Beautiful Souls: Seminar 4
One of the most interesting stories in Beautiful Souls is the story of Leyla Widler. Unlike the other stories in the book, Leyla's acts of moral conviction did not take place in an extreme situation, but rather involved confronting something fishy in her day-to-day life. To Leyla, it was not immediately clear that she was in the kind of circumstances that called for moral leadership, and the author himself notes that Leyla often wondered if she was imagining trouble where there was none. We will use Leyla's story to explore everyday moral leadership; the practice of good ethical decision-making in our day-to-day lives that, as in Leyla's case, is very often essential to making our everyday worlds the kind of places that we want to live in. We will talk about the kinds of ethical decision-making skills that Leyla possessed and exercised, which enabled her to stand up to what she perceived as corruption and wrongdoing in her workplace. We will also discuss the important issue of institutional integrity: that is, the responsibilities of institutions (such as financial services firms) towards their customers, employees, and communities, which the Stanford Group vividly failed to live up to in Leyla's story.
This event is by invitation only decided by the Penn State Reads staff.