You’ve probably heard the old saying about there being “honor among thieves.” The basic idea of this saying is that even in the community of the criminal underworld there is an expectation of a certain set of ethics and code of conduct. Namely, criminals don’t compromise the criminal activity of other criminals, and ultimately adhere to a sense of morality. Otherwise, their mutual criminal enterprise may ultimately be compromised, and their organization destroyed.
Over a decade ago, news broke that the police busted a famous Sicilian mafia crime boss by the name of Salvatore Lo Piccolo. While collecting evidence they discovered a document that outlined “Ten Commandments” for his mafia family. Those commandments were as follows:
The “Ten Commandments” Of The Mafia
- No-one can present himself directly to another of our friends. There must be a third person to do it.
- Never look at the wives of friends.
- Never be seen with cops.
- Don’t go to pubs and clubs.
- Always being available for Cosa Nostra is a duty – even if your wife’s about to give birth.
- Appointments must absolutely be respected.
- Wives must be treated with respect.
- When asked for any information, the answer must be the truth.
- Money cannot be appropriated if it belongs to others or to other families.
- People who can’t be part of Cosa Nostra: anyone who has a close relative in the police, anyone with a two-timing relative in the family, anyone who behaves badly and doesn’t hold to moral values.
A Lesson On Ethics From The Mafia
I find this interesting, because it shows us that even in the dark criminal underbelly of the world, there is still a basic sense of morality and ethical code of conduct that is expected of members in a community.
Indeed, community cannot exist without ethics. No matter what community you consider yourself part of, the fabric of that community can only exist when there are certain agreed values and behaviors. When members violate those values and behaviors, the very life blood and continued existence of the community is threatened.
This is true whether we are talking about the mafia, a church, a family, a political party, or a nation. And in today’s podcast, I talk in depth about how above all, character ultimately matters. Even in the mob. So, be sure to listen, and find out what we can glean from the ethical code and “Ten Commandments” of the mafia.