Category Archives: Literature

MORALITY PLAY: EVOLUTIONARY NATURE OF MORALITY

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).

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Friday Is The Enemy.

Here you are again; you have come once more to hypnotize me into exclaiming TGIF! Everyone I know has updated their Blackberry and Facebook status message with some sort of praise to your name, but not me. I refused to be sucked into your deceitful arms. I object to the empty allure that comes with your arrival. As brutal as your siblings: Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday might be, you are way more treacherous. Oh Friday, your dexterity with mind manipulation is exemplary. You trick me into relaxing and getting too comfortable that I am totally unprepared when you mean brother, Monday, shows up. Friday, Friday, Friday, How many times did I call you? Leave me out of this charade of yours.

FRIDAY! What about you childhood has turned you to such a smooth heartbreaker? Were you not loved enough by your parents? Are you like that high school bully that was never given attention at home, and then turns to torture others in an ugly effort to get some glimpse of attention? What is it about your biological makeup that makes you excellently built for disseminating pain?

I wake up, and there you are once again. In your cloak of deceit, you lure me into making so many big and unrealistic plans of enjoyment and play, only for me to have all my plans dashed in a heartbeat by you and your mean senior sister Saturday and further trampled upon by the king bully, Sunday (the wicked first born). In a minute it’s the morning after, and just immediately you send my plans and hopes crashing like dominos. As much as I like to hate Saturday and Sunday, I also think they are honest and real. They both do a pretty good job of cleaning up the mess you have created. They both act like a much needed healing cup of coffee for the gigantic hangover that you are.

Sorry Friday, but I will not fall for you this time around. Take you black hopes and your empty dreams and disappear into the night for I will not be fooled this time around. Maybe in another world, but definitely not in this one. Go look for someone else with a more permeable heart, for mine is forever shut to you. Go! You merchant of pain and anguish.