Hi, I’m Benny Callaghan. For the past twenty-plus years I have dedicated my life to creating a more just, kind, and compassionate world. I have had the good fortune to work with and for some of the most inspiring organisations and people in the social and systemic change space. Along with that I have journeyed with hundreds of creatively brilliant and dedicated people who share these same or similar ideals.
There is an assumption that because one has the intention of doing good, then naturally everything that we do must be good. But is intention enough?
As a leader, I have at times found myself in situations where my actions or decisions did not match either my intentions or the desired outcomes of the people I was serving. It wasn’t because I was ‘unethical’ or had poor intentions. It was because at times I lacked the models, questions and processes that could help me think ethically, and align my actions fully with my intent.
Changemaking is inherently messy as the ultimate goal is to make things different to how they currently are. So in essence change requires disruption, and disruption can easily create trauma or bring to the surface old trauma.
As the field of doing good is primarily about the lives of others, there are all sorts of ethical matters at stake. For every solution to a problem, new problems are created. How do we think, feel and act as we do this?
My passion and interest in ethics has been one of the most enduring queries of my professional journey. I’ve found some people find questions of ethics to be scary or daunting. Any exploration around ethics requires courage, compassion, and consciousness. I believe that, for the most part at least, people are inherently good. But I also believe our world will be inherently richer and kinder if we create courageous conversations about the process of how to do good.
I have found that it is not possible to talk about ethics without talking about power. And we cannot talk about power without talking about gender, culture, class, trauma, and the deep and ongoing impacts of colonisation. Scary? It doesn’t need to be.
I do not espouse to be an expert in ethics; I am here to learn. I dedicate this blog to compassionately exploring the ethical dimensions of social and systemic change. I welcome questions and comments. If you have a particular dilemma or story you would like to explore, please contact me. I would love to explore that with you.
See you on the journey,
Contact me: bennycallaghan [at] gmail [dot] com.
Copyright © 2012-2021 Benny Callaghan. All rights reserved.