The Book: The Bookshop of Second Chances by Jackie Fraser

The Quote: “I know he thinks people only have morals when it comes to judging the behavior of others, and they’ll always be able to reconfigure them when considering their own.”

I know. Third quote from this book. A book I didn’t even like all that much…A book I called thinly veiled fluff and accused the author of trying too hard to be literary instead of accepting the fact that it’s basically a light, trite novel. And yes, it’s very easy to downplay a book that I did not write and call it fluff. And it’s easy for me to look at my own fluffy writing and think it’s breathtaking in its depth on life and the human condition…and tell you that in no uncertain terms…(and even sometimes use way fancy verbage and language…)

But anyway…

Do we judge others on things we ourselves are guilty of doing?

Are our morals stronger when it comes to the actions of others, and less when it comes to the actions of ourselves?

When we do something we have previously scoffed at others for doing, do we look for loopholes to explain why our behavior is different and therefore acceptable?

I knew someone once. They talked a lot of hate regarding a certain group of people for their alleged intolerance. When I said to this person that they were showing the same level of intolerance, they responded “Well it’s OK if I do it because I am clearly right.” (for the record we were not talking about Nazi’s, which is the way too tired pull of people who are more righteous than right) FYI- take notice that I said I knew this person once, as in, after this conversation I decided that they were not someone I wanted in my life in any way, shape or form.

Are we too hard on others, and perhaps not hard enough on ourselves?

Discuss.

24 thoughts on “Morals

  1. There is something to what you are saying. I know in my own life, when I’ve been irritated at different people, stopped long enough to put my finger on what it was (ie. The other person was being very self centered, I can see the same bent in myself.) Whatever irks me about other people in general, is definitely in me too. I would hate to be married to someone with the same “issues” as myself. I’m just being totally honest with you here.

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  2. I think anyone has the potential to be “that person” to some extent. I think if you claim you never, ever have been “that person” you are either out right lying or trying really hard to delude yourself for some reason- likely guilt because you realize that you have been “that person” and know it’s not a good look for anyone. As with most questionable behaviors- because none of us are perfect to knowledge- are we able to admit mistakes, learn and change… or do we always hold ourselves above others. You’ve clearly illustrated the answer to that.

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    1. I do think we e all done it to a certain extent, and most learn that it’s not a good look. However, I’m also guessing we will continue to do it. Sometimes we don’t want to look too closely in the mirror

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  3. I don’t think there’s any question that this is the case. There’s a point to the story of Jesus and the “first stone”, probably the most important line in that book and, to date, the least heeded. 😅 Tempting to call it human nature.

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  4. Great post. My mom is very much like this. I remember once after my dad died she told me with glee about someone we knew getting arrested for drunk driving. I am certain when we were kids my sister and I were in the car with dad driving when he was drunk. We were only kids and there was less awareness of drunk driving back then—but my mom should have known better.

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  5. Definitely have had some internal conversations about my own behaviors/feelings/beliefs when it comes to my relationship with my mom and my sisters. I always assumed I had the best relationship but now I realize it may not have been “the best” just different. Was I feeling that I was “better than” my sisters? Maybe. Especially after hearing some of the things mom would complain to the other two about me. Interesting topic.

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  6. We condemn others in an attempt to not see our own sins. I think. Yes I have done it – not often I hope because I usually have a little voice inside me that smacks me. I try to be very cognizant of such things. The old glass houses thing.

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  7. We are all guilty at one time or another. The far more dangerous issue is the “Well it’s OK if I do it because I am clearly right” movement. This belief has permeated all aspects of some people’s behavior. This and a sense of entitlement is the justification for being rude and ignorant to others.

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  8. For some reason, these lyrics popped into my head:
    “I’m Starting With The Man In The Mirror
    I’m Asking Him To Change His Ways
    And No Message Could Have Been Any Clearer
    If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place
    Take A Look At Yourself, And Then Make A Change..”

    We often judge others without looking at ourselves. I know I do this from time to time.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It’s so much easier to notice what we perceive as “wrongs” in others. Strokes our egos. It seems to be a bigger issue in society today. To the point where it’s caused hatred and so much division. I think if we spent more time looking within ourselves, we’d have less time to judge others.

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  10. Excellent question LA. From my perspective if we are harder on others it is greatly due to lack of understanding. When we stray off the path or make poor choices we often have a way of rationalizing it within ourselves. We understand ourselves better and perhaps excuse our behaviour based on factors that we have full understanding of. All before we arrive at contrition. When we looks at others, we can’t possibly understand all the factors involved in a person making a poor decision. And thus rush to judgement based on our own lens. Perhaps even that judgement makes us feel better about our own flaws. Great post!

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  11. OMG, we were talking about this very topic over coffee this morning! I have friends who lived together before marriage and are outraged that their kids have taken up the practice? Or my friend who hosts protests at abortion clinics when she herself had two when she was a young woman but now thinks better of it. We endlessly rationalize our own behavior without giving others the benefit of the doubt. There is no way to fully understand what is happening in the life of another person and second guessing their decisions, or standing in judgment is oh so human. I think we tear each other down to make us feel better, the worse you feel about yourself, maybe the harsher the judgment? Dogs don’t do this, we should strive to be more like our furry friends, but without the leash! xxoo, C

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    1. No. Not even a little. Midnight libarary was a gorgeous, life affirming book aboit seeing what’s in front of you. This was a trite beach read. But even a trite beach read can have some good things

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