It’s amazing what auto-reflection can do to you. Sometimes you feel you can conquer the world, at other times you feel that world has conquered you, yet either way it’s all about how we feel or better said perception.
A long time ago I came to terms with the idea that I can not control life or the things that happen to me in a one hundred percent, I can though chose wisely faced with alternatives of dos and don’ts. Pretty much life has given me some harsh lessons on the later. One of the hardest things I’ve learned from experience is never to fail a true friend’s trust, nothing in the world is worth jeopardizing that kind of friendship.
Coming back to auto-reflection, let’s add some sizzle to it. Let us place side by side with justification. Wham! That sure is a slugger!
Haven’t you heard the phrase, “He or she was just begging for it.”. What you make out of this is only for you to figure out. This statement can make a perfect fit for almost any situation.
Usually when we want to believe that our judgment is at its best, we doubt and do not practice inquiry. William K. Clifford in The Ethics of Belief (1877) brings this topic up, close and personal as he examines a supposed case where a man sends a boat full of immigrants with their families and knowing his boat should have gone into repairs believes that if it has been at sea so many times before and has made it back, why would it be different now. As it goes the boat goes under, all families perish and on top of that collects money from the insurance. He never feels guilty because he made himself believe that the boat was fine to go out to sea.
This makes me think about our own justifications when we drown our own thoughts and begin believing that what we are doing is just darn right. A great example would be, let’s say I’ve taken care of my parents during all their elder years, does it entitle me to become the sole owner of what they have? Do I just leave my brother out of it because he isn’t their next door neighbor ? Is that right? What would happen if I believe it to be right? I know, I know to many questions.
Very dangerous and unethical thoughts! I would even take it a step further to say that to an extent they are immoral. My inquiry is supposed to lead me towards all the right directions based on rational thoughts.
Each time we want to justify our criticism or judgement over other people’s lives we bring to the table all the aspects in their lives where they are at fault. If we are faced with the opportunity to help them in any way, and simply won’t do it. We empower ourselves with the belief that they don’t deserve it. Isn’t the mind a tricky little fellow???
Why do we think we are above judgment ourselves?
Probably the saddest outcome would be when parents decide their own children aren’t worthy of second or third chances. I learned early on (thank God) that I need to respect my emerging adults and compromise a bit, so we can meet half way. I don’t necessarily have to agree with them, but I can try to understand and help them.
Next time you come up with a situation where you’re not sure what to make out of something, try using inquiry to sort things out.
My brother almost 20 years ago, gave me some great advice, he told me when you face a difficult situation make a list of pros and cons look at them coldly and then decide. I’ve used it often. When you see it in writing inquiry just steps in, there is no other way.
Morals and ethics are hard lessons to learn, but after you get a grip of them everything just falls into place. Give it a try, you will not regret it.