Honesty and the Common Good
  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Describe the characteristics of someone who helps others.
    2. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Describe the importance of hearing all voices in a community and respecting their right to be heard.
      2. Benchmark MS.3 Give an example of how philanthropy can transcend cultures.
  2. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.3 Identify and give examples of stewardship in cultural traditions around the world.
      2. Benchmark MS.4 Identify and describe the actions of how citizens act for the common good.
      3. Benchmark MS.5 Describe the responsibility students have to act in the civil society sector to improve the common good.

Learners will reflect in writing on the role of the common good and honesty when rules are not clearly stated and people have different amounts of power.

PrintOne 20-minute lesson

The learner will:

  • brainstorm options for how to deal with situations equitably where the rules aren't clear.
  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Discuss why there can't be rules for how everything should be done. What would be the benefits and downsides of appropriate behaviors being defined strictly by right and wrong?

  2. Discuss an ambiguous situation like a teen found a dollar in the lunchroom under a lunch table. Ask them "What possible options does this student have?" Does it become clearer if no one is around? Are there different expectations or fears if this student was a person of color? 

  3. List the options they propose and discuss the pros and cons of each. Then, together star the options that seem the most honest and best for the good of all. 

  4. Some people may say they don’t care for rules because they are too restrictive. Rules tend to limit one's fun and freedom, but they also provide guidelines and sometimes protect people and situations where people have different levels of power. In a civil society, rules protect everyone. They protect the agile and the disabled, the speedy and the methodical, the privileged and the marginalized. Rules help our world work effectively and efficiently. Since all situations are not defined by clear rules, we have to use honest integrity.

  5. Ask the learners to propose situations where the rules are not clear and they must use ethical decision-making. They may ask hypothetical questions that the group discusses. For example, What should I do if one friend asks me to go to a movie Friday night, and I say yes. Then another friend asks me to go to a basketball game the same night, and I want to do that more than I want to go to the movie.