Pete Seeger died on Tuesday. He was a mentor of mine.
Words I found about him in tribute talked of “unfailing integrity,” of how he is “a one man army on the side of the better angels in humankind.”
I think in some ways his music reflects one of the basic platforms of the true Christian message. Love thy neighbor.
He spouted idealism, optimism and justice. Pete had yearnings for what was right and fair and plain, sensible thinking.
I’ve been thinking a lot about ethics, “a set of principles of right conduct” and how those principles are defined. The Josephson Institute Center for Public Service Ethics that helps people young and old, businesses, policy makers and public service agencies think about values that are not political, religious, or culturally biased created six pillars that I feel describes Pete Seeger/the ideal citizen.
Pete stood for:
Trustworthiness — To be honest. Don’t deceive, cheat, or steal. Be reliable. Do what you say you’ll do. Have the courage to do the right thing. Build a good reputation. And be loyal — stand by your family, friends and country
Respect — Treat others with respect; follow the Golden Rule. Be tolerant and accepting of differences. Use good manners, not bad language. Be considerate of the feelings of others. Don’t threaten, hit or hurt anyone. Deal peacefully with anger, insults and disagreements.
Responsibility — Do what you are supposed to do. Plan ahead. Persevere — keep on trying. Always do your best. Use self-control. Be self-disciplined. Think before you act — consider the consequences. Be accountable for your words, actions and attitudes. Set a good example for others.
Fairness — Play by the rules. Take turns and share. Be open-minded; listen to others. Don’t take advantage of others. Don’t blame others carelessly. Treat all people fairly