Scams are a global phenomenon. People (the common man) now are fed up. If we go by the roadside banner the year ahead should surely be cleaner.

I recall a discussion in our Ethics & Values class on the recent US led Global recession.  Former Federal Reserve Chief Alan Greenspan was asked in a BBC interview in Sept 2009 – will the world suffer another financial crisis? What did he reply? Some of the excerpts are:

The world will suffer another financial crisis.

The crisis will happen again but it will be different. It’s human nature, unless somebody can find a way to change human nature, we will have more crises and none of them will look like this because no two crises have anything in common, except human nature.

So now the big question is – how can human nature change?


About Dilip

An open mind! Love to share my thoughts and a keenness to learn. An engineer and a MBA I had a wonderful innings in the Army and later moved to consultancy and teaching. My current interests are music and growing culinary herbs. Love to play golf and do yoga regularly. I am serious on "Living life less seriously". A warm welcome to you be well and be cheerful always.

28 responses

  1. akash says:

    Hi Sir,

    We pattern our life for those we respect most. I wish there were better word than Thanks for being a wonderful teacher and a noble human being I came across . I pray to Almighty for your health, happiness and longevity in life …

    Thank you very much for the knowledge which was shared by you, which is helping us a lot in attaining our targets(Goals …)

    Thanks a Lot …

    Do keep in touch always.

    With deep regards and wishes,

    Yours faithfully,


    • Dilip says:

      Dear Akash, I am touched by your comments and thank you for your good wishes. Do keep me posted on your professional moves and progress. With your zeal and commitment you are bound to achieve your goals. Yes lets keep in touch. Kind regards.


  2. Dilip says:

    @ Akash,
    @ Binod

    “Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well” – quote by Voltaire

    All the best to you!


  3. Binod Luitel says:

    Dear Sachin,

    Your small writing on business ethics is fair enough to bring aid to the values-run business and principles-centered living.

    There is no way any one can say that business cannot be run being ethical all the time. The truth is that you cannot sustain longer in business if you choose quick-fixed approach of making lucre and so does befall in mortal living.

    keep going as a freedom writer. All the best for the route ahead.



  4. Sachin Macwan says:

    Hi! Dear Sir.
    Greetings of the Monsoon. First, let me thank you for inspiring me to write on your blog. I am usually not accustomed with writing on blogs. It was first considerable effort. More things are to be shared during forthcoming days.


    Sachin Macwan


    • Dilip says:

      Sachin Initially I too found it very uncomfortable to write on blogs. But with the motivation provided by some of your seniors I took the plunge. It helped me open-up and soon I started learning in a fun way.

      You must visit blogs of great people like Subroto Bagchi as well as ordinary people and read the comments too. Do exploit LinkedIn too.

      I am sure very soon you will experience all this yourself. So wish you a enjoyable learning journey ahead.



  5. Sachin Macwan says:

    Before we start our conversation on Ethics, I would like to share a meaning of Ethics. It is a set of principles of right conduct, the rules or standards governing the conduct of a person or the members of a profession.

    • Matter of Morality:

    1) Value for Me:

    As Jesus Christ said, “Whatever comes from outside-in does not convert a person but whatever comes from inside-out converts”. The teaching of Christ is very basic which directly deals with morality. The teaching emphasizes on the heart of human being. Does morality matter to me? When we compromise with the morality before put in to the action a few times, our cognizant says we are doing something wrong. Now, instead of hearing real voice of heart, we hear unwanted voice. The output is immorality.

    2) Value for Society:

    It is being said, “Be wise and give serious thought to the way you live”. No one has eternal life on this earth. The teaching of Christ again says “As You Sow, So Shall You Reap”. In addition; he insists on our future which is based on present. “People, who live by the sword, die by the sword”. We are foreigners on this earth. The value we give to the society will be forever.

    3) Value for Others:

    Adolf Hitler killed 60 lakhs Jews having wrong impression in his mind that the Jews are responsible for the collapse of Germany during Second World War. The truth is that he was inspired by the writing of Friedrich Nietzsche’s book titled “GOD is dead”. There was no value for others in his mind. One notion can lead anyone to the Hell or Heaven.

    Business Ethics as a Field of Survey:

    Business Ethics is gaining a lot of relevance in today’s world. It is the concern of a person or members of profession. Many people believe in our country, it is not possible to lead a business with ethics. This is not true, as I know, many businessmen who run their business with ethics.

    Moral Philosophies:

    1) Relativism:

    People reject universal moral rules, norms or values. As American Poet Dr. Ravi Zacharias says “We have a right to believe whatever we want, but not everything we believe is right”. It is also found that people know the truth, but do not want to follow the truth. Because truth asks for the determination with value.

    2) Idealism:

    When moral judgment is based on the person’s concern for public welfare, the lesson of business ethics can be taught in B Schools. But, morality can not be taught. It is a spontaneous force.

    Ethics Guidelines for Business World:

    a) Accurate Measures:

    The payment that our companies make should be fair payment. Any illegal transaction should not take place. By putting it into the practice, it will be done easily.

    b) Total Honesty:

    There should be total honesty. HR can play mighty role for promoting this value. From the first day of induction, the training should be provided about honesty.

    c) Being a Servant:

    Servant Leadership is mandatory. It means before suggesting others, the owner of the company should do it first. Be an example for others.

    d) Personal Responsibility:

    It is personal responsibility for each citizen to live with morality. Sometimes, it becomes painful when others do not follow such value. However; we should look into ourselves instead of others.

    e) Reasonable Profit:

    To earn profit is always good. It should be earned with values.
    Pay your tax regularly.
    Keep your accounts clean.
    Respect authorities.
    In short, do not break any law of the land.

    Sachin Macwan


    • Dilip says:

      Hello & a warm welcome Sachin,

      A comprehensive essay that covers a wide range of the application of ethics and morals. Each of the point far reaching implications and offers good scope for debate.

      Picking one of your points that remains inconclusive in discussions is “Many people believe in our country, it is not possible to lead a business with ethics. This is not true, as I know, many businessmen who run their business with ethics”.

      I too agree with you while we must definitely run the business with ethical practices at times it may become necessary in rare exceptions to adopt a ‘teleological’ approach. Wonder if you heard Mr. Parmar’s guest lecture on how to remain joyful. I think this point did come up in Q&A sessions. We could discuss it further if you wish.

      Thank you and I’d like to hear more from you.

      With warm regards!


    • akash says:

      Dear Sachin,
      well done …excellent article …keep it up …
      Thanks & Best Regards,


  6. suhas says:

    What does nature consist of? The human being consists of 5 elements,,water, fire,air, space. Also he is governed by mind, intellect & EGO.{bhumi,aapa, anala, wayu, kham, man, buddhi & ahankar}
    Every human being has 3 gunas in him. Satwa, Rajas & Tamas But these are in different proportions.
    It is like coffee-made of sugar, milk & coffee. Every person makes coffee of different taste; similarly every person has a different proportion of these Gunas in him/her.
    Desire is a factor which governs us. Everyone has desire some things. We want name, fame, peace & prosperity. If you possess a cycle you want a scooter; when you get a scooter you want a car. Then you want a Mercedes. One desire when fulfilled gives rise to 4 more. It is the mind which prompts you for these. It is the desire which if tackled gives peace of mind.
    Human nature can change by experience. It can change by knowledge. If you call for a cup of tea at the road side canteen, it takes about 5 min. for the owner to serve you. But if you start hurrying up the owner, it does not help. It will take 5 min. come what may. This experience (knowledge) teaches you to respect the other person’s requirements.
    It takes effort to respect others’ views. It takes time to acquire knowledge. Change of human nature is at a slow pace. But it can change.


    • Dilip says:

      Hello Suhas,

      Its a beautiful explanation. You have simplified the high ‘fundas’ with simple examples and brought out the meaning very well. The last sentence “Change of human nature is at a slow pace. But it can change” is very encouraging.

      Thanks you for your visit and for the enriching comments! Come again.


  7. Dilip says:

    Oh thanks Sri … what a lovely way to connect with the theme on ‘can we change human nature’. It fits very well. Regards!


  8. Sriram says:

    The Grandma & Starfish Tale

    Once due to a storm, the rough sea had left hordes of starfish ‘beached’. Early next morning an Old Lady was on the beach picking up the struggling starfish one by one and throwing them into the sea. A boy who was observing this asked the old lady what she was doing. The Lady smiled and said that she was trying to save the starfishes’ lives. The Boy replied, ” but there are hundreds of them and surely you can’t save’em all! What a waste of effort!” The Old Lady smiled even as she picked a starfish and flinging it into the sea, replied ” It made a difference to this ONE!”

    This is an oft quoted story to emphasize the truth that every action counts and we need the right perspective to KNOW that it counts!

    So when we talk of change in human nature globally & universally,achieving it is as impossible as the grandma saving the lives of all the starfish, but every human changes and can be saved like each starfish saved by the lady!




  9. VEDANT SHARMA says:

    Dear Sir
    First of all, wish a happy new year n happy lohri.

    Its really nice question about human nature change.. before writing i was thinkin what’s the relation between financial crisis and human nature.. then i get to know the reason.. hopefully you will also find the same… because of human greed for money is the main reason.. everyone wants to live in a king size life including me.. that’s why we never satisfy with our earnings..

    Nw the question comes how to change human nature?
    I don’t know i am right or wrong.. i think so because we are not praying to God.. instead of it we are running behind money and living lavish life
    I think so if we start praying then our mind will also divert from the same. Then, with the Grace of God may be the human nature will start. Hopefully, then we few will start to walk on a good path instead of bad that’s the main reason we concentrate on biz values& ethics.



    • Dilip says:

      Dear Vedant,

      Thanks for the greetings wish you too a lovely New Year and a very enjoyable Lohri. Are you in Pune, Punjab or Delhi?

      I liked your thoughts on ‘human nature & change’. Yes surely Greed is the root cause of frauds that most people fall prey to. You are right prayers to the almighty and gratitude for all that he has given us is a good way to resist the power of greed.

      How are you doing? and thanks Vedant and keep coming.



  10. Sriram says:

    dear sir,

    The west has always been the symptom fixer whilst the orient has always been the problem fixer. Alan Greenspan’s observation is spot on, but look at the way the west behaves in a crisis – more rules / more regulations or more incentives and more sticks! Changing humans requires much more than fixing symptoms and understand the root problem.

    Our Masters set out to find the root cause of the problems that are observed in the ‘world’ or ‘samsara’ and they all came to the same conclusion. Man is his best enemy and best friend, all his enemies are within – Kama(lust),Krodha (anger), Lobha (greed), Moha (delusion), Madha (pride), Matsarya (envy) – these 6 arise from a simple common factor – AVIDHYA (ignorance). So they said remove this Ignorance and Man is his best friend & the World is FIXED.
    So they said that One who is to be looked upon as an EXEMPLAR is one who has gone beyond these enemies and becomes his best friend. Such people were the (Gnani)”AWARE” or the ones who had ridden themselves of their IGNORANCE.

    Hence they said that the Highest form of SERVICE is to Help the SELF become AWARE and rid itself of its IGNORANCE.

    Our Masters also further investigated this ignorance. from where does it come. what is its cause? Our Masters came to the conclusion that this is a CAUSELESS CAUSE and it has no beginning and hence no end. And hence there will always be IGNORANCE in this WORLD. So getting rid of these problems at the global level by bringing about a change in human nature is IMPOSSIBLE. and the only solution then emerges from the famous grandma and starfish tale! Each human changes and hence the world changes.

    Our Masters have been both prescriptive and philosophical about individual change and have given us multitudinous ways to get THERE, so its upto every human to take up the challenge to defeat his enemies and become the best friend of himself and hence the world.

    Now the fundamental argument for this solution not being workable is that it sounds IMPRACTICAL and that it is SUBJECTIVE. However, one should ponder about this – If the nature of illness / problem is such that it is subjective then should not the treatment also be so?

    If someone is pretending to be asleep, can we awaken him unless he wants to ‘wake up’ himself? so is the case with ignorance. Unless the individual realises that all the problems are because of these inner enemies and that it is within him to conquer them and become the best of friends with himself, can anyone or any system, force him to realise his folly and make him do so?

    So it is for us to be wise to the fact of the cause of the problem and hence the nature of the solution.

    If every Master who has graced this earth from Jesus to Mohammed from Krishna to Buddha, from Mahavir to Guru Nanak and the other illustrious Ones who are too numerous to mention, has come to the same conclusion that the problems of the world arise from within the minds of men, isn’t it proof enough?

    So what about a Practical Solution ? – We can first of all remember that this is not solvable through systems, but by creating conducive environs for people to enhance their own understanding of their selves so as to enable them to be rid of their ignorance. This can happen only when we have systems that encourage / demonstrate that GENTLEMEN FINISH FIRST, that TRUTH and HONESTY always is rewarded, that JUSTICE is never denied and that we celebrate the highest of morals in personal and public life.

    Phew ! that’s a tall order! imagine a world where short cuts don’t pay off, that people know that what is wrong at the heart and mind is WRONG according to the rules as well!

    Its very difficult to be WRONG, but easy to be RIGHT. We don’t ever sweat when we say the Truth, but we sweat and go dry in the mouth whenever we say untruth. Our physiology gives us away and yet we see lying as a hardship to be endured for ‘success’ and the systems of the world are such that such ‘success’ is CELEBRATED. if only the systems of the world were more in tune with our physiology!

    Getting after the systems is again a short cut. let’s not cheat ourselves. Let each one of us decide that we would never go against our physiology (conscience) and let’s not be taken in by the world – “OH so much is wrong with the world, my little wrongs do not matter” – let’s remember that drops of water maketh the ocean and every one of us can make a difference, however slight, but is still a difference!

    So as the TATA advt goes – JAGO RE!

    Cheers & a Happy New Year!



    • Dilip says:

      Dear Sriram,

      What a beautiful response. I would love to read and reread to understand the deeper meanings of what you have explained. I specially like the global and individual dimension of bringing ‘change in human nature’. And yes its good to understand that ‘problems of the world arise from within the minds of men’- how very true.

      I find your ‘practical solution’ quite workable at the organizational level. Of course the right leadership and a value based culture is the nearest that one can aspire for.

      Many many thanks for this lovely commentary on a subtle issue.

      BTW I plead ignorance to the ‘grandma and starfish tale’. Tell me one day 🙂



  11. Prachiti says:

    Sir, everyone talks about others cause it is the best thing to do. It requires lot of courage to change ourself than to cribbing about the world and how it should change.


    • Dilip says:

      Prachiti I agree with you when we crib about the things that we feel are wrong our energies get wasted. It is best to accept the world as it is and channelize our energies towards our own self-development.

      Thanks for sharing your insights!


    • sohandhande says:

      yes, definitely the intrinsic micro-scopic behavioral change matters.
      I wouldn’t hesitate to mention hear that even today, we do not think twice, to bribe a govt clerk (if its an urgent work or document to be processed).
      But, as well said by Prachiti, it takes a lot of courage. Also, at times patience are required. I remember the time (somewhere 5-6 years back), when I had approached Govt Admin for the map of my village-plot. The clerk had 2 conditions – either pay Rs 20 or come after 2 days. I chose the later option & got that piece of field map after the span of 2 days… so patience & time availability also matters.
      GREED is another most important evil, which has no reasoning behind it. whether you have money or not, Greed spares none.

      Sohan Dhande.


      • Dilip says:

        Dear Sohan,

        Lovely to hear from you and that’s an interesting story you shared :)Yes I agree Greed spares none but in the end it does also bring along unhappiness and sorrow.

        As you rightly agree with Prachiti we need to develop patience and courage.

        Many thanks & best of luck.


  12. I think its awareness about one’s true self that can bring a change in human nature. Education plays a vital role in moulding human behavior in the right direction.


    • Dilip says:

      Yesss Sir … the solution lies in ‘awareness about our inner self’. Only then can transformation happen. Education and listening to people who have achieved a higher state certainly helps.

      Thanks Hitesh. Come again.


  13. Prachiti says:

    I feel, Changing human nature is like ‘writing WATER, with WATER, on WATER’. But at the same time, we can try to change ourselves rather than trying to change others. The first most important thing we need to change is attitude saying ‘what alone I can do’. When we say this we forget that all the revolutions started by a single people and then rest is history, for eg. Mahatma Gandhi, Mangal Pandey, the list is endless. Second thing we need to change in ourselves is typical “CHALTA HAI” attitude.
    To summarize, I will say Changing yourself is easy than expecting World to change.


    • Dilip says:

      Hi Prachiti,

      That’s a fine response. Yes its true ‘changing human nature is like ‘writing WATER, with WATER, on WATER’:)

      I am glad that your last sentence does end with an important message ‘look within’ and work on changing yourself. But most people tend to talk about the world which really amounts to nothing isn’t it?

      Cheers & best regards.


  14. Dwarak Ethiraj says:

    I think we have the problem leading to a wrong question, viz changing human nature, which is beyond scope of humans. A more pragmatic approach would be to deal with systems that enable scams, at a more fundamental level. The process is a continuous one,with challenges keeping pace with technology.


    • Dilip says:

      Hi there,

      Thanks for sharing you views. Changing human nature does seem beyond human but then we do have examples of people who have changed their nature at some stage of life. Of course it is extremely difficult because human nature is deeply rooted in the self – ‘ego’. And removing ego is undoubtedly the most difficult task.

      Not withstanding the above I agree that effective financial systems and checks and balances surely must be in place and reviewed periodically.

      Many thanks & kind regards.