MORALITY: Who’s to say what’s right and what’s wrong?


Here I am.

I find myself sitting idly at home, looking out the window at raindrops falling off the leaves of very happy trees. I am eating a bowl of soggy Frosted Mini Wheats™. My coffee is now lukewarm, but I continue to drink it. I should microwave it, but I don’t.

On days like these, I tend to ponder my Life™, and think about my past triumphs and mistakes. I look to the grey, cloudy sky where the rain originates and ask:

“Am I the worst person ever?”

This Post™ has taken a turn and sounds darker than I anticipated. However, the question still stands. Recently, I have become more conscious of my actions, and have tried to figure out if I am a Good Person™, or if I am The Devil™.

Before I continue, I should disclose to you that earlier today, I discovered that when I type “tm”, it autocorrects to “™”, and you could say that I found this exciting. I should also disclose that none of the items in this post are actual registered trademarks. Apart from Frosted Mini Wheats™.

Anyway, back to the question of my morality. I will now describe to you a situation. This definitely did not happen to me.

Picture this.

You’re on a train. You’ve had a long day at work. I mean, not like a long long day. Not like a “my company is about to go bankrupt and I have to single-handedly save it from extinction” kind of day, but like a “I had to sit in a chair and stare at a computer screen without any human contact all day” kind of day. You’re body hurts. Why? Because you ate too much cheese, and walking down he stairs to the train was the only exercise you’d done in the last 4 months.

When you got on the train, there were seats to spare, so taking one for your ailing body was a guilt-free move. However, as the train makes more and more stops, and enters the heart of the city, the train quickly becomes crowded, and all the previously open seats are now densely occupied. You’re not sure where to set your gaze, because if you look straight ahead, you make eye contact with the nether regions of the tall man who is standing in front of you, holding onto the pole over your head. If you look to your right, your eyes fall upon the bosom of a woman who appears to be asleep while standing up. If you look to your left, it will look like you are reading the text conversation between the woman sitting next to you and her long-distance boyfriend over her shoulder. How do you know he’s long distance? You can see it in her melancholy eyes. Finally, you are left with only one option, which is to look sharply at the ground, almost in shame.

The train continues. People come, and people go, until a very particular person boards the train. She is wearing pristine white tennis shoes, pantyhose, pastel pink slacks, and a matching cardigan/blouse combo. That’s right, it’s an old lady. Her eyes are kind and her purse is large.

You think to yourself, “I’m a capable young woman, I should give her my seat” So, you begin to shift your weight forward to stand up, but you are quickly reminded that your body hurts because you are weak. You shift back into a stationary position, like a beached whale who just tried to roll back into the ocean. You look up at her as she grips the subway pole directly adjacent to you, and sways with the movements of the train. She makes eye contact with you. You know you should give her your seat. She knows you should give her your seat. Yet, no moves are made. More accurately, you make no movements.

You pretend not to notice her. It is obvious that you notice her. You look to your left, where the girl with the long-distance boyfriend is still texting. Shouldn’t she be giving away her seat too?? This gives you a moment of relief, until you turn back and the lady is standing directly in front of you. You forget about the brief moment of relief that you just felt and the guilt comes back, flooding your emotions. However, the guilt does not inhabit you enough for you to do anything about it, because you are a Bad Person™.

Eventually, the train begins to empty, and the lady claims a seat. You can rest easy now. Or can you?? You think about 50 years from now, when you yourself will be an elderly woman. What if you want to ride the train? What if the train is crowded? Will anyone give you a seat? You realize that this hypothetical situation is entirely unrealistic, because by the year 2065, there will be no trains, because everyone will travel by teleportation. But nonetheless, the sentiment of empathy is real. Dare I say, you have fucked up. Lord knows that lady will go home, call her BFF, and rant about the disrespectful girl who failed to give her a seat on the train. To be frank, she has every right to rant about this, because you have failed as a young person, regardless of your cheese consumption on that particular day.

Now, this story is obviously an illustration of the young person being a little bitch one of moral ambiguity. I ask you to ponder it, and think about how you would have reacted. Would you have been a decent human being? Or would you have strictly abided to the “first-come, first-served” rule, as I did this fictional person did?

In conclusion, I think what we’ve all learned here today is that nobody’s perfect. And that the concept of morality is a murky one.

Also, that I may or may not be a Jerk™.