Give Me Closure

 

Goodbyes are Hard

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.

-Songwriters: Dan Wilson

Closing Time lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

As we come to the end of our blog posts, and our ethics class, it occurs to me that we’re actually beginning the rest of our professional and personal lives. I’m struck by how difficult endings and goodbyes can be, and how we’ve learned how small actions, or lack of action,  can have lasting effects on others beyond the end of someone’s job status.  Throughout class we heard many stories of people who were effected by ethical and environmental decisions, many of whom were seeking closure or retribution and never got it. To me some of the most shocking stories I heard were from whistle blowers whose co-workers never even said good-bye to them, said they weren’t talking, or officially made an attempt to break ties. Talk about lack of closure! It would be one thing if you were told you were getting the silent treatment or yelled at, but to just be shunned with no official recognition, talk about experiencing gaslight. But I’m especially struck by how the ending of something, however lacking in closure it can be, can have such lasting effects on the beginning of new things. From the ending of George Washington’s Presidency the world saw how power could be peacefully transferred between leaders.

 

The end and lack of closure from WWI caused WWII. Most of the “applied ethics” we’ve studied in class are either stories of heroism (or lack thereof), or acknowledgements of on-going ethical dilemmas that lack closure.  This class has made me think about how we don’t control what our legacy is, but we have to form habits so that hopefully our legacies are what we want them to be.

Let me tell you what I wish I’d known
When I was young and dreamed of glory
Don’t nobody have control
Who lives, who dies, who tells your story

– History Has it’s Eyes on You

Hamilton

 

When I was younger I used to make a point of saying hello to every person I knew whenever I saw them, because I was terrified that I would not get the chance to say goodbye. This stemmed from experiencing loss as a young person, and I didn’t fully break the habit until college when often people walk across campus on the phone or with head phones. I’ve always struggled to say goodbye. There are so many different ways I’ll let the von Trapps sing them for you.

 

Since I’m not sure what to say here’s, the best goodbye in movie history.

Maybe this is the start of a beautiful friendship for all of us and our ethical sense of selves.

Or maybe this is a wake up call that we have to live in the moment, as if each moment could be the one that is chosen by history as our legacy. There are many ethical quandaries I’m sure we’ll face in our futures, but I hope that our time in this class has made everyone feel prepared, or at least that we can reach out to each other when the need arises.

It’s been a pleasure learning from all of you.

I’ve heard it said
That people come into our lives
For a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well I don’t know if I believe that’s true
But I know I’m who I am today
Because I knew you

 

Here’s to our new beginnings!

-You know you love me. xoxo Ethics Girl

Thats All Folks GIF

 

4 Responses to “Give Me Closure”

  • Marc Edwards:

    Beautiful!

  • Matthew Ferby:

    I want to open my response with I LOVE MUSICALS! As I mentioned in another posting, my siblings and I watched and learned many at the direction of our mother. And by direction I mean FORCED to learn them.

    I hope that everyone takes away exactly what they to be their true yet ethical self. I believe it will be a balance act for me. I have fun. I also believe in making sure my environment is fun. I hope this does not shade me from discovering when my actions are not appropriate for the general welfare of the public. As we have seen many times, good people go down the drain just as often as bad people. I consider myself a good person. But will there come a moment when I indirectly become a bad guy? I hope not. Musicals teach us so many lessons. Think Les Mis! Staying true to the purpose of the blog, the cast members of Les Mis committed treason, went against societal norms, etc. to do what was right. Whistle blowing much. I hope I can carry the lessons of Les Mis, Sound of Music, and other musicals into my professional life.

    • esmerin:

      Hahaha as you’ve probably guessed I love musicals too!!! Once a semester I think about going to New York with only $54 in my pocket and trying to make it like Madonna. Then of course I remember that I was cut from the dance team in high school. Sad face. But Micheal Jordan was cut too so there’s still hope haha. But seriously musical theatre captures society’s soul and we need art so we can reflect on our moral values and right and wrong. By escaping to fantasy we can more clearly see our reality. I think a big part of why the hero’s monolith is so important for teaching ethics, as well as getting attention for an ethical cause is because humans need stories to feel. We can understand math and concepts and theories, but without a story we do not feel and we will not fight for what is right. Knowing that Jean Valjean stole bread to feed his starving sister allows us to empathize with a convict. Orange is the New Black is another successful show (though sadly not a musical) that capitalizes on telling convict’s stories and making us empathize with criminals. Chicago is such a successful musical because it flips the reformative Les Mis narrative of the convict’s true story painting them as a mostly good or innocent person in unfortunate circumstances, and we empathize with true criminals in Cell Block Tango, yet we come to the same conclusion “you would’ve done the same” that we come to about stealing bread for our starving sister. Chicago is a great ironic ethical drama as we fall in love with Roxy who literally kills a guy because he won’t put her on stage, and the limelight of her murder case gets her the attention she wants. I would say Chicago is an impressionistic piece that is as iconic to the darker paintings of the American dream as is the Great Gatsby, both are about materialism and show shallow morally corrupt people as idols, and the real beauty is that we as society don’t feel bad watching these stories even though they point out our greatest flaws. Sorry for the rant on musicals, needless to say if anyone ever wants to talk, watch or SING musicals, “there’s a place for us”. (if you get the reference let me know)

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