What has happened to our moral compass? Have we lost our way? Society has changed dramatically over the past decade or two. Of the many changes, the advances in technology and the consequent explosion of media exposure seem to have altered our reasonable sense of self, including our moral center. We seem to hyper focus on every aspect of everyone else's life except our own. We follow celebrities, professional athletes, politicians, and YouTubers judging their behaviors but neglecting to examine our own. We seem to enjoy living vicariously and sometimes may even prefer when others mess up their lives so ours don't look so bad. Unfortunately, many of our leaders and supposed role models make bad choices and poor decisions which reinforce our acceptability of our bad behavior. We justify our actions based on the destructive actions of others, whether from a celebrity or someone close to us.
I believe that there are three factors that have dramatically changed our accurate perception of ourselves and that we can regain our moral compass by addressing these things. The three issues are acceptability, accessibility, and accountability. We have become a very accepting society which can be good and bad. The motto today is, "if it feels good and makes you happy, then go for it." Accepting people who are different from us is very good, but accepting harmful or destructive behaviors in others is not so good. Our tendency is to justify, defend, and minimize destructive behaviors and find blame in others. We sometimes look the other way when we need to speak up or take action. Accessibility, especially through the internet, exposes us to everything, good and bad, without cost or consequence. Social media sites in particular create opportunities for anonymous bad choices and unhealthy interactions with no accountability. People engage in unhealthy behaviors in the dark and don't have anyone calling them out.
Instead of being consumed with other people's behaviors, we might try cleaning up our own backyard. And rather than judging others, take a look at ourselves. We all know right from wrong, so don't bend the rules and justify bad behavior by comparing ourselves with others. Make the right choice the first time and you won't have to rationalize your actions. We need to do a better job with boundaries for ourselves and limit exposure to technology or other things that trip us up. Addictions occur in all different shapes and sizes, so check your obsessive behaviors. Lastly, choose an accountability buddy to confront you when your behavior is unacceptable and destructive. Decide to let them in and be transparent so they can call you out when they need to. Remember, when we feel invincible and in control we're most vulnerable to self-destruct. Be humble and remind yourself that you are not in control and that there is a power greater than you. We can repair our moral compass and find our way when we choose to change our behavior. Make the right choice today and focus on building character and integrity.