“The Truth Shall Set You Free.”
A Biblical quote from the book of John. I love the simplicity and the purity of such words that have such intricacy to them. There is so much meat on the bone of this simple sentence. Interpretations waiting to be realized and savored.
Virtue, by definition, means moral excellence or righteousness. Righteousness is altruistic. Self-righteousness is ego-driven. Yet, I would argue that the modern definition’s motivation at least, lies in the power of judgement. I believe human beings are inherently good. However, in a world of constant signaling, the wires of virtue get easily crossed. Good people make bad choices.
Yes, human beings are full of flaws. We make bad decisions, indulge our egos, can lack self-awareness, and often are motivated by our own self-interest. It is usually after we make the “less than right” decision that we are aware of flaws in our judgement. This proves that the complexity of these moral judgements illustrates that life’s dilemmas are rarely easily problems to solve. We comfort ourselves in the idea that moral superiority sets us free from that truth.
Is it better to take the high ground and cover up those flaws, almost as if we are anteing up from the mistakes we make? After all, we are never alone in our ethical dilemmas.
The Boomerang Effect
If we practice self-awareness and self-reflection, total honesty is necessary for the exercise to be fruitful. We examine our actions and the choices we make, realizing that honesty in our flawed decisions is what really sets us free, because it allows us room to be in situations with different or unpredictable outcomes. As human beings, we unconsciously push morality away because we want to believe that there is no uniform way of living. Like a boomerang, bad behavior brings us back to the good.
Personally, I have made many bad decisions and yet I have no regrets. I believe my mistakes lead to my redemption. The people I connect with are part of that process, that journey.
There is Bravery in Cowardice.
Yes, it is the journey of the discovery of truth that sets us free. The process, not the virtue itself. Every behavior has a consequence, and with that an awakening or even further, a reimagining of ourselves. Another dimension for which we can glimpse on the infallible version of ourselves, satisfied that we can recognize our capacity for excellence.
The destination is never as significant nor satisfying as the journey. Our signals may cross or even malfunction along the way. Realization is just a single moment when the cowardice finds the brave.
Music mood: Lana Del Rey ” Gods & Monsters”