Morality is a concept that plagued the Victorian’s. In a time of such change, population sprawl, industrial innovation, the Victorian’s wanted to structure everything to maintain control in this very chaotic time. The question becomes: What is morality?
The easy answer is: there is no such thing as morality. It doesn’t exist. It is socially constructed, does not have a definite derivative, and therefore, cannot be ‘a thing’.
However, there is an underlying thread of morality that does in deed govern our lives. I set out on a journey to define morality by asking other people about the most immoral thing they have ever done. Before I share theirs, in hopes to not be labeled a hypocrite, I will share my own:
In second grade, we did spelling pre-tests and if you scored well on your pre-test, you got to be in the advanced list. Being the ultimate nerd and over achiever I was, I HAD to be in that advanced list group. So, I cheated. And, I can honestly say, I felt so guilty, I never cheated on a school thing ever again.
Although, I did write my mom’s graduate school paper on plagiarism for her. That is pretty immoral.
I sold alcohol to someone I knew was underage, but presented me with a fake, convincing ID.
I started a rumor about a girl at school and told everyone to call her “Dumb Dani”. Then, my teacher caught wind of it, I denied, denied, denied, and had to write an apology letter.
Other stories I heard include: scanning a coupon at the local fast food restaurant, charging customers full price, and pocketing the difference, throwing rocks at people’s car windows that were parked in illegal spots, filling up a cart with groceries and walking out the store without paying, ordering $90 worth of pizza to a random address and not paying.
What is kind of interesting to me is that what people think is ‘immoral’ is tied up in laws. Everyone’s stories were about stealing something, vandalizing someone’s property, but they were never about doing drugs, drinking underage, staying out past curfew, cheating on your significant other, as if the only things that are truly immoral are stealing and vandalizing.
What honestly governs my moral code is my dance team: I think about the kind of people I want them to be, I think about my own actions, and I think about how my credibility would be completely shot if they saw me breaking those standards.
Recently, I have experienced this intense plague to cure all of the injustices in the world. It kind of started when I saw a girl, who was obviously anorexic in yoga, and I had an urge to shake her, tell her she looks grotesque, and to check herself into a rehab facility immediately. Then, I witnessed this mom yelling and screaming at her son in the parking lot because he was petting the dog instead of listening to her. I felt some kind of instinctual desire to walk over to the mom and explain that her child’s actions are probably a result of her poor parenting. Last week, my neighbor flew out of the driveway twice, we almost collided both times, and I felt the need to write a letter and remind him of Colorado driving laws. When I am working at the golf course and one of the cart boys asks for something without using his manners, I always correct him and remind him to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. It is a really strange phenomenon, I can’t figure out where it is coming from, and I probably seem like the most assertive bitch in the world.
It’s Britany, saving the world from one injustice at a time.