This I Believe

Joseph - Erie, Pennsylvania
Entered on September 25, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: integrity, work

My moral values

My moral values might seem simplistic but I have been living with them comfortably for 51 years. I have always had “morals”. As a child I felt compassionate regarding the hardships of others around me. I felt even as an elementary school student that it was our society’s moral responsibility to ensure fair treatment to everyone regarding the distribution of wealth. It was early in my life that it came to my attention that there was no such fair distribution. I saw hard working people, including my mother, suffering despite their desperate struggle to do right and do good. I also saw them happily doing more than they had the time, the energy or the means to do in their attempts to make their own lives and the lives of their friends and neighbors better. I guess this rubbed off on me, at least to some extent. I find myself enjoying putting a little extra effort in completing an expected task. I feel like it’s important to do nice things for people. And that it brings good things back to you in return. I feel that it’s important to not take more than your share. And when you have a little extra it’s good to give to someone who doesn’t have enough. This works both materially and emotionally. I feel that it’s just better to be nice to people in general. It makes my life more enjoyable as well as the lives of those I interact with.

I believe in doing no harm. I hope to leave things as I find them in nature. I want to leave the environment clean and sound for future generations. I don’t believe in useless killing. I like the idea of utilizing what you take from nature, and not taking what you can’t utilize. I have been a vegetarian on and off for most of my life, mostly because I feel that we (human beings) have evolved intellectually to a point that we can survive without killing other creatures. Although, I’ve become less radical and more forgiving regarding this issue as I’ve aged, with myself and with others.

I believe in taking turns and sharing. I certainly feel that there is enough of everything it takes to live a comfortable life for everyone on the planet, and I feel that everyone deserves and should have a comfortable life. The resources outnumber the needs. I feel it’s morally incomprehensible for there to be both billionaires and starving people. I believe that even if you have worked harder than anyone and everyone, it still does not entitle you the right to sit back while other people suffer. Share the wealth. Feed the poor.

I don’t believe that men and women should be judged by different standards. I believe that men and women are morally equals.

I believe in passing on my moral values to my child. I want her to experience the feeling of doing good for others. I believe it will make her life and the lives of those around her better.