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Is Morality The Theme Of Our Times? - Op-Ed Piece


 

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Is Morality The Theme Of Our Times? - Op-Ed Piece


There are a lot of times that you will read a blog post, very much like the one you are reading now, and they will present you an article with a few books to read and give you a few unknown authors to check out, a few famous books you haven’t read yet. I am not here to talk about the actual books on the list, but what that list (and any list similar list) means.


After you read an article with suggestions, you will notice something; there is a theme to it all. They are trying to tell you that a major point about our time has to be said. The stories that they presented to you as possible reading options convey that message. I want to tell you that they are picking the best stories that they can find and giving them your time, but I also don’t want to be called a liar.


This biased selection process is not only done in the literature and the best sellers and new authors. Heck, look around, and that is all you ever hear from anyone as if presenting the event they are involved in as important validates that claim, which is not how it works. Just because a lawyer claims that his case is the most important of the day doesn’t actually make that true.

“This is the most important thing of our time. You have no idea. Forget about that thing that happened yesterday. Don’t think about the future. This… This…. this is what really counts and what history will remember.” – Everyone alive today


Give it a rest, will ya? The odds that whatever the hell you are doing is the most important thing going on right now and that complete strangers in the future will even care about it is very low. So get over yourself and admit that the odds are that nobody really gives a shit about whatever it is that you are talking about, and they probably never will.

Now, you don’t have to be a genius to figure out that after like the fifth time of someone on TV or online saying those lines encouraging engagement with the event, they are, in fact, lying to you. I relate this anticipation approach to the same I will see in a few weeks when the Super Bowl comes around. The people talking about the game will never tell you not to watch it. They won’t say that it is a bad game and not the game they wanted. Nope, according to them, this Super Bowl is the best ever. You gotta watch it. Yeah, obviously… if they said it is not a game worth watching, no one would watch it.


The movies will never tell you not to go to the theaters. The bookstores will never say that none of the new books are worth reading. The music awards will never admit that modern music sucks. Instead, they will lie right to your face, hoping that the lie will make you think more of their craft. And who are we kidding here? We all buy the lie. We continue to go to the theaters, even when the movies are below-average. We purchase best-sellers that we don’t even want to read. We listen to music that is conveniently on our playlist. It’s not a great lie because people believe it, but because they accept it.

I don’t know about you, but it feels like these previews are made to build my interest more than tell any actual truth of the event. So it must be me there.


There is one issue that I can’t help notice is never the focal point for an entire story. There isn’t much attention to this whole topic. I never see much time devoted to this cause. Rather other major points are brought to the forefront, and I don’t know if I agree with the position that they are the most important thing going on right now.

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Oh no, have I become like the articles I talked about earlier. Have I gone to the Dark Side? Did I become everything I swore to defend against? I am now telling you about what I think you should be reading. I became the enemy. Possibly…


The theme I am talking about, which no one else is talking about, is morality. In other words, how to be a good person.

Questions About Morality


Here are some questions that you will pose about morality. You will probably ask yourself these questions at one point in your life because you kind of have to confront them if you live.

  • What acts should one perform to live a good life?

  • What is even considered a good life?

  • Is there right and wrong?

  • And if there is right and wrong, how do we not live the wrong life?


These questions about morality are not sexy, they won’t win any awards for a writer or performer, and they are not the type of questions that make you friends. Imagine going up to a girl at the bar with that pickup line, “Hey girl, so I was thinking about mortality lately. What is the right life to live? What is wrong? And how do we even live that good life? Is it even attainable?”

And then the girl leaves. Morality doesn’t play well with the ladies.


We have so much access to vices and sins today, thanks to technology, that one must really ask themselves if it is even possible to live in this world today without being a sinner.

It’s too easy to sin today, and we have gotten so bad with it that the sinner is seen as more understanding than the hero who overcomes the sin. We don’t even want to avoid the sins; they are such a part of our lives that we merely accept them and move on. We are all drinking the kool-aid that pretends as though the one sin by you is not that big of a deal. I cheated on my girl, but it was only one time. I abused my wife, but only once. Sin is sin, is it not? Our society likes to boast about how sophisticated we are with our phones, laptops, and other devices, but we fail to acknowledge that we may live a morally corrupt life. And yet we all dare to judge civilizations from other eras with superiority in mind.

quote pens and words greg luti

It is easier to find a sinner than it is to find a morally righteous person.


Sinners Today


Everyone is sinning today. It is the newest hip club that you gotta join. Wait, never mind, you are probably already in the club. Sorry about the lack of hats. Membership is higher than ever.

Here is a list of our members in case you forgot. (this isn’t really all of them, but we didn’t want to write a book)

  • The criminals kill.

  • The politicians take bribes.

  • The news lies.

  • The husbands and wives aren’t faithful.

  • The athletes cheat.

  • The artists steal.

  • The owners abuse their workers.

  • And the kids look up and idolize all of these people.


Sinners, man, they are everywhere.


My god, no wonder we all love going to see the movies with the great villains. The morally questionable lifestyle they wrongly justify with reason, and skewed numbers is exactly what we do. None of us relate to the hero cause none of us is the hero. We are the villain trying to convince everyone around us that the sin we committed wasn’t that bad.


Whenever I see these action movies and intriguing stories of a struggle between two people, I often think of this question. What does it mean to be a good person? I see the bad guy in the movie shoot a hostage and then grin at the camera as if to let them know that he enjoyed the shooting. In that same movie, the hero kills a guard of the main villain without hesitation. And yet the stories never address the obvious contradiction we have with murder and heroes. Why is it okay for the hero to kill but not the villain? Is it because the hero is the good guy? Says who? Him? Doesn’t the villain view himself as the good guy, therefore using the same justification for the murder? The hero murdering the villain doesn’t solve the actual problem we have of murder. And frankly, stories ignore this because they don’t have an answer for it either. To stop the killer, the hero must kill.

You can really pick any sin and find that we are selective about who we hate in stories. When the villain sins, we hate them, but when the hero sins, that is their character flaw. So the lesson here is to be the hero.

So why aren’t we seeing these stories being discussed? First off, I want to say that there is a chance that I am wrong here. There could be a lot of stories dealing with morality that I don’t know about, but I won’t say that those stories have captured the public’s imagination like other current issues. If those stories did, then I would probably be talking about them. So yes, there is a chance I missed the stories that I want so bad.

I can’t sit here and tell you with a straight face why this topic is not as widespread as I think it could be. Is the audience to blame here? Maybe we ignore morality stories because we never want to question our own. Perhaps there really is a shortage of stories on this topic. Writers aren’t as interested in this as I am, so they don’t bother with it. I guess there is some truth to that, since the writer writes whatever will sell, and let’s face it, the stories I am talking about won’t do that. My assessment of the current landscape could be off. I claim to be looking at a mountain that is a hill to many.

Morality asks questions of ourselves that are timeless and will continue to be timeless for as long as man is around; he will wonder if his actions are for his good and the good of others. They have us question our actions, each other, and ourselves in the world. If a story ignores this topic, it ignores a very real human experience of uncertainty in the world we live in. This topic makes for an interesting discussion for characters; too bad none of our stories care much for it.

 

 

Ending

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About The Blogger

Greg Luti is an editor and blogger on pensandwords.com. His favorite writers are Robert Frost and Charles Bukowski. He enjoys reading up on history, watching comedies, and playing video games, when he is not writing down a few notes for his next piece. He started this blog out of his love for literature and hopes that the reader shares that same passion.

 

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