A possible key to moral living…

Over the past couple of months, I’ve taken a good look at myself, and realized that I’m not too thrilled with what I see. I’ve become discouraged with the blatant fact that I cannot become a more moral person by mere effort. If I look hard enough at my motivations for doing good things, I begin to see I have partial selfish reasons for doing nearly all of them.

More recently, I think I’ve discovered something that has really helped me, and I thought I’d share it with everyone out there who struggles with being a moral person and has decided to devote their life to doing what is right. You know who you are, and you know what I mean by being “moral.” To put others first in your priorities, to love without expecting to be loved in return, to not steal, lie, wish harm to others, or to talk badly about them, etc. We have a desire to leave our spheres of influences in better shape then if we were never around to influence them. In fact, we have decided that being moral and following a moral code is more important than anything else – it is a cause that drives our lives as we sit in the passenger seat.

You may be like me, though, and realize that you are really blowing it. You have too many mixed motives for the moral things you do, much less the things you do that you know aren’t moral. I feel most days like I am more driven by pride and selfishness to do moral things then I am by the good side of me who desires to do them for no other reason then the fact that they are the right things to do, and to do what is right is a joy to the core of who I am.

So recently, I stumbled across a truth that has really helped me. My method of moral improvement has been an act of willpower that involved focusing like crazy on my faults and trying to improve. I have come to the conclusion that this does not work. I decided to give this up and instead focus on the well being of everyone around me. I started praying more and thinking about what I can do for the people in my life and how I can be of more help to them in a tangible way. I have started praying for everyone in my family and my professors at college, and tried to help and encourage in some way all of the people I come in contact with on a regular basis. I began to try to see myself as a servant rather than as an independent, self-centered results-driven person looking out for his own best interest and the advancement of my career and reputation.

And I think that is a key to being moral. The moral person has devoted themselves to the moral life, and the moral life is about giving up a self-focused, self-directed life where they are in charge. Others are more important. I have found that many of my issues of pride, arrogance, and selfishness have melted away or have at least lost their intensity when I began to slowly adopt this new perspective. I am not my own man, but have poured out my life for others.

So for those of you who want to be moral but who look inside and don’t like what they see there, become a servant. Instead of focusing so much on your own faults, focus on how to use your life to enrich and change the lives of others. Something fundamental changes when you start walking down this road. I may be on crack, but I’d say give it a try 🙂

Leave a Reply