Just because you can…
Go ahead, finish the sentence, we all know it… “doesn’t mean you should.” Right?
I’ve been thinking about values, morals, and integrity as I ponder various situations and how people handle them.
According to www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary, one of the definitions for “value” is: relative worth, utility, or importance. For us this would mean “what is important to a person.” The definition of “moral” is: of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior. For “integrity” it says: a firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values.
So, could we define all of these together as, a person’s character is based on their adherence to the importance they put on right and wrong behavior? Of course, we are taught by our caregiver, at a young age, how to act based on how they act, or tell us to act. We must acknowledge, though, that actions speak louder than words. “Do as I say, not as I do,” is a hard example to learn from.
I have a couple of scenarios I have been pondering. I’d like to run them by you.
1. A gymnasium, during a pandemic, has been allowed to open with the stipulation that only people with a medical necessity to be there may attend. The legal notification states that upon entering the facility, a person must present a doctor’s note for verification of need. The gym informs their members that they are open, under this stipulation, but will not be asking to see notes. Lots of people are now planning to go to the gym. I simply present the question, “Do you have a doctor’s note?”
Well, let me tell you… you’d think I’d made a political or religious statement. People were telling me that the gym will not be asking for notes. Correct. Other people were informing me that it’s against the law for them to ask to see a note. Correct. The simple point I was making is that, unless you have a doctor’s note, and are willing to present it as the statement dictates, you shouldn’t be going to the gym right now. I have no doubt people, who have not gotten a medically necessary note, will be at the gym today. What would you do?
2. The election is coming up soon. I imagine it will be managed differently in various locations. Typically, curbside voting is offered. To vote curbside a person must sign an affidavit stating they are physically unable to enter the voting place. I see scene many different reactions to this.
People who cannot go in, or stand in line for a long time, and sign it
People, who could have signed it, take it very literally and say they could go in, and drive away to vote inside
People who were nice enough to drive someone in, will sign it because they don’t want to go inside
People who drive someone come back another time and walk inside to vote
What do each of these choices say about the person’s character? What would you do?
Not to be political, but…
3. A protest is taking place, which gets out of hand and turns into a riot. People start destroying local businesses and taking things out of them. Why? Because they can? Is that right? It’s definitely illegal, but from a character standpoint, what is that saying about the character of the people who choose to behave in that manner?
As you read through these scenarios, consider what you would do. Go ahead and do a character check. Nobody is perfect, but there is a difference between right and wrong. Perhaps my definition of right and wrong is not the same as yours. That’s okay. I’m simply giving people the opportunity to think about what their actions say about who they are. If you are thinking you may need to adjust your actions to fit your values, morals, and integrity, today is a great day to move positively forward.