A few months ago the attorneys at the Ramos Law Firm attended the annual Workers’ Compensation seminar on St. Simons Island, Georgia. Among the usual updates on case law and MSA’s was a most remarkable lecture on ethics.

The speaker was Richard Pimentel, whose life story inspired the motion picture Music Inside. His life has been an amazing real life allegory of the way our ethical decisions can shape who we are and lead to spiritual (and, in his case, financial) reward. For a better understanding about how Pimentel has led a life of consistently making the right decisions for the right reasons, you should rent the movie, as I cannot begin to approach the breadth of his accomplishment within the confines of this blog.

In his discussion of ethics, Pimentel likened making decisions to playing blackjack. He posed the question about what the appropriate strategy was if the player has 16 and the dealer shows a face card. The answer is that the odds favor taking another card. This is an easy decision if the player has only bet a dollar.

However, Pimentel then changed the hypothetical to raise the stakes. He asked if the decision is still easy if the player has wagered everything he owns on the game. The lesson being that making the right choice is not always easy when everything is on the line. Nonetheless, he implied, we should strive to make the right choice at all times, regardless of the stakes.