I’ve lied, cheated and stolen. I’ve broken the laws of man and society. I’ve manipulated, twisted, and contorted the system to my own benefit.
I’m also a moral person.
No, stop laughing.
Let me explain.
Morals are the subjective principles of right and wrong to which each person chooses to adhere. For most people, these principles are structured around social mores, but they don’t have to be. And even when they are, they’re rarely black and white.
Most people consider it immoral to kill a human being. Many people also support the death penalty or abortion, or would not hesitate to take the life of someone who harmed their child. There is the oft-quoted discussion of whether or not stealing food to feed your starving family is immoral. What about the lie to a child about the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, or a deceased pet?
I’ve always been acutely aware of right and wrong. I’ve also always used semantics to walk that line between right and wrong. This means that when I cross that line, I know it. I may be able to justify it to myself, and to others at times, but I have never lost sight of that line, behind me, blurry in the distance. I don’t let the guilt weigh me down, and my demeanor may indicate otherwise, but the knowledge of my actions and the repercussions will be a burden that I will always bear.
When there have been difficult moral decisions in my life, I haven’t always been strong. Whether it was selfishness or simply the fact that I made emotional choices instead of smart ones, I’m not ashamed in the slightest to admit that I’ve done a veritable shitton of immoral things in my life. And I will continue to do so in the course of living a normal, active life.
I’m not perfect.
I’m not a paragon of virtue.
I’m not setting any examples on how to live your life.
I’m just a moral person who wrestles with making the choices in life that are right for me.
What I’m trying to say here is that I really do support gay rights, but I may love chicken sandwiches from Chick-fil-A more. And that’s an immoral choice that I’ll have to live with forever.
Thanks to Faiqa for the kernel of an idea.