As Good As It Gets

<p>In the movie 'As Good As It Gets' Jack Nicholson plays Melvin, a writer who, when asked how he writes women so well answers with the put-down: <em>"I think of a man, and I take away reason and accountability." </em></p>
<p>I've been thinking about that line since last night when I heard a representative of the securities and exchange commission (the oversight body that failed to heed the warnings about the alleged Bernard L. Madoff 'ponzi' scheme) stating that the SEC had done 'nothing wrong.'</p>
<p>Frankly, I think we can - and should - expect more from our government agencies (and businesses) that they do not engage in malfeasance. It is not good enough to know that they did not commit improper acts. Their responsibility is to be zealous stewards of the highest standards, not merely avoid the temptation to fall into cohoots with those who are engaging in illegal or immoral activities.</p>
<p>The same can be said for business. We have a right to expect businesses to engage in proper, appropriate actions as defined by both law and the societies in which they operate.</p>
<p>Therefore it is incumbent on us, the consumers, to be informed and educated about the businesses we support with our dollars. Whenever we make the decision to go for the lowest price or the most physcially convenient location DESPITE our misgivings, what we are doing is compromising our values for the sake of a few dollars or minutes of time. I think people need to be more aware of this; and to be reminded that this is what they are doing because morality in a global world does not depend on laws (they differ between jurisdictions) and so the only power we have to ensure socially responsible business practices is to be socially responsible ourselves in our interactions with businesses.</p>
<p>I know the economy is faltering and at times like this people tend to retrench and spend more prudently. And that's good and to be expected. However, if we purchase more judiciously we can have an impact on which companies do well through these hard times. <strong>When companies engage in behavior that is responsible to the rules of society and law, when they act as responsible stewards of the environment and natural resources, when they act in a manner that is protective of human rights and&nbsp;dignity; then it is all of our best interest that those businesses thrive.</strong></p>
<p>Otherwise Melvin's line applies to us as consumers (of both genders).</p>