I know, heavy title, but in an age of moral relativism I can’t help but think a firm stance is necessary. Being a decent, upright person with a sound moral character seem to be going out of style but like fashion trends it only takes a few people demonstrating just how cool a forgotten trend is for everyone to be back on board again. So in an age of moral relativism what have we lost? What did we toss aside that deserves to be revisited? Here’s a few old trends that I think are worthy of a dusting off -what can I say? I’m a big fan of vintage.
5 moral principles whose importance ought to be revisited:
Lineage: The principle of know thyself is not only valuable on a deeper psychological and spiritual level but also on a very basic level of lineage. Many well meaning people adopt, raise foster children or receive sperm and ovary donations in order to produce and/ or care for children. They are performing one of the most beautiful of services, that of caring for another human life, but they perform a great disservice by leaving the question of ‘Who am I?’ unanswered. All people deserve the right to know who they are.
Dress code: Once upon a time their was an appropriate way to dress depending on the company you were in. Being with friends required a more causal look, being at work required a more professional look, being in a religious environment required more modesty, this seems to no longer be the case. Case and point: My dad related to us that one of his coworkers were reprimanded for their clothing, she was told it was inappropriate to wear stockings (as opposed to pants or a skirt) to work -her reply? “These aren’t stockings they’re tights”. Something tells me the line between work/ school wear and casual wear has blurred a little too much. If someone thinks you look more ready to clean the back yard then tend to medical patients chances are you should dwell on the idea of “context appropriate clothing”.
Courtship: Most of us really want to get married. In marriage lies the prospect of love, stability, comfort, co- parenting, consistency, and romance. But most of us of act quite the contrary, under the illusion of freedom and fulfilling physical or social desires we put our self at risk not only of bodily diseases but spiritual diseases. In any spiritual journey good things come to those who wait. What journey is greater then finding the mate you hope to spend your life with? Don’t waste your time with people you couldn’t imagine yourself being with for the rest of your life much less tomorrow. Old school courting is the idea of getting to know people that you actually feel could be compatible to your life, who share your goals, and whose personalty you like and sifting through until you find the one. It’s a vintage wear that deserves to be incorporated in to our modern lives.
Hierarchy: It is very beautiful and humble when a teacher sits before their students and says “I have as much to learn from you as you do from me”. And there is a great deal of truth to the statement but it seems that many take this idea far to literally. I recall an incident during a lesson I was attending, a student began arguing with the teacher about how he should teach the book -and this wasn’t in Columbia it was in a religious class! The teacher had studied the book numerous times with various teacher and now a beginning student was telling him how to teach it. Something is wrong with this picture. During my time in Columbia I watched as students complained to professors about the syllabus, about assignments, about repetition, etc. Though hierarchy has its problems it also has its benefits. When abuse is involved anyone and everyone should speak but when things simply aren’t going your way I think humility is valuable. The teacher is a teacher because of their skill set not because of fortune -don’t they deserve our respect?
Religion: Not the religion of your parents, or your culture, or your society but your religion. A personal cultivation of your relationship with God. My father researched Buddhism and Islam before settling on Islam. That’s what made sense to him. It took my own journey to realize my conviction in Islam. The answer to the question above and to the question of purpose cannot be bypassed nor can it be satisfied by smaller answers like “I’m suppose to be a doctor”. The answer is something much deeper then a job description. Without the answer to the “big questions” life becomes no more meaningful then a circus act that will soon end.
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