Follow the “C’s” when making choices:
Character, commitments, consequences.
These “Cs” fine-tune your hearing. Which voices
Are calling from wisdom’s door? We commence
With character. Do you know your purpose?
What practiced virtues get you to your goal?
Motives matter. Next, consider service
And duty you pledged to others. Your role
Can’t be the only consideration,
But promises are important in life.
Now, bring empathy: an affirmation
That you will try to understand the strife
That hits with hard choice. Friend, practice Cs well.
They can guide you between Heaven and Hell.
This sonnet is based on the ethical decision-making framework developed by Theodore Ryan, Ph.D. Ted teaches ethics at Duke University. His TEDx talk can be found here.