After observing certain behaviors over the last two three weeks, and hearing other things in the news, I started pondering over the issue of morality. I wondered whether people really even know what morality is and what keeps them from being moral.
In the simplest terms, morality is understanding and recognizing the difference between what is right and wrong and choosing to do the right. The problem is that sometimes there are loopholes, problems within a system that allows one to take advantage of it even though it is morally incorrect. It may be loopholes in the laws, loopholes in the management of programs or services that organizations offer their customers, or some other loophole.
One obvious example of this that has been in the news lately is the one involving Donald Trump reportedly not having to pay federal income taxes for 18 years because of his $916 million loss declared on his 1995 tax return. In this example, the loophole exists because of the poor decisions made by elected government officials not thoroughly analyzing the laws they enacted.
Another example is people who take advantage of benefits that they are not eligible for; such as discounts on products or services meant for senior citizens. Because of the loopholes in the management of the program, individuals who clearly do not meet the “senior” requirement take advantage of it. Most of these loopholes are the result of companies fearing that the enforcement of the rules will result in the loss of money due to customers shopping somewhere else.
In both of these examples, some would argue that the individuals who take advantage of such loopholes are not at fault. It’s not illegal, although in the senior discount it is a violation of the program’s rules. Ultimately, it’s not their fault the law is the way it is or that the company doesn’t do anything to prevent people from taking advantage of something. But…is it morally right?
What keeps people from behaving morally? There is really only one answer to that question. It is greedy egotistical behavior. All they care about is what is best for them and what they want. They know it’s wrong and will probably have a negative effect on someone somewhere, but still do it anyways.
To prevent the continuous immoral behavior of such individuals, we need to close the loopholes. We need to change the laws and enforce the laws, and companies need to more clearly notify individuals of the rules of their programs and enforce those rules. If we do not, we are only going to continue to entice and enable people to behave in an immoral manner.
For those who are of a young age, who have no understanding of the concept of morality, of the difference between right wrong, we need to begin to educate them now. To teach them the importance of making right choices and the benefits that can come from it.
The good thing is that when one chooses to behave immorally, they can repent of their wrong doings and change. They can always turn around and begin their journey towards morality. It may not be easy and it may take some time, but it can be done.