Acquiring Morals

“Morals are an acquirement–like music, like a foreign language, like piety, poker, paralysis–no man is born with them.” ~Mark Twain ~

It can be easy to forget that morality is the basic foundation upon which all walks of life are built. Doctors, nurses, lawyers, teachers, politicians, laborers, office workers, researchers, writers–every profession requires it. Yet how often is it stressed in our schools, at home, throughout society? Not often enough… of that I am sure.

As Mark points out, we are not born with morals. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that they are taught to our younger generations. We must put them on display in our own lives so that our children might acquire them during the course of their upbringing. Life is like that. We do not run before we can walk, and we do not walk before we can crawl. But crawling allows us to develop motor skills that will help us to walk, and months of practicing our walking allow us to start running. Likewise, years of teaching young people important lessons about morality and compassion and love and empathy and money management and trustworthiness can help that person to shine when he or she reaches the stage of being a professional. Those are the traits that will set us apart when others get to know us, not just as doctors or lawyers or police officers or administrative assistants, but us as human beings.

Children need us to teach them compassion and love, empathy and caring, honesty and integrity, generosity and sharing, and things of the like. Spend time acquiring a solid base of morality, and then share that with those around you. Providing a solid base for our children is one of the greatest gifts we can give them in life, and being a positive moral example is perhaps the best way of helping them become the person they were meant to be.

Help share morality with others, even if simply by example.

Questions to consider:

What are some morals you have acquired throughout your life? What are some you have taught or shared with others?

What have you done lately to make yourself capable and sensible?

Why is it difficult for some of us to recognize, accept, and appreciate our humanity?

For further thought:

“To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.” ~Theodore Roosevelt

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Filed under Commentary, Food For Thought, Living, Opinion

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