Principles are defined as the guiding sense of the requirements and obligations of right conduct. They are, in other words, our sense of right and wrong. A person with strong principles will not cross the line and say or do something that violates them even if there are negative consequences or everyone else is doing it.
Today's quote calls into question that line. It seems like all too many people have a "Whatever it takes" mentality. Cheating, lying and stealing is ok as long as it is for a "Good purpose. That good purpose may be personal success, having the right friends or, even, ones perception of the greater good.
While teaching at Davenport University in Michigan a few years ago, I had the privilege of teaching Professional Ethics to business students over a period of years. It was always so rewarding to hear the students feedback about how much of an eye opener it was at the end of the course.
We often think business is business, politics is politics and on and on. With that anything goes mentality, we have no real values. Little indiscretions become easy leading to larger and larger ones until they become our real guiding principles.
The moral to this story is decide what values are truly important to you. Use them as your guide no matter what the consequences. This is sticking to your principles.