I recently got into a conversation with someone who said to me: “why should I hold myself to such a high moral standard, if no one else does?” Now to give you some context, this person is a religious Christian, who has chosen to wait until marriage to have sex. Totally respect it, live your dreams, live your best life, I’m all for it. But I find it interesting when someone believes they have a deep relationship to God, and therefore are closer to what is right and good, but judge all people around them constantly.* Judgement, to me, does not seem to be associated with God, a higher being, a higher purpose, or the universe. By judging others for their beliefs and actions, you are inherently believing that you are better. To assume that you are superior simply based on a belief system or set of values is wrong, and your religion teaches that it’s wrong through prose like love thy neighbor. So is it only convenient to follow what is right and wrong when it applies to exactly what you want for yourself? In most cases, the answer is yes.
I’m not going to sit here and pretend like I know everything about morality, christianity, or religion. However, I certainly do not believe that I am better than someone simply because of differences in values, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sex, sexuality, or socioeconomic class. I believe this is the best way to live, because it means I live without hypocrisy. One of my strongest values is a connectedness, love, and compassion for all. You can’t have those things if you believe that you hold yourself to a higher moral standard than others. I believe this value should be universal, because it comes from a place of love for all beings. Do I believe that this is the best way to practice morality? Yes. I understand the irony there, but stay with me.
My value system does not come with judgement, it comes from a place of understanding. I may not understand why someone chooses to judge, rather than to love, but I will try, for the sake of morality, love, and true connection. This does not mean I have to agree with you, but I will respect you for your beliefs, and respectfully disagree when necessary.
Some of you may think this value is limiting in that it leaves too much room for people who do what is inherently bad. So what is bad in my mind? Anything that takes away from loving another individual. This includes murder, gossip, judgement, rape, narcissism, superiority complex, staying in a relationship that you no longer believe is right for you, and dishonesty.
To me, if someone feels the need to boast about how much more of a higher moral standard they have, it makes me think that they really don’t. And on that same note, what does it even mean to have a higher moral standard? We all do things that others disagree with. We all do things that occasionally upset others, whether or not we had the intention of doing so. We all at some point in our lives have a done a bad thing. So what makes you better? Judging or choosing to love despite differences, mistakes, and values?
If your value or belief system is based on judgement, what are you doing for the world? Adding more chaos and negativity to a world that needs more sunshine, love, positivity, and compassion.
*I should note here, that people from all faiths and backgrounds, including those who categorize themselves atheist or agnostic are guilty of judgement.
Thoughts? Questions? Concerns? Leave a comment below!