Seriously, to ask what was Peter Dowling, a member of the Ethics Committee for the Queensland Liberal National Party thinking when he allegedly sent ‘sexting’ video messages as well as taking advantage of parliamentary funding as part of an ‘affair’ with an unnamed woman, is just a redundant question.
He just wasn’t thinking – at least not ethically.
Enter the Light of Day test
The Light of Day Test is an ethical decision making process that isn’t reserved just for people on ethics committees… it’s a wonderful character building decision making process available and practical to apply for every one of us.
The Light of Day Test is simply a process of asking this question:
With the choice you’re about to make or the decision you’re about to take, would you make that choice or take that decision if it were held up in the light of day for all to see?
This is what I refer to as the ‘Jiminy Cricket Clause’ or the ‘Conscience Question’ and it provides each of us with the proactive opportunity of intentional mindful decision making.
Potentially unethical, immoral, character-questionable, and even unlawful choices are easily avoided when we have someone with us at the time of decision making, to guide us in the right direction. However, left to our own devices, it is up to our ability to make intentional wise decisions.
There’s an argument that hindsight is an exact science and often you will hear of people who have made intentionally unwise decisions, using hindsight as part of their apology. Indeed, Peter Dowling’s comment to Parliament was “I owe my family an apology. I am sorry for the pain and embarrassment I caused you… I am not proud of the events plastered all over the paper. I can’t and won’t defend any part of it.”
Hmmm… is it that he is not proud of the ‘events plastered all over the paper’ or is it that he is not proud of his decisions, actions and behaviours?
The fact that Dowling is a member of an ethics committee screams of hypocrisy and yet, regardless of his involvement on the ethics committee, what’s obvious is a lack of mindful and intentional thinking around the impact of his actions on trust.
Trust is about self-trust, trust in others and others trusting in you.
Peter Dowling will find it very difficult to mend the fracture of trust at each of those three levels… not impossible, but indeed, difficult.
Trust starts with intention. Intention is the platform of all levels of trust. When we are clear about our intention for the people we impact (including ourselves) in each of our life roles, we can be clear about the intentional promises we make to ourselves and to others. When we are clear about our intentional promises, we can make more mindful and intentional choices about the actions we take. And our intentional actions are more likely to achieve intentional results.
In any aspect of our life, personal or business, when we are not achieving intentional results, the likelihood is that there is either unintentional actions or unintentional promises being made that achieve the unintentional results.
The light of day test is only valid when we are clear on our intention and the impact of our intentions on ourselves and on others.
Perhaps it’s time for our politicians (who seem to be repeatedly being ‘caught-out’) to learn a little more about the Intentionomics Trust Model and to step up into being the role models that we are all still waiting for them to be.