Morals and Conscience in Society

Throughout generations, as people grow older, they remark that morals in society have degraded compared to when they were younger. Perhaps this is because as people grow older they view all the corrupt, thoughtless, and inhumane acts people commit. Or, perhaps this is true, that morals in society have indeed become worse. In this generation, it is often been heard that technology is to blame - first TV, and more recently, the internet. However, becoming a responsible human being often begins in the home, where parents can impart key values to their children. This key value should be so central that any conflicting messages from external sources are blocked and filtered. Thus, technology may have a role in corrupting society; however, it is not totally to blame.

Accept differences in others. Too many people in this world make fun of others, whether they feel awkward with or unaccustomed to someone's clothing, hairstyle, style of speech, gait, name, or even serious work ethic or someone's point of view, to name a few. Some of the most famous of these examples include Galileo, as well as a religion that started due to someone whose beliefs differed from those of others. However, they should remember the "Ugly Duckling" story. Hans Christian Anderson loved children, and in his stories, he was the ally of his protagonists, giving them what they wanted. For example, in the Match girl story, even though the girl dies at the end, he still managed to give that girl the gift of being happy, which was really what that Match girl wanted. 

If you are willing to be patient with others and just accept them the way they are, it really will give you practice in being an anthropologist, for that is really all that anthropologists do. They study cultures. Some even study cultures that are not familiar to them. In doing so, you learn. It is often quite amazing and bewildering how people are willing to go off traveling to foreign lands in the hopes of learning about new customs and habits, but at the same time, ridicule, embarrass, tease, and ignore people in their home land just because they see something in them that is very different from themselves. Of course, you may want to ignore people who are rude to you and do not treat you fairly, but some people also do the same to people who may wear plastic frame glasses instead of the "in vogue" metal frame ones, or who enjoy wearing sports pants instead of jeans. 

Respond promptly to others.  Do reply to other people's emails and phone calls no matter how busy you are. Even if you wish no more to deal with those people, you should still reply to them. You should then just not initiate any emails or phone calls in return. That way, people will probably be able to take the hint that you do not want to deal with them anymore. Even if they do not take the hint, you should always respond to someone. It is very rude, no matter how busy, to not respond. And do respond within a reasonably short period of time. 

Leave some "free" time. If you are too busy to reply to other people, it means that you have crammed too many things into your life and you should rethink and rework your schedule. You must always leave some empty time for emergencies to pop up, or just to have a good time. This time you can use just to enjoy yourself and the company of others. 

Care about others as if they were you. You should basically be a caring individual. By being a caring individual, you should be able to sense sadness in others if they feel sad, happiness in others if they feel happy, or loneliness in others if they feel lonely. In one word, you should be able to empathize how they feel. If you wish, you may want to aid them. If they are sad, you may want to comfort them. If they are happy, you may want to talk to them so that they can share in their joy. If they are lonely, then you may want to be with them. Having a sense of caring and a sense of companionship with fellow human beings and being able to really share those feelings with others, being really to able help others in many different ways - that is what really sets humans apart from other creatures. 

This is not to ask you to superficially act like you care for others. Never act outwardly and do it through appearances on the surface. It should come from you heart, this sense of camaraderie with fellow human beings. We are all in the same boat. We are all here to live a productive, fulfilling life. We are all here to liked and loved.

Treat everyone similarly. You should also try to treat others equally. Whether they are rich or poor, young or old, you should always be friendly towards others. Of course, you may not want to touch someone with leprosy, but in general, you should try to treat everyone else as equals. This is not to say that you should like everyone to the same extent, or that you should do favors for boisterous, arrogant people, but that you should generally speak to others in similar tones (try not to be insincere anytime; but if you do not have something nice to say to your enemy, then you should. as tradition states, say nothing). You should also be willing to lend a helping hand if required (just be careful though that you do not fall prey to people who are trying to cheat you). Another example of treating similar people equally is that if you are a parent, you should treat all your children without favoritism. Perhaps it may be a bit difficult to do since all of us are subject to biases, but this is a weakness that can be easily overcome with some practice. 

Never engage in violent acts. You can always speak your way around a situation. You can always negotiate. You can always be willing to listen to other people's points of view.

Have an inner sense of thankfulness. It is also immensely important to have a sense of gratitude. One should always remember the good things others have done for you. You may or may not want to repay them for their aid. However, you should always remember it. Do not be embarrassed to mention it frequently to that person who helped you. It's all right to say thank you. In fact, that phrase probably is never heard enough times in this world. (There are some people, though, who may not like to hear those words too often, for some strange reason.) This sense of gratitude is important because it shows you where you came from, how you derived some of your current thought processes, or how you achieved some of your present greatness. It gives you your roots. 

Have a sense of commitment. Act consistently with your words. In other words, do what you say you will do. This is an extremely important concept, for it shows the integrity of your character. If even once you break your promise, others will have a negative impression about you and how seriously you take commitments. If there is a key assignment for you in the future, it is unlikely that others will feel that they can depend on you. They will likely delegate that assignment to someone else. So often people break their promises or take their commitments so lightly. Even if it had no negative consequences, doing what you say that you will do is one of the basic tenets that should be internalized by all human beings. 

Do what you say you will do, for people will learn to trust you. They may give you important assignments, they may share secrets with you, they will depend on you. 

Many of the ancient philosophers also wrote about morals. For some more information, you may want to read about Confucius, Socrates, Lao Tzu, Epictetus, among others.

In summary, leading a moral life is a vital part for the world to maintain a civilized society, so always keep in mind to:

     A. Accept differences in others.

     B. Respond promptly to others.

     C. Leave some "free" time.

     D. Care about others as if they were you.

     E. Treat everyone similarly.

     F. Never engage in violent acts.

     G. Have an inner sense of thankfulness.

     H. Have a sense of commitment.

Life Skills > Common Sense Life Skills > Morals and Conscience in Society


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