Being an Ethical Nag

I have realized recently that people actually like being nagged.

My most popular posts are where I nag and rant about ethics.  A lot of what I do can be described as ethical nagging.  Here is the moral thing to do, here is why it works, there is no reason not to be good. We all need this sort of reminder from time to time I think.

What I have realized is that people want to be good and sometimes they just need someone to remind them to do the right thing. I was nagging my neighbor the other day about resting after surgery. I nagged him. He thanked me because he wasn’t taking care of himself the way he knew he needed to.  It’s like my nagging gave him permission to rest and recuperate.

And it is hard to do the right thing. We all have competing demands on our time and competing pressures to do different things. Making the time to slow down and consider the moral implications of our actions gets lost in the day to day struggle of living.

Having someone lecture on ethics and morality – helps us to re-prioritize them in our lives.

Another thing I have noticed is that we live in a culture that likes to be outraged especially if that outrage has a moral component.  What I want to caution you is this.  Just because someone is morally outraged doesn’t mean they are speaking the truth. People get outraged about things that aren’t true all the time.

Humanism isn’t just about being a moral person. It’s the recognition that our good intentions can be harnessed to do bad things if we don’t also commit ourselves to critically examination of the situations we find ourselves in.  It isn’t enough to be moral. If what you think is true isn’t true, your moral outrage can and will be harnessed for evil.

So beware people peddling moral outrage. They are manipulating you.  Keep on being moral, but also dedicate yourself to thinking critically. The two mindsets are complimentary. Consider yourself nagged for today.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...