A moral code like a compass. It's a guiding set of rules or principles that humans live by. They lead the way we move through the world and interact with the people around us.
Some believe that moral come from a divine energy that implants that code into our consciousness. Those morals have then been translated into text and passed down by religious authorities. Not following those sacred values could bring on serious consequences.
Others believe that the moral compass is innately within all of us and is biologically and culturally evolutionary. That voice telling you right from wrong has always lived within us.
David Ludden Ph.D. wrote that humans have been enacting a moral code long before we could even write down what it was:
"We also have an innate moral code: Do not kill, lie, steal, or poach another's mate."
"These injunctions weren't just handed down to us on stone tablets. Rather, they're inscribed in our DNA."
We wanted to know what is the number one moral or value on your list of moral codes.
Redditor MetanoiaBender asked:
"What is the #1 rule in your moral code?"
Here's a list of important life lessons.
Don't mess with people's livelihoods.
"Don't f*ck with a man's livelihood."
"I was a brand new manager and made a joke about firing someone and instead of laughing they looked scared and upset. A more senior manager saw that and took me aside - he said "if you have the power to hire and fire, it's not ever a joke. Don't f*ck with a man's livelihood.'"
"Never forgot it and it served me well."
"As an addendum, don't [send] sh*tty emails like 'Please see me in my office.'"
"Mandatory meeting Monday morning 9am, all staff must attend".
"We turn up expecting mass layoffs, got some OHS bullsh*t."
"However, expecting the worst, I had already sent my resume off to the company across the road. They hired me. Also 50% of staff sent off resumes because of this e-mail. Many got offers and left. So many key people left, the other staff were overworked and were soon over it. It cascaded to a mass exodus within about 6 weeks of the e-mail."
"Don't send sh*tty emails."
"After becoming a manager I made it a rule to explain unexpected meetings."
"'Hey I have an update on client [name]. Can we chat when you get a chance?'"
"Don't scare people."
"As a former retail manager, this one can get tricky. It's certainly preferable to approach hard conversations with the tactic you described whenever possible. That being said- when navigating the complex dynamic of a sales floor with multiple employees within earshot any implication of a meeting with a lower level associate will be seen by others as disciplinary. This causes gossip and strife between the people working under you."
"What I personally would do is find the employee I need to speak with, jovially approach them, and ask, 'Hey will you walk the sales floor with me for a second?' I would then take a roundabout way to my office while discussing friendly personal-life or hobby related topics or upcoming store events. Once out of earshot of others and the employee is at ease, inform them, 'Hey so we need to step into my office for a second and talk about this situation that happened.' If it's an employee with a different gender, bring in a manager who shares their gender. At this point they are generally receptive and appreciative of the way you approached them and respected their privacy. Even if the employee knows the conversation could end in termination of employment."
How to make friends.
"If you want to have friends, you must first be one."
"To be interesting you must also be interested."
"Do you mean interested in learning? If so, that's good advice. A lot of people just aren't curious enough, and their personality takes a toll."
"Learning about arts and history goes such a long way."
"Used to be so curious and interested in things but my job makes me learn so much so fast that outside of work idc to learn anything anymore unless it's beneficial to wife and kid."
"Thinking about it now, I need to change jobs when possible."
"I'm always super open with people and try to get them to be open with me but no one ever opens up as much as I do and I don't understand it."
"You might be considered an over-sharer. Your frankness with strangers might be seen as off-putting because it's not the norm. It happens and people ought to be aware."
"Slow down your opening up. If you open too fast and demand others to open just as fast, many people just shut down."
Always apologize if you've done something.
"Apologize if you know you've done wrong."
"Yooo this was a huge lesson my father taught us growing up. He really emphasized the strength it takes to apologize. More parents need to focus on this."
"Not only apologize but do better in the future."
"Yes, THIS. I see so many folks throwing out apologies so easily, yet do nothing to actually make amends to whatever it was they did wrong."
"I remember when i was a kid and I f*cked up real bad, I think I dropped the C word in front of one of my aunts or something like that. It wasn't close to the first time I'd been caught using profanity and I figured I'll just mumble sorry and bow my head 'n pout and weasel my way outta this."
"My grandfather wasn't having that sh*t. He told me to grab a plate and throw it on the floor, hard enough to make it break. I did. He said now tell it sorry. I did. He said is the plate ok? I said no it's still broken. He said now apologize to the other plates. I did. He said is the plate ok? I said no it's still broken. He said did the other plates move closer to you? I said no. He said maybe now you understand."
"That's a hell of a way to get the point across. I'm pretty sure it would stick though."
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Honesty is key.
"Never be afraid to be honest or kind. Both can be very hard in the right circumstances."
"Or be afraid and do it anyway."
"True that. Courage isn't the lack of fear, but the willingness to move forward when afraid."
"If you have to choose between being right and being kind, choose being kind and you'll be right every time."
"How do you decide between speaking an honest truth/opinion which will hurt feelings, or telling a harmless lie out of kindness instead?"
"Here's how it works out for me in life; kindness is a whole lot more important that telling everyone your honest OPINION. That's the key right there - if your opinion is likely going to hurt someone, maybe do your best to put the other person's feelings first, but it doesn't mean you have to lie. If you're in a situation where you're still being pushed to share your honest opinion, try to do so in a nice way. If, however, you are trying to tell someone an honest FACT, something that is grounded in reality and will affect them regardless, you are obligated to share that out of principle."
"I work in the veterinary field, and have seen many pets be diagnosed with cancer, skin disease, giardia, UTI, etc. It wouldn't help anyone for those owners not to know their pet it sick, no matter how expensive or difficult the treatment is. Similarly, before we have a diagnosis, treating that worried owner with kindness in the face of the unknown is sometimes the only bit good in that person's day."
Always leave the offer on the table.
"I won't leave people out. I was frequently left out growing up, and it makes you feel an inch tall."
"I always offer and then offer again, to include people. It's always nice to have the offer even if you don't want to come along."
"Similar to this I always make it a point to make my own judgments about people. When I was growing up it was considered social suicide to be my friend. The only way I could make friends as a kid was if I befriended the new kid before someone else told them not to be my friend. I think the least people can do for each other is make their own judgments after getting to know someone a bit and to not make plans within earshot of others unless you invite everyone who can hear it. People are social animals, it hurts to be excluded from the group."
Replace the roll!
"If I'm the one who finishes the toilet paper roll, I'm the one who replaces it. Sadly my family doesn't do the same and then I have to waddle to the cabinet to get a new roll."
"Honestly, if you are the one who gets it close to finished, you should replace it and leave the early empty near enough to use (to finish)."
"What if it's a really messy one and you need more than just the last little bit?"
"This is where the military rule of 'two is one. One is none' makes sense to me. In my house every toilet has at least one spare roll ready to go within arms reach of the throne. We know that if you start the last one then you should re-stock after."
Treat people the way you want to be treated.
"Don't be an a-hole."
"I go out of my way to not have to deal with a-holes, and it's time well spent."'
"The golden rule really matters. Treat others the way you want to be treated."
"It's one of those sayings that you have to actually analyze and absorb, and life changes for the better. "A penny saved is a penny earned" is another one we all hear, but when you think about it and truly absorb the mentality, life changes for the better."
"There's so many sayings we all hear, and a lot of them really can make life better."
"Don't be an a**hole is the first rule in our house, too. Second is assume best intentions (on the part of whomever you are dealing with). There are others but we've always said if you stick to those two solidly, you'll do just fine."
"Also, I swear by 'don't assume the other person is intending to be malicious.' There's been so much house drama (in my student university house) bc 'so and so' thinks 'so and so' is doing this to spite her, single her out, targeting her."
"Always assume there's no beef, and there will be no beef."
Keep your word.
"Keep your word, always."
"Yes!! I try and live by this as well! If I decide to make plans, I follow through, if I say I'll be there, I'll be there. I grew up with constant disappointment, and as an adult, I realized a lot of people pay lip service but have no intention of following through, they just want to look good in the moment. I try and live up to my word as much as possible because of this. I may not have a lot of friends, but god damn it, I'm honest and dependable."
"This needs to be paired with 'learn how to say NO.' It'll make it a lot easier to keep your word if you don't give it when you really shouldn't."
"I genuinely try to do this... I really do. But I am pretty bad about it. Eventually I realized I need to be more realistic about what I expect myself to do, not just for others, but for myself. But it's been a learning process. Usually it's small things: "I'll show up at 11:00" then show up 11:05 when it's a 5 minute walk, that sort of thing. I always feel terrible about it."
"I kept reading to see if anyone else felt this way. I'm bad about it, but I always thought I had the best of intentions… I was told by a therapist in my teens that just saying one's intention out loud was a good way to get past the inaction and antisocial tendencies I had from my severe anxiety/depression. The theory being that the more one announces one's intentions to other people, the more one feels accountable and is more likely to follow through with their plans. In my case, it didn't work and I just let people down and felt more guilt. Being more realistic helped me develop boundaries and also determine who was able and unable to handle the personal space I needed, which was (and is) a lot."
Can malice be explained by ignorance?
"Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by ignorance."
"People are only capable of that which they are conscious."
"Now I understand why people do that. It's a survival mechanism. But instincts aren't always our friend in a civilized society."
"The way I've heard it was 'incompetence' rather than 'ignorance'; mostly same idea."
"Don't tell truths that are not yours to tell. You don't need to be spreading people's business around without their permission."
"I think this has value, but some of the big things should be told to protect others. Being hands off when someone will likely repeat an action that hurts others is the actual worst."
"A related moral code I try to follow is to not take gossip to heart. So when people talk trash about someone I have never met I do my best to ignore it and form my own opinion. If someone is really trash, they're going to show you and you could decide for yourself."
Walk a mile in their shoes.
"Always put yourself in the other person's shoes. It really help see thing from their perspective."
"Before you insult someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you insult them, you're a mile away, and you have their shoes."
Our morals dictate how we move through the world, and ultimately how the world will treat us in return. By treating others with kindness and respect can bring that back to you. Suddenly, you're surrounded by people who care about the world just as much as you do.
But the same can be said without following this code. If you treat others poorly, you can expect the same in return.
It's your choice. What do you decide?
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