Living Morally

The Practical Application Of Moral Principles

Mind Own Business

[All the Living Morally articles are: "Must Choose," "Own Mind," "Must Learn," "Must Think," "Be One's Best," "Must Work," "Be Free," "Right Relationships," "Mind Own Business," "Self Defense." Links will be added as articles are published.]

This article continues the discussion of the practical application of the ten moral principles described in the article, Principles to every day life and the advantages of living by those principles.

Moral Principles Are Practical

Moral principles are reality based. They are determined by the reality of physical existence and our own natures as human beings. The purpose of those principles is to guide our choices and actions to achieve success as human beings and to be all we can be. The ultimate purpose of moral principle is the enjoyment of our lives.

Mind Own Business

Every individual is different from every other individual. No individual can know what is right or good for any other individual. Any attempt to interfere in the life of any other individual to influence his thoughts or choices, by any means except reason, is wrong.

In the previous article, "Right Relationships," I noted that, "In most cases, a moral individual will not attempt to influence others at all. Others have their own minds to learn, think, and choose how to live their lives. Instead of trying to persuade others to believe and think what we do, if we are moral, we'll try to learn what others believe and think to understand the choices they make, to better appreciate them, no matter how much we disagree with what they believe and think. That certainly does not mean we have to agree with them, or disregard things they choose and do which are morally wrong, it only means it is not up to any individual to correct any other individual except in the rare case when someone else's actions are a real threat to us."

If you are a moral individual and your opinion is invited, if someone asks for your help, it is no intrusion to provide it if that is what you choose to do. No one wants to see someone else make choices which are immoral, which can only lead to their own disappointment and unhappiness. But no matter how certain we are that another's beliefs and thinking are wrong and can only lead to wrong choices, how others choose to live their lives really is none of our business unless our interest is invited.

As sincere as our intentions are and no matter how much we would like help others, to interfere in someone else's life is an intrusion that will ultimately do harm both to the individuals whose autonomy we have violated and to ourselves.

You Are Not Your Brother's Keeper

Every social evil in this world is the result of the violation of the true golden rule:

"Do nothing unto others, ever!"
"Mind your own business!"

The record of those who attempted to produce the perfect society, because of their concern for their fellow man or "mankind" is the record of the bloodiest century in history so far. You may call it whatever you like—totalitarianism, oppression, socialism, communism, or fascism—the excuse for every form of human atrocity was and is always that it is for the sake of, "the people," or society.

[NOTE: Concern for mankind is the excuse. It is unlikely that any of those who gain political power thereby are sincere, but it is the excuse of altruism by which their horrors are put over. Don't expect them to tell the truth, "my only aim and purpose is to have complete power and will murder and enslave as many as is necessary to gain that power." Some might be sincere, especially when their hunger for power is determined by a religious ideology, for example. The consequences are always the same.]

The desire of most individuals seeking to help others is not quite as ambitions as the dictators of the twentieth century, but most have some view of saving mankind, as described in, "Controllers, Meddlers and Individualists." Most, "I love mankind," types are not even that ambitious. They limit their intrusion in others' lives to working for laws to keep people safe from their drinking, taking drugs, or playing with knives or matches. They gain their sense of moral superiority by intruding on their neighbors' lives and reporting anything they disapprove of, like how they raise their children or how they maintain their property. They excuse their meddling by claiming to have empathy or compassion for others, to be concerned by others bad influence on the community, or for health and safety of children—other people's children; but all their righteous behavior is nothing but vicious meddling and trouble-making.

Your Nature Requires The True Golden Rule

Remember, moral principles are for the sake of each individual as the guide to living their own lives successfully and happily. The principle that says you must not interfere in the life of others has social consequences because it pertains to your relationship with others, but the principle is determined by your own nature's requirements, not the needs or desires of others.

Every individual is endowed by their nature with all the resources and abilities required to live their own life successfully, and all those resources are required for one to achieve the kind of life that is possible to them. Wasting any of those resource, one's time, one's strength, one's emotional energy, or one's earned wealth, diminishes their ability to achieve and be what they can be.

[NOTE: This is how love is exception making. What would be wasting one's resources when expended on anyone else, is achieving one's purpose when expended on those one loves. This is also why wasting one's resources on anyone other than those one personally loves is immoral, because it deprives the individual the opportunity to use those resources to benefit those who rightfully matter to him.]

Neither the world, nor society, nor your neighbor need or want you to save them, educate them, convert them, or to do them unasked favors. Some may live by means of the generosity of others like everyone receiving unearned benefits of welfare, subsidies, education, and healthcare, but they are not grateful for what they have, they only feel entitled. It does them extreme harm and usually means a hopeless and meaningless life of regret.

Your only moral obligation is be and achieve all you can by using every attribute you have been endowed with to the best of your ability. If you do that, you will succeed, living a life worth living, and you will have no time to interfere in anyone else's business.