What right or wrong am I talking about here? Let’s find out.
There are two ways of doing things in this world. Or let’s say everything is generally classified into two, right or wrong, irrespective of what that thing is. It can be your way of thinking, how you walk, how you eat, a habit, anything.
Now we have a reference to compare things to. Either something or someone is right or wrong. Can’t be both, obviously.
But who decides what is right and what is wrong?
Do you decide? I decide? President of a country decides? Maybe the constitution decides, no? The answer might sound a bit fuzzy but here it is. Everyone decides what is wrong and right, and at the same time, no one does.
Confused? I was too. Am I still confused? No. Why, what changed? I grew the F*** up. Time for you to as well.
Let’s clear this riddle. Everyone decides but no one does. Sounds kinda bipolar. It all begins with a very heavy word, we all call ‘MORAL’.
Moral…… Morality. What does morality mean? Principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior.
What is morally wrong? And right?
Morally right or wrong!
The basic argument starts with, whether something is moral and ethical. If not, then it’s wrong. That’s a general perception at least. For example, let’s say you slapped your kid because he was bullying other kids in school. Now, you used violence, obviously not ethical, so by the general perception your action of slapping your kid was wrong. Let’s leave it at that and not get into the bullying part. For now.
Let’s take another example. You saw a beggar with half-torn clothes in the street, under the scorching sun. You couldn’t help but give him some money. You helped a poor guy. Highly moral and ethical, so by general perception what you did was right.
Now that we are clear on our view of the general perception, let’s talk more about how different views lead to different interpretations of right and wrong.
Consider the first example. Morally speaking, violence is a bad thing. From this angle, we can interpret what happened as WRONG. But, the kid was bullying other kids and needed to be taught a lesson. So, if we consider the angle of the children that were bullied, what you did was RIGHT. Similarly, the encounter with the beggar. You gave him money. Morally RIGHT to help others. At the same time, you encouraged him to keep begging instead of trying to find work. Ethically WRONG. In some cases, the beggar might even use that money on alcohol or gambling instead of feeding for himself. So you see, your actions unknowingly lead to something WRONG.
If we think thoroughly and being unbiased towards a situation, we can see all these rights and wrongs from different angles. The word ‘if’ is in bold. I’m trying to stress it because we don’t work like that.
What we actually do then?
We are humans. A greedy species. If it was up to us, we’d take everything for granted.
What I do, you do or generally, anyone would do is stick to one view one angle. This view is the one which will suit you the most. The one in which you’ll feel most comfortable. We will always know in the back of our heads that there are many other views, but we couldn’t care less. Let’s understand more deeply with some examples.
A soldier kills the enemy soldier in the battlefield. Killing, violence is never justified. WRONG. But he did his duty. Morally RIGHT. He protected his country. RIGHT.
Now, suppose this soldier is from your country and he killed an enemy soldier. It’s on the news. What’ll be your take? You will obviously feel proud and will commend the soldier’s actions. Call him patriotic. I will too, any day. But wait! There’s another angle to this. Try putting yourself in the shoes of the other country whose soldier was killed. Then what’ll be your take? You’ll hate the enemy soldier. You’ll condemn his actions of killing your countrymen. For you, then, it’ll be just WRONG.
I’m not deciding for you.
I was trying to show that there are things that happen to people. Circumstances change. Life happens. However, we judge someone or something on right and wrong from our view. For us, he might be wrong, but have we seen life from his eyes? No.
Someone might steal from you, break your heart, leave you, or abandon you. I’m not saying these are all the right things to do. All I’m saying is that there’s another side to every story which brings with itself lots of different views.
So before passing a verdict on someone, or judging someone, try looking at life from their eyes. I know we can’t be totally unbiased because we are human beings and made that way. But we can try to, no?