Monday, May 12, 2008

Does being ethical pay?

That's the headline on the paper someone's reading in this coffeeshop, and in my experience, I'm inclined to say that no, being ethical does not pay. Particularly in the fields of business and politics, even those who go in with the best intentions often find that in order to succeed, they have to sell their principles to the highest bidder. There are exceptions, as there are to every rule, but I personally have found that sticking to my ethical tenets has had mostly unfavorable consequences. By ethics, I don't mean the religious right's definition of a "virtuous lifestyle," I mean basic human decency: don't lie, don't cheat, don't steal. And as much as I believe in this way of life, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who wants to make a name for themselves or a lot of money. Someone with strong morals would have second thoughts about serving their own self-interest at the expense of another, or compromising their beliefs in order to succeed. But a psychopath, one who by definition has no sense of ethics or empathy, would have no problem doing whatever it took to help themselves, and those are the people who rise to power and flourish in life. I left a well-paying job because I couldn't reconcile my principles with those of my employer. Then I went into debt. And now that I'm doing something I like, I'm still in debt, even though I feel ethically sound. Sticking to my principles might be good for my overall well-being, but it hasn't been good for my career.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Gaining perspective

Good news, at least for me: I'm very slowly crawling out of debt. I have a second job, doing boring clerical work for a nonprofit, nothing I'd want to do long term, but it'll help. And it's quiet, so I have time to think. And what I was thinking about today was how my current relationship has helped me gain a new perspective on the brief wastes of time that I once called relationships. I used to fall apart and vow revenge on a guy who dumped me after two or three dates, or who just stopped talking to me after we hooked up a few times. I used to be very alone, and these were the closest things to relationships that I'd ever had. But now that Anthony is in my life, I know what a real boyfriend is supposed to be; someone who calls while he's out of town because he misses me, someone who makes plans to see me, someone who I can introduce to my friends without having first to analyze what to introduce him as, and someone I can be honest with when he does something that annoys me. There are things about Anthony that annoy me, which happens in any relationship, but this time, unlike the other guys I used to think were my whole world, I felt comfortable talking to him about it, because I actually thought he would listen. And he did. Now I see my former relationships for what they were, guy try-outs to prepare me for meeting someone special, but, I now see, nothing special themselves. Now I wonder why I made myself crazy over people who were so obviously not worth the trouble, but I guess I didn't know any better at the time.
And now for more good news: Bound is coming back on May 30th. Anthony and I saw the new space for both Bound and Entre Nous last Saturday, and it's a very cool spot for Bound. There's a glassed-off area that's perfect for both playing and voyeurism, a decent dance floor, great deconstructed atmosphere, although the bar leaves a little something to be desired. I do not want Bound to have to move again, so I'm urging everyone in the DC area interested in the goth/fetish subculture to come out on Fridays for the only dark alternative club event that night.