Every day each and everyone of us passes judgement on someone or something that we think should be done different. But upon further reflection am I actually being a hypocrite with my judgement? Is it truly fair, I don’t think fair is the right word, is it morally right on my part? What actually gives me the right to pass judgement?
I judge the criminal that robs the convenience store. Is it legally wrong, absolutely, so it is easy to judge. But what if in this case he was robbing it to feed his family. Does that make it less legally wrong? No, but is it morally right? If I couldn’t feed my family I would like to think I would do anything I could to feed them, but could I? I am a law abiding citizen, could I break that law in that instance? What about the man or woman who murders their neighbor, then we later find that neighbor molested them or their child. Is it less wrong? No. But is it morally right? I know if you hurt my kids I will hurt you, but can it truly ‘ve justified?
Those examples are easy. What about the hedge fund manager who pilfered the retirement accounts of a bunch of middle class workers? Could you say that you are % 100 sure you wouldn’t do the same in his position? The opportunity to not have another financial worry for several generations by hurting a bunch of people you dont know or care about. I would like to deny vehemently that I wouldn’t and I really believe I wouldnt, but what if? What about the banker who illegally forecloses on peoples homes in order to recieve a very large bonus? If your job and a huge bonus were on the line, would you do the right thing or the easy thing? I would like to say I would do the right thing, but I am not in their shoes.
What if you were a judge who could put a kid who was guilty away longer and make a nice chunk of change or place them for the appropriate time and just make your salary? We look on this with disdain, with good reason, but are you positive you couldn’t be tempted to do the wrong thing? The politician who takes a ton of cash to vote in favor of a corporation at the cost of the people and the government you were elected to uphold? The promise of wonderful vacations and enough money that your kids dont have to worry. All for a vote, the politician isnt hurting the people the corporation is. I will say I would do the right thing. But what if?
I have made alot of mistakes in my life. I couldnt be the person I am without those mistakes. My decision making has improved with age. There are certain things, little things, that I have always done. A person drops cash, I give it back, a woman leaves her purse, I chase her down or a cashier gives you to much change, you give it back. But do these things really say that I would do the right thing in the circumstances above? What prepares you for those experiences? For me, all I wanted was to make enough money to pay my bills, feed my kids and take a nice little vacation each year. Of course there is more, but I dont need I to be rich to achieve them. So I am confident in saying I would do the right thing. Are you?