Good Morals?

I love when somebody gives me something interesting to ponder. A member of my local community recently suggested that people moved to our area because of the “good morals and values” that our community has. This got me to thinking: What is morality? Where do you find morality? What do you base your morality on? Do you think morality is limited to just certain religions or can anyone be a moral person?

I don’t think morality is limited to a specific place, people, political party, or religion. For me, people with good morals are the people who are kind to one another, and to their fellow creatures. For me, good morals are seen in honesty, integrity, hard work, generosity, compassion, and kindness. People who aren’t quick to jump off the handle and start yelling at each other, calling each other names, and threatening each other are, I believe, showing good morals. People who are able to thoughtfully reflect on their beliefs, who can admit when they’re wrong, and are more concerned about someone else’s needs than their own wants show good morality.

I was raised in what, I guess, you would call the Christian tradition. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Love your neighbor. Love your enemies. Feed the hungry. Blessed are the peacemakers” – these are the passages from the Bible that were emphasized in my up-bringing. But I have friends from all religions and non-religions, and from all around the world, who share these beliefs with me. I don’t think you need to be a Christian to be a good person.

My parents didn’t maybe share the same religious beliefs (and for a time they didn’t even belong to the same political party), but they shared the same values: Be kind; don’t be quick to judge; appreciate the environment and take care of it; help those in need. I’m grateful to them for passing those values onto my brothers and me.

Okay – your turn. What are your thoughts about morality?

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“What would your ten commandments be?”

I was scanning through the Amazon Religion Discussion Forum the other day and came upon this question: “If you could rewrite the Ten Commandments, what would yours be?” I love questions like that – questions that ask us to think in a deeper way about concepts that we often just accept without question.

So I thought about the question – and then, using the original Ten Commandments as a sort of framework, I came up with these:

1) Thou shalt have no other gods but Love.
2) Thou shalt share your wealth: Thou shalt not make unto thee any tax-free institutions or corporate loopholes to acquire money or power; Thou shalt not bow down to money or corporations; Thou shalt bring fairness and equality to the disenfranchised, the down-trodden, the underpaid, unemployed, and homeless.
3) Thou shalt respect the power of Love and Truth, and use that power to bring peace to your planet.
4) Remember to set aside time every day to appreciate all the good around you, and to use your talents – whatever they may be – to share the beauty you see in the world.
5) Honor all those who have nurtured and cultivated the best in you, and nurture and cultivate the good in others, also.
6) Love without discrimination, prejudice, or condition.
7) Keep your integrity
8) Be grateful for all that you have.

9) Look for the good in others.
10) Care for your environment and your fellow creatures.

I’d love to hear what any of my readers might come up with for this question. Care to share? 🙂

To help you get started, here are the original Ten Commandments (from Exodus 20):

1) Thou shalt have no other gods
2) Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven images or likenesses… Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them
3) Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain
4) Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy
5) Honour thy father and thy mother
6) Thou shalt not kill
7) Thou shalt not commit adultery
8) Thou shalt not steal
9) Thou shalt not bear false witness
10) Thou shalt not covet

Thou shalt have no other gods but Love