Do we need mandatory ethics courses?

By Stan Albert

Just this week, my colleagues and I were mulling over the discussions on LinkedIn regarding a mandatory ethics course here in Ontario for all registrants. I was pondering what my comment would be when the following appeared my desk courtesy of a long-time friend, Alberto Pintos. It truly hit home on the subject of ethics and life lessons.

Bob Proctor is a world traveler and a professional motivational speaker. Bob and I go back to 1972, when he settled in Belleville, my hometown, along with his then-partner, John Kanary. I became a fan of his seminars for many years. One day in the fall of 1989 I took one of his courses and I handed him the following excerpt from the Writings of Rabbi in 12th Century Spain, for him to use in one of his broadcasts.

My hope is that you will pass this on to your registrants, clients, family and friends. I am pleased to share it with you:

“My son, ability is of no avail without inclination. Exert yourself while young.

Devote yourself to science and religion, accustom yourself to social living.

Take good care of your health, do not be your own destroyer.

Let not prospect of great gain blind you to risk your life. Be not like a bird that sees the grain and not the net. Respect your family by providing decent clothes according to your means.

My son, show kindness to all human beings. Tend those who are sick and heal the poor gratuitously.

All I ask of you is to attain a higher degree of status, to behave in a friendly spirit towards all; to gain a good name; to deserve praise for all your dealings with your fellow man; to revere God and follow his commandments.

Honour your wife to your utmost capacity.

Devote yourself to your children; be tender to them; be not indifferent to any ailment in them or yourself.

Arrange your library in fair order, so as not to weary yourself in your search for the book you need. Never refuse to lend books to anyone who can be trusted to return them.

Honour your teachers and attach yourself to your friends. Treat them with respect in all places and in all circumstances.”

Bob Proctor is still doing seminars and I would heartily recommend my readers to seek him out.

This is not the first article I’ve commented on regarding the growing lack of ethics in our profession. Frankly, I doubt whether Ontario’s education facilitator, OREA, will be able to mandate this necessary part of our education requirements. Surely by now one of the heads of education at OREA would have weighed in on this controversy, which was started by my friend Barry Lebow some months back.

I know that fellow managers and registrants alike would welcome such a course.

However, having said that, I wonder what good it would do. Especially in light of the awesome lack of true results from the current Real Estate Council of Ontario’s mandatory Update Course.

Maybe it’s just that I’m becoming more of a curmudgeon on this and other elements in our profession.

The practice of being ethical is not just an occurrence that you can easily ignore and throw it away. One must practice it every day in every way.

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Doug Baird

Doug Baird

Broker of Record
CENTURY 21 Infinity Realty Inc., Brokerage*
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