Friday, September 19, 2008

When We Change the Rules

eth·ics - Pronunciation [eth-iks]

2.the rules of conduct recognized in
respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture,
medical ethics; Christian ethics.
4.(usually used with a singular verb)
that branch of philosophy dealing with values relating to human conduct, with
respect to the rightness and wrongness of certain actions and to the goodness
and badness of the motives and ends of such actions.

When is it okay to change your moral code? At this point, is it fair to say that everything is negotiable? If your husband beats you but the neighbor treats you sweetly, is it okay to cheat on your husband? If the rules say that a teacher can't let a student in their car, but then the student is stranded at school after practice in the dark, is it okay to bring the student home?

faux pas Spelled Pronunciation [foh pahz; Fr. foh pah]

1. a slip or blunder in etiquette, manners, or conduct;
an embarrassing social blunder or indiscretion.

Ah, social faux pas. Homosexuality is considered a faux pas. Does that make it wrong? Is everyone entitled to their own definition of 'ethics'? The faux pas part is knowing that maybe the majority knows it's a 'no, no'. But isn't it fair to say that if it's not going to hurt anyone or yourself then it can't be all that bad?

I guess I've been in this place enough times to know that there's a time to tell people what you're up to and there's a time to keep it private. If everyone tells you something is wrong but you don't feel like it's wrong, is it wrong? God, I sound like a pediphile.

I dated a guy that was younger than me once, by four years. He was 16 and far more sexually active than I had been. Was it wrong to want to date him because I was not his age? Some people thought so but we were like any other couple.

I dated a guy that was 32 when I was 20. I couldn't even drink at the bar with him. There were many people who thought there was something wrong with him for wanting to date me. Why didn't they think there was something wrong with me for wanted to date him?

So breaching on social philosphies here, who's to say? Of course boundaries are usually set up for protection. Either protection of the people involved or of the people who could potentially be harmed, should the parties step outside of boundary.

I think the decision should be weighed on what it means to your life and the other party. If you are scared to leave your crazy husband and this other man is with you and gives you strength and courage, then your life is in less turmoil. And hopefully the end result is that the healthier party (if that is what this other man represents), will be there to transition you out of your old life and into a better one. That justifies it, doesn't it? What if you just want the best of both worlds? Can you justify that? And why do you have to and who do you have to justify it to? If a kid gets a ride home from a teacher instead of sitting in the dark in a deserted parking lot, doesn't that justify getting in the car? To aide. To help. To guide. To enhance our lives in some way to make them better. As long as no one is getting hurt, dead, bleeding or on fire.

I'm not going to tell you to go sell children for trade to make a buck to make your riches better. No, it's the judgement of weighing the good with the bad and making the executive decision to put people first. People before boundaries, before laws, before rules for the greater good. Maybe theirs and maybe yours.

Does that also mean then, if I break social rules and then, in turn, am harmed by the rules that I ignored, that I should receive no aide? I believe in that instance, then my friend-community would bend their own ethics/morals temporarily because they love me and would help me until the situation were over, then remind me why the boundaries were there in the first place.

It's socially unexceptable to show up to work drunk and yet people do it. Does that mean if your best friend started showing up drunk and lost his job, you would say, "well you knew that was wrong!" You'd probably try and help him, get him into AA or even so much as talk to him when he told you he'd lost everything. Even though you know what he did was wrong, he was still someone you cared about and therefore, you alter a bit to meet in the middle. Is that not also okay?

I guess I've always been the person to bend boundaries and break the rules, usually for my own benefit but also because I believe that people, above all, are everything. People matter. Even though I get so angry at so many of them... When we work together and care for each other, that's how this world heals. Because if you heal one, they will heal the next, who will heal the one after.

I think sometimes, it's okay to break the rules. Even if you can't tell anyone about it.