When the spirit is sound, the body will follow

The title is borrowed version of the famous saying "a sound mind in a healthy body" (mens sana in corpora sano), which is in this form or another known to all of the world's traditions. In the time of the Olympic flame it should be recalled that a sound mind in a healthy body in sports proverbial, serves as a motivational principle and is sooner or later rewarded with a medal. Often we find it in the medical field, in promotional programs or at folk healer who orders imaginary patient that he should first "clear his head" and then the immune system will take care of the body.

In the political and economic body of most of the world, the sound spirit has apparently succumbed to vanity, greed, corruption and crime. The same reasons had put to a hospital bed humanity, compassion, intellect and wisdom, ones that in responsible management of the State or any corporation collectively “ponder” how to act in order for people to live a decent, good, fair and happy life. In the early eighties, when searching for solutions how to return pushed aside human back to the stage of the universal drama and protect common values against global threats, the international institutions have started, in addition to the already promoted legal standards and conventions, to promote ethical standards. The result of this promotion is an international ethical infrastructure with samples of codes and good practices that serve as global ethical principles for managing and solving ethical dilemmas and for the revival of a sound mind in the public as well as in the private sector.

Awareness of the importance of ethical standards has reinforced in Slovenia after the independence when the country stepped up in joining international organizations, relations and connections where it was adopting international obligations to enhance it’s status and reputation in international community. The largest contribution had been undoubtedly given by the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Slovenia, because the decisions and separate opinions of the judges foster understanding and respect for constitutional values, political, legal and ethical culture, democracy and the rule of law. Regarding to the transfer of international standards Slovenia adopted Code of Conduct for the Civil Servants, prepared by the Council of Europe as a recommendation to the Member States, in 2001, in the corporate area, particularly in the management of public companies, the development of ethics and integrity in our country is largely based on model codes, recommendations, guidelines and good practices of OECD.

Common people who live a modest, but honest life are mostly aware of the fundamental values and virtues of good and righteous living in the community. This unspoken code is innate to them or has been internalized over the years of exemplary life along the lines of ancestors. In contrast to mentioned common people, some, who are by their social status and privileges said to be most notably responsible for the fate of the nation and the state obviously lost their ethical compass. Hand in hand they are followed by those who have with malfeasances contributed the most that our society is sinking into a swamp of crime, corruption, dehumanisation and discouragement.

Public ethics and integrity can help us from this situation to a better future, but not with the codes, written with “bad faith”. But mere words from codes of ethics are not enough for successfully focusing to the good and fair, although they have a symbolic meaning that binds signatories to identify with common values and goals, it is necessary to internalize them and most importantly follow them.

To conclude I will once again summarize the address phrase "When the spirit is sound, the body will follow" taking to be considered to listen to the folk healer and try to “clear the head of our country” with codes of ethics, so the sound spirit can strengthen the immune system of our society.

M. Sc. Bećir Kečanović, Assistant Chief Commissioner for the editorial of KPK Vestnik newsletter, nr. 17