Category Archives: Daily Promt
DAILY PROMPT : Where do your morals come from?
When I think of sources of morals, I think of personal guidelines that have been fed by different sources as the person develops from child to adult. When we are born our first contacts are our parents and so for much of our childhood what we deem to be right or wrong is to a very large extent defined by the influence we get from the lifestyle of our parents. Given that the first experiences (in anything; think sex; think school; think travelling, pretty much everything) tend to be the one that stick with us longer, and so it is not hard to see why most people would conclude that the ultimate source of morality is from the parents (home). This is partially true.
As a teen when you get into High School you have a natural tendency to want to “belong”. In a bid to fit in with the “cool kids” you tend let go of some of those morals (usually stringent ones) that you have imbibed from home and tweak and adjust them to suit your purpose. For instance your parents must have told you that you have to be at least 18 or 21 before you have sex. On getting to school, you find out that the “cool kids” have already had sexual experiences. With this realization you begin to rethink those morals from home and before you know it you are 14 and your girl friend is already pregnant.
The point I was trying to make in the previous paragraph is that even though we may have picked up our morals from our parents, the church or another source, it get diluted by the people and things that we experience along the way.
I like to think of morality as an ever evolving subject in a person’s life. As we grow in life we are faced constantly with experiences that challenge our morals and cause us to shift ground most times, even though we might not admit to it. A person’s morality is like technology, today it seems like the best and it gets most of the problems solved, but tomorrow we are going to be faced with a different set of challenges that causes us to have a rethink about our position. Let me give another personal example that helps to buttress the evolutionary nature of morality. When I was a kid in High School, my parents led me to believe that smoking cigarettes was a completely immoral thing to do. At the time I did not ask any questions I took my parents word as being right, and given that they were older than I was with more life experiences than I had, they had to be right. When I got into the university I met a couple of people who I became good friends with. These people were smokers. Initially when I found out they were smokers it triggered an alarm in me (SMOKING = BAD, you need to run), but I did not run. I stayed back. Why did I stay back?
As I began to learn more about my new friends over the course of our freshman year, I found out that there was absolutely nothing wrong with these people. They excelled in their academics just like me (or in some cases better than me), they were trustworthy, respectful people. They had personal issues just like another breathing human being. Nothing about them stood out particularly except that they like to sometimes inhale thick smoke. Seeing them made me rethink what I had been told by my parents. I could not find any evidence in them to justify the title of “immoral” that my parents had branded smokers.
In essence I think morality is EVOLUTIONARY (every changing and growing as we develop) as opposed to being STATIONARY (coming from a single unchangeable source).
A friend of mine Bethany recently broke up with her boyfriend, Tim, of five years. They both loved each other so much that they actually tattooed each other’s names on the top right corner of their scapulars. They went on holiday trips together, they both loved to share great moments with each other, Bethany once told me that she was so grateful to have a guy with whom she shared so many great interests. So much more than some married couples even.
Bethany is the only child of her parents. She works at the local animal shelter. It had always been her dream to care for animals and nature in general. Her father died when she was eleven. She never had a real relationship with her dad because he was an abusive drunk, who constantly beat up her mum and her. She told me once that her dad once flogged her mum into a coma with his belt. I don’t really know much about her family background, because she really doesn’t like talking about it. When you look closely at her forehead, the scares of an unloved daughter of a drunk lay bare on her face. Her mother has been her everything, giving her all the support she needs.
Tim is a senior accountant at one of the midsized firms in the city. He has a super furnished apartment and drives the latest cars. He recently bought the new BMW 3 Series. Tim is the second child in a family of doctors, both of his parents are doctors and three out of the five children are almost out of medical school. The last born, Sherry is a teacher at a government high school not too far from the family house. Bethany had met them all, and they absolutely adored her and so did she love them. Bethany was the only girlfriend of Tim that the family had unanimously fallen in love with, she was simply a homerun of a girlfriend. She would go over every other Sunday afternoon to help out with the cooking of the family lunch. It was a tradition that Tim’s father, George, had inherited from his own dad. They would all sit around the table and reflect on how the week went for everyone, and also talk about the plans for the week ahead. They would sometimes all go on road trips in a rented bus. The camaraderie among family members was simply out of this world. Bethany once told me that she felt closer to Tim’s family than even her mother.
Bethany told me about a month ago that she feels Tim was about to propose to her. The way you feel a storm when it is brewing in the distance. She also told me that her friend Sarah had seen him at some point walk into a jewelry store and spent some time perusing the ring collection on display. I was happy for Bethany; at last she would get the happy ending every woman deserves. In some ways she had always been searching for the perfect father figure given her very painful background, and she had found it in Tim. He was a twofer; a great partner and an excellent father figure to her.
One early afternoon, she left the shelter early to go home for a quick nap. She had been complaining about nausea and a chronic headache from some days. We both laughed so hard one day when I told her that she had taken-in for Tim. She told me it was impossible, and that she was waiting until they get married. When she arrived at the apartment she shared with Tim, she noticed that the front door was left slightly ajar. She thought they had been robbed. She proceeded carefully, taking the baseball bat behind the front door with her. As she went further into the apartment, she noticed that Tim’s suit trouser, shirt, shoe, socks, a female blouse, Stiletto shoes among other items were littered on the ground forming a trail leading to the master bedroom. She did not want to jump to any conclusions even when there was ample incriminating evidence to support it. When she finally made her way to the master bedroom door, Beth told me she said a little prayer that it was all some joke. Like one of those TV shows (Punk’ed). Then she went on to ponder the implications of what she might see. She stood in front of the door for about five minutes before opening the door. When she opened the door, she spontaneously threw-up. She could not contain herself, and so she fell to the ground in tears. Apparently Tim was in bed with his new secretary Yvonne Nelson. I had always suspected Tim’s unusual closeness to the lady, but I dare not make this known to Beth. She was one of those “blind in love” kinds of women. She utterly trusted Tim, and never for a second did she think he would ever cheat on her.
Beth eventually ran out of the house screaming with Tim running after her with his boxers barely covering his “privates”. She yelled profanities at him and drove off with rage. Beth laid in bed for about two weeks only getting up to pee. She was completely devastated. The whole ordeal had obliterated her heart. She was crying so much that I feared she might die of dehydration. Tim called countless times and left tonnes of messages on her answering machine and in her email box. But it was obvious she was in no mood to speak with him.
Eventually she got herself together. Went back to work and took up a pottery class. She did everything she could to keep herself busy and also to keep her from going over to Tim’s house and blowing his head off with a gun. She was still mad at Tim, but at least she was out of the fetal position and back to life.
Beth recently Joined a book club and they are currently reading the book; “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man” by Steve Harvey. She absolutely loves the book, that she carries it with her even to the bathroom. One night while she was reading it and I joined her. She was on page 82 and I just hooped over and saw an interesting line:
“If he takes your number but waits longer than twenty-four hours to call, he’s sport fishing; if he calls you right away, he’s showing that he’s genuinely interested in you, and is most likely looking for a keeper.”
We both laughed at this sentence and the others that followed. (Steve Harvey thanks for betraying us guys, we shall be hunting down very soon)
I don’t know if she should be reading such a sensitive book at such a fragile time in her life, but the smile on her face when she reads the book is way too priceless for me to take it away from her.