THE BLOG
12/05/2013 04:39 pm ET | Updated Feb 03, 2014

The Economy, Creativity and Ethics-Teaching Our Children to Choose

As our nation continues to face the effects of the recession, graduates from around the country compete for the limited positions available. While many attempt to heal from from the plummeting market and the unforgivable Ponzi scheme by one of the our nation's most vile citizens, Bernard Madoff, a wounded and untrusting America is left to ponder why only 20 percent of last year's graduating class have signed "The M.B.A. Oath," a voluntary student-led pledge that the goal of a business manager is to "serve the greater good." It promises that Harvard M.B.A.'s will act responsibly, ethically and refrain from advancing their "own narrow ambitions" at the expense of others.

Are those who chose to sign the voluntary student-led-pledge to be applauded? The applause belongs to the parents of these young scholars and future leaders as they have found a way to shelter their children from the plague of social entitlement that runs rampid within our society. How is it that nearly 80 percent of Harvard's graduating class elected to take a pass on signing this student-led-pledge? Are they leaving the door of advancement through exploitation open and closing the their minds to serving the greater good? I find this doubtful and am hopeful that the 80 percent simply did not see the need to sign such a document as it is a given that we are not to exploit our fellow man that we are here to serve the greater good leaving a legacy that one can be proud of.

The unfortunate exploitation by those in office give us opportunity to further teach our children some of the most basic human social graces. Kindness, the anti-bully campaigns that are sweeping across our nation's schools to help ensure safety for all children is purely based upon the simplest concept of kindness. Madoff's crimes in their simplest form were unkind causing heartbreak to many including loss of life from despair.

Each day parents are presented with opportunities to teach their children the effects of choice. Making better choices is a invaluable life lesson. Perhaps when they are grown and encounter what some would find a "tough choice" they will remember a conversation of the past and find the answer, the ethical answer with ease.

Stephanie Jelley is co-founder and chief executive officer of umojawa, a crowdfunding platform supporting educational and not-for-profit organizations serving youth and their communities. Using new age digital media and innovative social media strategies, umojawa's crowdfunding platform helps educators, parent teacher volunteers, and organizations to effectively promote their initiatives.

Stephanie's path leading to umojawa, both professionally and personally, served as the perfect preparation for what would become umojawa, a "hybrid community for social change". She has developed and delivered programs to help promote mindfulness and social-emotional learning in projects for teens, educators and parents, with a particular focus on those in at-risk circumstances.

Through "The Center," she co-facilitated the installation of Mindfulness Without Borders Mindfulness Ambassador Council for Essex County, New Jersey at Rutgers University's Institute for International Peace. She has presented "An Alternative to the Habitual Thinking: Changing the Inner Dialogue" at Central Connecticut University with Dr. Daniel Barbazat, Professor of Economics at Amherst College and Executive Director of the Center for the Contemplative Mind in Society.

Stephanie is married and mother to three boys and one empress living outside New York City. To keep up with Stephanie's many characters (140 to be exact), follow her on Twitter @stephaniejelley @umojawa