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A Sign of the Times? – Religion and Politics

How many times did I hear it as a young man? Surprisingly, not many! “When I was a boy…” This expression was not often uttered by adults in my childhood—or at least not in my hearing.

In fact, most of the adults about and around me, tended to keep to themselves that precious wisdom that might’ve helped me so much as I traversed the various ages to my current time in life.

Nevertheless, their actions spoke every bit as loud as would their words have done, had they chosen to utter them.

By way of example, where I can by no means tell you that my parents were (or that my mother is, as she is still alive), perfect people, even so, I can tell you that they demonstrated by their actions, certain realities that ought not be ignored.

I choose here to “sum up” just one such set of beliefs and the actions that with them were seen.

It has become a far too common thing in the modern day, to hear of situations in which a young person—particularly among the females of the species, but not entirely so—was dealt with physical, mentally, or emotionally, in ways unbecoming and untoward.

I write this then, as a “piece of advice” primarily to young men, and primarily considering their interaction with those that have been termed as being the “fairer sex.” In case that term is unfamiliar to you, I mean here, females.

Mind you, the simple advice I’m about to impart, could be to anyone, regardless their sex and toward anyone, equally so. The reality is though, that there seems to be a particular problem with males and their inappropriate treatment of females.

To those reading, regardless male or female, regardless whether dealing with males or females, I would say the following, “Do that which is morally and legally correct. Past doing that, then do that which is desirable to the person to whom you are doing what you’re doing.”

Some folks looking at this set of statements, may come to the conclusion that it is backwards. Allow me to explain why I don’t agree that is the case.

A person doing that which is, in their view morally correct, ought to be constrained in the most “restrictive” fashion. He or she, it is hoped, will maintain personal standards and integrity that are based on something more than him or her self. I’m not going to say this is universally true, but my hope is that it is generally so. The result is, neither the law, nor the desires of others, should be more rigorously considered, than when dealing with what’s morally correct.

In fact, if one has a sufficiently high “moral bar,” consideration of the law should be unnecessary, and consideration of the desire of others should be all but a foregone conclusion.

So the first “checkbox” on your “checklist,” when it comes to your actions towards others should be, “Is this morally appropriate and acceptable?”

Sadly, because there are those who are “broken” morally, I cannot stop here—even though one might be tempted to do exactly that.

Since there are people who, by all appearances, have zero “moral qualms” with the abuse and mistreatment of others, it is necessary to add another “checkbox” to our list. The question next to this box would be, “Is what I have in mind to do legal?”

As I have already stated, assuming your morals to be more “restrictive than” the law, for many, this is an unnecessary question.

For some folks though, this question seems to be important and needed.

Put simply, if the thing you’re thinking of doing is illegal, don’t do it.

Don’t misunderstand, there are exceptions to every “rule.” If following the law may cause the demise of an innocent (or even in many instances, a guilty) individual, and breaking it may save that individual’s life, I think as a rule, I would choose to break the law and “save” them.

Obviously, this is an extreme example. There are others that are less “on the edge” but just as reasonable. Keep in mind though, if you choose to break the law—even if the cause is good—you should be willing to “suffer the potential consequences” of so doing. The hope is, this will not be how things will work out, that is, that you will not be dealt with harshly under the law, but reality is not always that for which one hopes.

There is an old, underlying “rule” that is the basis for much of what is “written in” various legal structures, be they actually written or not. The “base tenet” for much of law is, “Do to others what you would have them do to you.”

Before you take the somewhat ridiculous view that says, “What if others don’t want to be treated as I do?” Allow me to preemptively respond.

Firstly, what others want from me isn’t always within my “rights.” You want me to shoot holes in you? Probably not going to happen! If for no other reason, I won’t do so because I cannot legally or morally do that.

Secondly, as a rule, the fact that I want two packets of sugar (or rough equivalent) in my morning coffee, does not mean I put two packets of sugar in the coffee of others. In fact, maybe they don’t want coffee to begin with. Put another way, much of what happens in life is a matter of asking folks what they want, and if possible, obliging them. This is not unlike what the average person would expect or accept happily.

So all of this leads to the idea that one ought to find out what is or is not appropriate to others, and where it is moral, legal and feasible, act accordingly. That doesn’t mean everyone would or should get everything he or she desires.

On the other hand, without compelling reason to fail to act in ways that are moral, legal, and in accordance with the will of those toward whom the action can or will occur, one probably ought not do so.

The reality here, is that far more often than not, acting as stated should be entirely reasonable and correct.

Okay, here we are at the “end of time and space” for the present. Here’s hoping your time is good, and as usual, thanks for reading.

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