Civility Can be Profitable

An occasional outburst of righteousness from our leaders is not enough to make citizens uphold moral values. It requires discipline and consistency to reinforce the right principles and traditions. Respecting cultures and people should be at the heart of our national consciousness.

This can create a sense of affection and respect, not just for Ethiopians, but for all humanity. It can teach us the benefit of learning to value and respect others irrespective of their opinions and background.

A culture of respect offers us a variety of benefits. Reverence for others can provide automatic sense of unity and collaboration. We human beings are all equal but also different. Diversity not only needs to be celebrated but also revered. Respecting other people begins with respecting ourselves and our moral values.

Despite approaches, this problem also exists in Addis Abeba, often referred to us as a melting pot of cultures. The importance of general values and principles to relate more effectively with another is neglected.

A few weeks back I went out for lunch with a friend. We do not meet often but when we do, we look for the best eatery in town. He suggested a place around Bole Medhanialem, in Bole district, where we had an appetising local dish.

But on my way out of the restaurant, we spotted a rather inappropriatly framed photo hanging on a wall for all to see. It took me time, but I was able to inquire what the owner of the restaurant was trying to say by a photo that disparages people’s physical appearances.

Laughing, he said not to bother with the photo as it is not meant to represent the “likes of you.”

Moral values have been overshadowed by our contemporary commercialised conceptions of what is appealing and what is not.

Even for businesses, there is a point to be made against being crass, and uncultured. Such lack of values can affect the standard and style of customer service delivered and how the organisation is viewed from the outside. How businesses operate and the strength of their values will affect their ability to achieve financial objectives.

A businesses founding purpose and values can easily be undermined simply by the values it chooses to uphold. It can create negative associations with the business, its customers and possible-customers.

Upholding moral values and purposes and embedding them into daily operations ought to become an integral part of how the organisation operates. There is a call for originality, but that has never contradicted civility.

It is usually the medium-end eateries that display inappropriate messages, which they believe is humorous and appealing to customers. It is unfortunate in that such places are frequented by young adults.

There can be creativity by not straying from moral principles and lose sight of respect for human dignity. Individuals and institutions ought to prioritise respectfulness to work for the good of everyone without breaking core moral values.

Being respectful should be the first step in creating goals. It helps us follow-through on our goals, and there should not be exceptions to this in businesses. When this permeates our society, we all benefit. And fortunately, it does not require physical or mental assets to achieve such attitudes.

How we handle criticisms of crude messages we display in an effort to be funny is equally important. It should not be that we are willing to listen to feedback when they are only positive.

By accepting criticism, businesses can discover more opportunities to deliver service that are as universally acceptable as possible. Business often adopts to society. If the society is not wholly respectful of human dignity, they take a similar form. Thus, it should be us, customers, that take the moral imperative to reward those that are tolerant and high-minded.

By Eden Sahle
Eden Sahle is founder and CEO of Yada Technology Plc. She has studied Law and International Economic Law. She can be reached at

Published on Jun 23,2018 [ Vol 19 ,No 947]



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