Search for a Moral Yard Stick

If it didn’t start with I’m O.K.; You’re O.K. the pop psychology bible about 25 years ago, it gained momentum around that time.  That is the idea that what ever you do is your business and what ever I do is my business, as long as it doesn’t hurt any one else – too much.  One of the problems with that kind of attitude or philosophy is that the individual gets to make his/her own moral yard stick.  Since we are all human, we tend to give ourselves a little slack and then a little more slack.  Our yard stick, not based on the Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule, or any other moral guide post tends to lope off inches over the years.  Before we know it, we cheat more than just a “little”, we excuse our unfaithfulness to our spouses and our disloyalty in the work place.  We still consider ourselves “pretty good”.  We don’t kick our dogs nor beat up our spouses.  Worst of all, we do not examine our consciences on a regular or an irregular basis.  Our yard sticks waffle enough; up against the Golden Rule, they positively shrivel.  Going to confession or attending Yom Kippor services are so passe. We cannot think of ourselves. as so many of our recent and former ancestors did, as sinners.  That would imply that we do not know everything about everything that is important to us.  Never mind what is good for humanity.  Our humanity is reduced to one – me.  It might be a good idea to send for a copy of Dan Ariley’s book “The Honest Truth about Dishonesty” then apply it to other virtues.  Or, maybe each of us could review the Ten Commandments and could teach them to our children.

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