, good conduct also helps us secure clients. How we treat people will determine how much goodwill we receive from others;
- They free us from stress. It is human nature to feel bad when we do something that hurts others. When we live a life of integrity and morality, we are more at peace and happy.
Sadhguru, the founder of Isha Foundation, shares a short clip on what spirituality is and how we may already be on the spiritual path without knowing it:
Spirituality and ethical behavior relate in more ways than one. True, these concepts are entirely distinct from each other. However, they somehow point towards the same direction. In conclusion, to live a spiritual life is to live a life of self-awareness. When we follow these principles, we improve not only our own lives but also the lives of others.
How are spirituality and ethical behavior related in your mind? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!