Why Values and Morals are Important Part 2
NOTE: This is Part 2 of the six part series. If you missed Part 1, you can read it here.
What we say and do defines us. When we meet someone, they make an impression on on us. That impression can be positive or negative, good or bad. We like others and we want them to like us, too. That’s pretty much the way of things for those who live in a community. Your family and friends and others close to you are your community.
Last time, we talked about why we need values and morals, how seriously they impact us and our lives. We learned forever is a long time, too.
This time, let’s talk about others a little bit more. Because how we treat others tells them and us how much we value them. Have you ever had something special to you? Something important? If so, you know what I mean. You take care of it. You protect it. You treat it with respect. You’re careful not to break or harm it. You cherish it.
And that’s how we should treat ourselves and others. We should respect ourselves and those in our community. People, pets, and things. All things deserve respect.
Care. When you treat anything well, you prove you respect it and yourself. While you are a very important person in the world, others are also important. Everything isn’t all about you or them. It’s all about everyone and everything.
We all have gifts—things we’re good at—but none of us are good at everything. If we help each other with what we’re good at and they help us with what they’re good at, then we’re all better off. The Bible tells us to seek wise counselors. That means to ask others who are good at things for their advice and opinions, for their help, so that whatever you’re doing, you have good advice so you can do it well. That is a wonderful reason to care about yourself and about others. And if someone asks you for help, try to help them. Share what you know so they can do their best. Helping each other is respecting each other and what either of you are trying to do. That’s being loving and kind and good.
Promises. You don’t have to make promises, but if you do make them, then you must keep them. If you do, then others know they can depend on you to do what you say you’re going to do.
If you don’t keep your promises, then others know not to count on you to do anything you say because you might not. They just don’t know whether or not you will.
That means, they have doubt. When someone makes you a promise and they don’t keep it, you know how it makes you feel, and the next time they make you a promise, you’re just not sure they’ll keep it. You have doubt. That makes it best to be slow to make promises, but when you do make them, keep them.
Cheating. Some people cheat to win. That’s always a bad idea because, from the moment you cheat, you lose. You know you were dishonest. You know you did the wrong thing. And you never know if you hadn’t cheated, if you would have won.
By cheating, you might get what you wanted, but you won’t ever enjoy it because you’ll always know you were unfair in the way you got it. How you win is more important than winning.
Cheating is telling yourself you couldn’t get what what you wanted the right way. It’s saying you’re not good enough or smart enough or wise enough to win by doing the right thing.
You don’t know if any of that is true, but it’s how you will feel. And none of that makes you feel good about yourself. None of that respects the wonderful person you are and can be. And all of it is unfair to you and to others.
When you win the right way, by doing the right things, you can be happy about winning. You know you were good enough, smart enough, and wise enough to win fairly. You never have to feel guilty or fear someone finding out you cheated. When someone cheats, sooner or later, everyone always finds out. No one likes it, including you!
Winning or losing isn’t anywhere near as important as making an honest attempt to do something worth doing. The effort matters. How you play the game or pass the test or win whatever you’re doing is important. And it isn’t just important today, it is important forever. You can always feel good about any honest effort.
So never cheat. When you do, the one you hurt most is yourself. Be fair in all you do. If you win, you can be happy and celebrate your victory. If you don’t, you can be proud of your honest effort and being fair. That’s called acting with integrity. And integrity is important your whole life. It’s always best never to cheat. It’s always best to act with integrity.
Now we know why it’s important to care for ourselves, our things and for others. To be slow to make promises but, if we do make them, to keep them. And we know why cheating is never a good idea because it hurts us more than it hurts others.
I hope you’ll join me again in three weeks for Why Values and Morals are Important, Part 3. I’m waiting for three weeks so you have time to think about all we’ve discussed, and so you can talk it over with Mom and Dad and see what they think about Caring, Promises and Cheating.