In one of the old movies starring Marilyn Monroe, there was a scene where an adolescent boy told her she had “animal magnetism”. It’s unlikely that anyone would disagree with the boy’s observation, but it was still humorous in an “out of the mouths of babes” sort of way.

On several occasions, I have been involved in projects where I could see folks who I found tricky to get along with, appearing to be magnetised by each other. In situations where one would have expected those people to behave professionally, it was obvious that they wanted to do something else, such as jumping each other’s bones, perhaps.

Fortunately, we have words in many languages to describe less than ethical conduct. There is a tendency to associate this way of being with societies that are sometimes described as “developing”, but if we are honest with ourselves, it should be obvious that many “developed” societies used unscrupulous means to reach their current positions with regard to status.

In Some like it hot – another movie that starred Marilyn Monroe, the last words uttered in the film were “Nobody’s perfect!” Again, the statement was made in a “nudge, nudge, wink, wink” manner.

On a serious note however, that utterance is actually deep and resonant. It is great to have standards of behaviour and ethics that we can all strive to attain, but perhaps we all need to be more realistic with each other in our perceptions of human nature.