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Ethical Wisdom for Friends

Ethical Wisdom for Friends


What do you do when you can’t stand your friend’s children? Is it ever okay to lie to a friend? How do you react when a friend’s spouse comes on to you? Author Mark Matousek’s latest book, Ethical Wisdom for Friends, answers these questions and more through personal stories, evidence from other authors and words of wisdom both old and new. This is a down-to-earth handbook for relationships and a refreshingly amusing guide to the everyday problems between friends that can and should be resolved by learning to be aware of ethical solutions. Ethical Wisdom for Friends deals with everything from gossiping and getting too involved in a friend’s life to frenemies, lying and jealousy. These ethical issues can cause a myriad of problems in relationships between friends, and with Matousek’s advice, solutions abound. In each chapter, Matousek shares a story about friends involved in a predicament. By using the words of various authors, as well as lessons from Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism and Islam, Matousek gives advice on how to deal with certain situations by using a framework of ethics. Applying the principles is easy with the thought-provoking questions asked in the “Consider This” section of the book at the end of each chapter. Questions such as “How does jealousy play into your friendships?”, “Are possessiveness and competitiveness problematic for you?” and “How many of your friendships began as romantic attractions?” probe and allow the reader to think about what they just read and apply it to themselves. Moral dilemmas are never easy to get through, especially when a friend is involved. Ethical Wisdom for Friends is a light read that teaches so much about the way relationships form, develop and eventually change us. 

How many people do you know who have countless online friends, but no friends in their hometown? Do you and your friends gossip about others in your immediate circle of friends? How do you feel spending every week getting by at your less-than-dream job while your friend gets rich doing what she loves? All of these are legitimate ethical quandaries that friends can sometimes find themselves in. Ethical Wisdom isn’t about good or bad behavior; it’s about learning to handle the emotions in a healthy way to create strong and 9780757317279lasting relationships with friends. Matousek’s nonjudgmental and grounded approach makes readers feel normal about having these feelings and motivates them to change their actions. Matousek defines friendship as “an ongoing practice of transcending prejudice, willingness to be wrong and getting over what we think is right.” In Ethical Wisdom for Friends, this message is at the heart of each chapter’s lesson. Letting go of thinking we are right can be the first step to learn how to deal with ethically challenging problems in our friendships. Aside from that, learning that there are complex emotions involved in every issue and that keeping friendships healthy and thriving is not always easy can help readers through any dilemma. Matousek gives readers the insight and the tools they need to grow emotionally and develop deeper relationships with friends. 

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