Sklover’s Monday Thought: A Compass in a Storm

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“If your moral compass is only sensitive to your own ‘side,’ your moral compass is broken.”

– Nicholas Kristof

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At work, as elsewhere, every one of us is confronted with issues that seem agonizing, the most tormenting of which seem to arise in the midst of personal, political or societal “storms.”

It seems to be the case that such storms abound at this moment in history. How fortunate we are to have firm, time-tested, practical guidance at such times. And one “guide” in particular.

At such times, in such storms, the ultimate “north star” on our moral compass is “How would I feel if I or my loved ones were on the other side of this ‘storm’?” Or, for example, “What would be my view if it was my child whose welfare was placed into risk?” In my view, the welfare of a young child is not a matter of discussion or debate: it is so precious that it is beyond consideration of “whose side” in the storm the child may live.

When my son, Sam, was in sixth grade, his class was challenged with the task of identifying one major teaching that all of the major religions offered in common. Sam spent the weekend on it, and found it: The “Golden Rule.”

It provides the guiding vision that is needed to show us the “right way,” no matter how dark and swirling the storm may be. Perhaps the best “compass point” is this: “How would I feel if I were ‘on the other side’?”

As the wise quote above helps us see, if the decision under your “right or wrong” microscope depends on how your “tribe” is going to prevail by the outcome of your consideration, then your issue is not a “right or wrong” one, that is, a moral one, but rather, only a selfish one, or a political one, that is, one of “which ‘tribe’ am I part of?”

As all of the great books guide us, revert to the “Golden Rule.” That’s the truest, most time-tested, and most widely used test of all when considering whether your moral compass is working, or in need of repair.

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This very insightful quote was sent to us just yesterday by Aldo P. of Port Charlotte, Florida. Aldo shared that he has found it to be a trusted companion, one that helps him make many different decisions each and every day. If you’d like to submit a saying, proverb or quote, we’d love to consider sharing it with our worldwide Blog Family. To do so, just send it to “The Boss,” also known as

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