I was grieved deeply last week over the news about . I grieved first for a great coach that was hurt physically in the motorcycle accident and emotionally just a few years ago when he abruptly left the Atlanta Falcons. When further details about his wreck became available, I was grieved for his wife and family. I was grieved at the pain and suffering they were experiencing and would continue to feel.
I was grieved some might think morals don’t matter when I read the quote “We want to forgive, forget, and win.” Did that mean success in any field makes a person’s actions okay, at least whatever they do in their private life? It is distressing to think many don’t grasp what is done in private not only affects a person’s public life, but sooner or later will determine it.
Is it possible to think lying to yourself and your family about what you are doing won’t ultimately lead to lying to your boss? Is it possible to believe breaking commitments made to your wife won’t lead to breaking trust with those you lead? How can a coach insist on obeying team rules when the coach breaks the rules of the team he or she is part of?
To be moral means to live by a set of principles relating to right and wrong behavior. An ethical person makes moral judgments. Failure to judge what is right and wrong leads to chaos personally and publicly. Are there areas where those who have no authority, responsibility and perhaps knowledge should stay silent about? Absolutely. Nevertheless, no society can endure where individual members are so laissez-faire as to say what others do is ‘always’ their own business. A person’s action in any society or voluntary organization affects the whole group.
The Judeo-Christian ethic has been the beacon across generations and geographies to enhance life. To believe differently is unwise. To allow society to unmoor itself from this ethic would be catastrophic to the quality of life most aspire to. When an individual does whatever is right in their own eyes, it inevitably leads to “hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division/factions and envy”. “But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, [and] a sense of compassion in the heart”. Today is not the day to quit living by the tenants found in the Old and New Testaments, such as the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount.
If avoiding grief is a goal in life for ourselves and those we care about, morals really aren’t an option.