Why Values and Morals are Important
You asked why values and morals are important and why we need them.
We live on a planet with a lot of people. Billions of people. If we don’t know what is good and what is not, getting along becomes impossible. History, and all the people who came before us, teaches us that life works better—we spend more time glad than sad—when we all know what is good and what isn’t and how to get along. Otherwise, it’s as if we’re all playing a game and none of us know the rules!
The thing is, life isn’t a game. And the consequences for living without a moral compass that works, is rough. Rules do exist; they always have, and because we want to deny them, doesn’t mean they’re no longer there or important.
Something you probably haven’t given much thought yet, but one day you will, is that life is short. It might not seem short, but it is. Eternity lasts a lot longer, and eternity is how long we live with the consequences of our lives. So living by our moral compass and what we value impacts us forever. Forever is a very long time.
Here are some things to think about:
Truth. If you tell the truth, even when it’s hard, others know they can believe what you tell them.
If you lie, even once, then they must always wonder whether or not you’re telling the truth this time. It’s best to be truthful.
Trust. Trust is a sacred bond between you and another person. When someone trusts you and you keep that trust, they know you are worthy of their trust. You know you’re worthy of being trusted.
If you break that bond of trust, it is very hard to repair it. Sometimes we can, and sometimes we can’t. Breaking that bond of trust even once impacts both people for a long time on everything. If it is a breach of trust that really hurt us, it can make us not trust anyone. Doubt always creeps in, and it scares most of us. We don’t want to be hurt or ashamed or embarrassed by someone breaking our trust. It’s best to trust and to be worthy of trust.
Honesty. Being honest with yourself and others is really important. When you’re honest, it’s not always easy and sometimes it hurts, but it also assures others and you that you mean what you say and say what you mean. You can be relied on to tell the truth and that is a treasure.
When others really need to know the truth, they will know that you will give it to them. And you will know you are honest. Honest people don’t lie, cheat or steal. They are not jealous of others, don’t envy others, and don’t hurt others. They respect others. Keep their word. Control themselves. It’s best to be honest.
We all have a moral compass. It’s that little voice inside that warns us something we’re about to do or say isn’t right. We know it. We feel and sense it. Sometimes we ignore it, but when we do, we usually regret it. Listen to your moral compass. Be the kind of person you want as a best friend.
Try to be a better person today than you were yesterday. More loving and kind to everyone, to keep your promises and be courageous and brave. If you know something is wrong, don’t do it. Be generous to others, give them the benefit of doubt, respect them while always respecting yourself.
It’s not always easy to be good and do the right thing, and we all make bad choices and mistakes. But the very moment we do, we know it inside. That’s our moral compass talking to us. Or if we don’t understand our error, others soon inform us that we made a mistake. The important thing then is to admit it, apologize to those we harmed—that’s taking responsibility for ourselves and our actions—and then move forward, trying hard to not make that same mistake again.
None of us is perfect. But we’re supposed to try to become more perfect than we’ve been until now. We learn from our mistakes, and so we ask for forgiveness and then we forgive ourselves.
That’s really important—asking those we hurt for forgiveness, and forgiving ourselves. And remember, making mistakes is human. We’re learning. That we do learn matters to us and others now, but it also matters to us forever.
That’s a part of why morals and values are important.
Join me next time for Part 2.