by David N Johnson

October 17, 2018

I spend about 4 or so hours each day commuting to and from NYC on the bus. While I use this time to both work and think, it’s the latter that has allowed me to reflect on ideas that I feel are important. You’ve no doubt seen or have read some of the things I have written lately. They are mostly a construct of my mental musings during my commute and allow me space to get my thoughts on “paper,” so to speak.

Yesterday I was thinking about the topic of morality and the importance of having a moral code. I tried explaining this to my children (16 and 12) last night during dinner. I’m not sure if I was able to impart upon them what I was trying to convey but at least I got them thinking.

After explaining what I meant by having a moral code and why it’s important to know what you will and won’t do BEFORE being forced with a moral dilemma I asked them what are some things that they are absolutely against.

I played devils advocate a bit and asked questions like, “Since stealing is against your moral code would you steal food to feed your family if there was no other way to feed them?”

Tough question I know but I wanted them to understand what I meant by the words moral dilemma. To confuse them, even more, I brought up the idea of moral relativity (maybe a future post) and group morality. When I saw their eyes glaze over on that one I asked them another question and that question is the basis of this entire post. While it’s an important question it’s not one that I’m asking you to give me the answers to, it’s one to make you think. Reflect on it. Ponder its meaning. But, most of all ponder its answer.

Question: Since your moral center is a major part of who you are, how many of your morals must you break in order NOT to be who you currently are?

If your character is comprised of morals A, B, C, D, and E can you break A, C, and E and still be you? Personally, I don’t think that you can. Yes, we are in a constant state of change, both physically and mentally but that doesn’t mean you have to change your moral core. Yes, it will evolve. It must. You must. But that doesn’t mean that you have to be somebody else to do it. You can have the life you want, the success you’ve dreamed about, AND still be you at the core. Grow, certainly. Evolve, you must. But, before you do, reflect on what is important to you and hold onto them firmly. They will keep you grounded.

About the author 

David N Johnson

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