Due North

moralcompassAs is the case with many blog entries lately, this was spurred by a chat in the garage. It’s a place of deep conversations and highly emotional rants and gigglefests of pure speculation. Last night it ranged from religion to the gas station and back again.

Apparently, I have “an extremely high moral compass.” Seems if you want to give back the incorrect change the clerk gave you, or any of the other things listed to me, you have a high moral compass. But the conversation turned, and it wasn’t about the compass anymore. It was about the points on the compass. Or rather, who they point to.

Fine, I have a high moral compass. Blame my mom, I do for almost everything anyway. I’m comfortable with it. It’s kept me out of trouble on countless occasions, including a few I clearly remember wishing it didn’t exist for. But it’s MY moral compass. It’s what points me north or south, right or wrong. It’s there to keep me straight, not judge others. And it has shocked me (a few times in the past) to find out that “fear of my judgement” because of my “high moral compass” is possible. Really? This is me. Everyone talks to me, tells me secrets, confides—because above all else, I’m loyal. And shouldn’t that loyalty automatically mean I won’t judge? It’s not my place to judge—it’s my place to love.

Oh wait… Thursday… there should be a question. Sorry, I got all rambly there. I could do a whole blog on judging, which turned into it’s own conversation and moved locations and oy… Hmmm… Ok, how about this:

Do you have a compass? Nah, that’s a given, even if it’s a little broken one, you’ve still got one. Ok, how about: Where’d you get it from? Does your moral compass come from your upbringing? Your faith? Your experiences? Your desires to be a certain way? How did you come to the morals that you hold yourself by?

I guess I answered before I asked this week. I got them from my mom, but also from experiences. There are certain things I will never ever evah do, because they were done to me. They hurt on a level that can never be properly expressed and I would never want to a.) be responsible for making someone feel like that, b.) sink to the level of those that did it to me. My compass is part mom, part me—but sorry, no pink elephant. I personally don’t think an invisible entity threatening my afterlife is a good enough reason to behave in this life. I live the way I do because before I die, I have to live… with myself.

0 Responses to Due North

  • I don’t know where it comes from. Maybe several sources, like you’ve alluded to in your post. My mom, certainly, always knew when I was lying, so I just don’t lie. I can’t. My dad inflicted a lot of hurt, so I try not to hurt people. There were the alcoholics and addicts of the family that I swore I wouldn’t turn into. The name-callers and emotional abusers that pushed me be kind and aware of the words that left my mouth. There wasn’t much God when I was atheist and yet, there was a definite moral compass. When I became a believer, I don’t think my moral compass shifted, I think I became more aware of the judgment from within the body of believers and because I’d suffered their hypocrisy, I lashed out at them (Christians) because of all people, they’re supposed to love and be kind and treat others as they wish to be treated. But most of them don’t. And I hate that.

    What my faith has done, I think, is maybe strengthened my moral compass. When I didn’t have faith, I was prone to some pretty serious bouts of depression and constantly saw the negative in everything. I have hope now, which had always been just out of reach. I’m not saying that a person can’t fight depression without faith, I think it’s possible. I just know, in my case, it’s what changed my life.

  • paula says:

    My parents , I did not want to be like them and I certainly did not want to raise my children the way I was raised. I love my parents and know they did the best they could but not every person is meant to be a parent.
    My moral compass comes from trying to be a better person and parent than my parents.Does that make sense?

  • Kevin Lucia says:

    I’d have to agree with Michelle. In many ways, my faith gives me a form for my moral compass, but faith for me is more how I look at the world and destiny and purpose: “I.E. There’s a Plan For Everything”, while it was the way my father raised me that really set the groundwork.

    He was old school, in his own way. Everything was ‘Please and Thank You’, always ask permission for things, always be polite, always give things away if you can. He believed in hard work, and that not being afraid to get your hands dirty lead to good things.

    That, and you mind your own. ESPECIALLY when it came to faith.

    When we first got married, my wife was taken aback when she wanted me to kill a spider, and I gathered it into a napkin and tossed it outside instead; same thing when I trashed the bedroom to safely catch a mouse in a hat and throw it outdoors. My dad was no softie – typical man who thought you should only cry if dismembered, and maybe not even then, we went fishing a lot and we loved venison – but I have very vivid memories of him avoiding killing ANYTHING if he could.

    Also, to this day, even when we visit the in-laws, I have to ask permission to turn on the TV. It’s just hardwired. That’s what dad made me do.

  • wolfnoma says:

    Kelli, if you don’t mind I am going to take your question and use my response as my Blog this week. I was going to post it here but it grew to over 1000 words. I know, I need to learn how to communicate my thoughts and views using a more direct and subtle form. But then I wouldn’t be me would I?

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