Everyday ethics work effortlessly in Taiwan
By Manuel Ignacio Tefel Cuadra
June 8, 2012, 12:38 am TWN
The first thing that comes to mind when asked what I like the most about a place is usually the local food. Although one can procure ingredients particular to certain regions all over the globe, unless the person preparing the dish knows the tradition in which it is to be prepared, the taste will not be the same.
The same goes for a city's infrastructure. Most cities have a distinctive style or a specific landmark that sets it apart, but when considering modern cities, we can all agree, in a general way, that they are all pretty much the same, the commonly used phrase is, "concrete jungle."
Languages are all different but have a common purpose — communication. Most cities offer the same global brand names and render similar services, but they are always tailored to the needs of the local market.
If we take all of the aforementioned into account we can deduce the common denominator that sets each place apart — its people. Every land has similar resources, but it is the people that find different ways to use them in making our lives more practical. Our personal ideas are what make the difference. We all raise our children to be good, but the concept of "good" might differ from culture to culture. PricewaterhouseCoopers has an excellent understanding of this and is why they invest a great deal in the personal development of all their human talent — "Our distinctive approach to diversity is based on a belief that each of us is personally accountable for creating and sustaining an inclusive environment."
The most attractive component of Taiwan is what breathes life into every other aspect. Shortly after you arrive in Taiwan you will notice the quality of its people. They are very kind, hospitable and always willing to lend a hand. The conduct of respect is amazing in this island. What is most noteworthy is the attitude towards doing what is right. Whether a universal code of morality exists or not, I am sure the Taiwanese people have tapped into a source of an ethics system, but most importantly, they put it into practice in their daily lives. The biggest difference between most Western civilizations and the Taiwanese people is the reason behind the behavior. There is a feeling that society in the West does the right thing due to a fear of incarceration, persecution, lawsuits, and possible eternal damnation; or, in one word, consequences. The general feeling visitors get from the Taiwanese people is that people do the right thing simply because it is the right thing to do.
A couple of quotes mentioning the difference between doing things right and doing the right thing are attributed to Peter F. Drucker, known as the founding father of the study of management. Mr. Drucker specialized in strategy and was keen on the relationship between doing the right thing and success. If this concept can do wonders for a business, you do not have to imagine what it can do for a whole society, its people and environment. You need only visit Taiwan for a short period of time and will surely see this for yourself and experience its magic hands-on.