From the above picture with the definition, it is clear that more than anything else morals form the basic tenets, rules around which we all live our lives. Our moral systems determine all our actions, decisions and motivations in our daily lives and pretty much define our personalities, so to speak.
Yes, while popular perception is that ‘only children’ like me are ‘spoilt brats’ who have it easy for them in life, and their parents pamper them a bit and bend to their every whim and fancy, the truth remains that this purely depends on the kind of parents and the parenting techniques they follow. As for me, my parents were so firmly entrenched in the ‘middle class’ of the 80s and 90s India that they had no choice but to instil a strong ‘middle class mindset’ in me.
As a consequence, even today when I can probably afford an ‘upwardly mobile middle class’ lifestyle I am still firmly stuck in a place in my mind where I strongly believe that I am ‘middle class’ only without the prefix ‘upwardly mobile’ to it. And most of the credit for this strongly grounded mindset that I have goes to my parents who ensured that I didn’t have it easy and didn’t always have my way as a kid and a teenager. They strongly believed in correlation of efforts and rewards for anything that I got in life. If I studied well, I was rewarded with a new novel, if I performed well in a school quiz, I got a new Bournvita Book of Knowledge or a Malayala Manorama Yearbook, if I won a cricket match against the neighboring colony, I was treated to an ice cream. Nothing came my way without me having to have done something to deserve it.
That was as far as material possessions go. In terms of religious and philosophical world-view, I am very thankful that my parents didn’t force their moral systems on me. As long as I didn’t openly rebel against their rituals, rites, ceremonies, they were fine with it, even if I didn’t participate with as much devotion and fervor as they would have liked me to. In fact, apart from the occasional cribs that all parents have from their children on this topic, my parents didn’t even attempt to change my world views on this particular subject at all.
All of my belief systems and philosophical points of view were things that I developed on my own based on my experiences and those of people around me. While it took me a while to realize that I was ‘agnostic’ as far as God and religion was concerned, the fact remains that this is a carefully cultivated point of view of my own and I have nobody to credit or blame for the same. And this truly is so liberating, knowing that nobody else is responsible for what I believe in and what I don’t. All the bouquets and brickbats in this department belong to me and me alone.
On more than one occasion in life, I have come across friends, family members and colleagues whose value systems, morals, philosophies are at constant loggerheads with my own. And in all such occasions I have let one statement guide me – to each his own and this has served me in good stead. Even if the other person is initially angered at my nonchalant attitude towards his/her beliefs, he/she soon realizes that even though I might disagree I am anything but disrespectful towards them or their beliefs. And they soon agree to disagree with me and move on with the rest of their interactions with me.
This post has been written for Project 365 : A post a day where the idea is to write a post based on the prompts provided.