“Kill him, kill him!!! ” everybody yells at a seen wrongdoer.
I take a look at the ethical and intellectual behavior, not to mention the moralistic tastes of most people in our society today and i find them totally distasteful and loathing.
Nigeria is a heterogeneous country, and thanks to our constitution, anyone can live anywhere in the country. As is expected, culture shocks and culture clashes are bound to happen on a personal, community and societal level. Hence comes the moral hypocrisy.
Leo is a good and well mannered boy who has his priorities straight. Then he finally finished university, got a juicy seven figure appointment/job that continued to rise every year. Leo has been in charge of the account records of his company for 15yrs. However, Leo realised one day that all the good accounting systems he has designed and maintained for his company were in fact used to scheme out a means of cheating the Government of tax payment, and sometimes used to evade tax payment permanently. If you are Leo, what will you do in this situation?
I will not answer the above question for you, but as an individual, I believe that everyone’s first moral task to himself is to develop a capacity for moral self-awareness. Not everyone even understands what right or wrong means as what is right in your place, maybe wrong in another society.
We all are reaping the reward of morality, as it is morals that created the human state. The fundamental rights as enshrined in our constitution is a creation of morals, because it was felt and believed that if certain acts are not codified, the society will be lawless and anarchy will be let loose. I believe you don’t want that. The question is, what are you doing about it?
Even though i also believe that having a real understanding of what we ought to do is sometimes difficult, a mosquito will not because it may die from an attempt to suck blood and not try.
For a lot of people, their moral capacity is generated from mimicking other peoples character or behavior. First family, then community, and the broader society. For some others that want to deviate from the norm, they find alternative cultures.
However, because most times people don’t realize how interactions outside your self subconsciously alter your personality, they end up being molded in the image of moral mediocrity and hypocrisy.
The fact that psychologists have also noted that we don’t see new faces in our dreams, except faces we have seen somewhere or familiar with also corroborates the above.
A lot of people have the tendency to calibrate and vibe towards moral mediocrity. Drinking alcohol or taking substances to forget your worries in real life started with someone. As if your problems will go away.
Nobody is advocating for you to be a moral saint, not that it will not serve the society well; but when it comes to making a decision you have critically destroyed in the past, do you take a moral ground or join the queue?
Say you have a child who is dying, but your faith does not allow you to seek help outside your faith. However, there is help somewhere else guaranteed to be 100% legit, will your faith allow you to get the help and save your child?
As it’s the norm in our society, it is usually okay to criticize something if it’s going against you. The real test however is, will you still criticize same if it’s going well for you?
Most times, we try to find means to justify our hypocrisy. A lot of “so many people were doing wrong and getting away with it” or “others would have done the same in the same situation” are the simplest defense that comes to mind. But, really?
There is a saying that though everyone may be stupid, but you really should not abuse such privilege. Even sociopaths and psychopaths believe they are doing the right things too.
I ask, isn’t part of being different include distinguishing oneself from the herd? As one of the holy books rightly said, is narrow not the path that leads to heaven?
The legendary Nigerian musician, 2face Idibia, will always chime that “nobody wan kpai, but they wan go heaven”. That goes a long way to explain the moral mediocrity and hypocrisy in our society.
As they say, you may call it banana, you may even write songs that it is a banana, pay the whole world to write the best news and article that it is banana, preach it in sermons to be banana, use a guillotine on anybody who says it is not banana. But, the fruit is still an apple.
How do you behave? Do you do things so that you will be seen and applauded? How developed is your sense of morality? Can you see a wrong thing and keep calm because it’s in your favour? Do you criticize others of things you are very much guilty of because they were caught?
I’m no saint, and i am not one who cares if you do what you are supposed to do or not, but our mediocre behaviors needs to change.
We are now living in a world where we buy things to impress others, and sacrifice our self-esteem and morality because we want to belong. We seek happiness where there is none, and the people who are actually doing their best to be good are berated and seen as enemy of progress.
Like how in God’s name will you be seeing a lecturer that allows you to cheat in an exam as a good lecturer, but the one that detests exam malpractice is seen as the bad guy? Is that how low we have sunk?
How can because you want to make huge profits from your business, you collude with manufacturers and producers to produce inferior products so as to save costs but raise surplus profits?
The fact that someone does not agree with you makes him your enemy automatically?
Like is okay to join the bandwagon to destroy the country rather than help to build it?
Like is okay to be a cheat with multiple partners yet continuously deceive someone somewhere you are their all?
One of the things i have observed in life is that most people don’t want to be treated the way they treat others, unless they are treating others right.
To some people, to be better than average in a lot of things would be to be a moral saint of some kind. Therefore, being morally upright may not be humanly possible to them. But, i honestly don’t think that’s true. I know people who are morally admirable. However, not a lot of people aspire to be like them. We want to be in the flow, to belong.
Maybe it’s fine to aspire to moral hypocrisy? After all, just follow the trend, you will be alright so long as everyone is doing it, no one will judge you right?
I don’t think most of us like to think ourselves as moral hypocrites. But deep down inside, we all know the truth.
It is said that “part of the idea of mediocrity is that the moral standards are relative to what one sees others doing”. Therefore, if you want to change your calibrations, or that of others, one of the most effective way to do this might be to change the type of behavior you give or recieve attention from.
We don’t create our lives but we are rather summoned by life. We are thrown by fate, by history, by chance, by evolution, or by something else into a specific place with specific problems and needs. What sort of person you end up being depends on what sort of inner decisions you make in response to your circumstances in life.