“ a phantom scarecrow made of duty, of boredom, of punishment, of pain…a scarecrow standing in a barren field, waving a stick to chase away pleasures…” –Ayn Rand (describing society’s moral code)
“Morality”, simply defined, is following one’s sense of right. So who gets to decide what’s right? With so many extremely different beliefs in the world, all proclaiming to set the standard of morality, is it even possible to truly gauge society’s moral code? Especially with the repeated replacement of today’s beliefs for tomorrow’s new fads and philosophies. Then again, what type of person bases his/her sense of what is right or wrong on another’s opinion? Or worse yet, on society’s forever changing mindset? Unfortunately, that describes the majority who value popularity over honor, emotion over reason and acceptance over individuality. Those who prefer to follow others’ standards rather than set their own, becoming chameleons in a consistently changing environment.
Be a proud member of the unpopular, rational and unaccepted minority where morality is an individual’s decision based on one’s personal definition of “right”. What may be right for one, might not be for another but that’s because each person has a different genetic make-up, environment, need, passion and life experience that all combine to make each individual a one-of-a-kind person who is incapable of fully reaching their incredible potential or achieving true happiness unless they know who they are to the core then build their moral standard and philosophy from that. Once one finally becomes honest with one’s self regarding identity, deciding to wear one’s self openly on one’s sleeve without any concern for society’s opinion, does one become psychologically free and happy; where repression of self or one’s needs leads to depression, anxiety and other mental ailments. Besides, who is society to judge anyway? The self-righteous always have the most to hide and are extremely insecure. So why should one’s self-esteem be based on the acceptance of those who hate themselves?
Finding one’s self is a difficult process that could entail multiple jumps between polar extremes (ex. rebellion to self-righteousness). However, once reality sets in and the true self emerges from the fog- embrace it, the good, bad and ugly- because only then will you be able to find purpose, internal harmony and happiness. As you begin to build your personalized moral code and philosophy, keep one rule in mind: you don’t have the right to determine what’s right for others in as much as others don’t have the right to decide what is right for you.
Be a proud, courageous and free minority unshackled by society’s hypocritical demands. Be one who can achieve more fulfillment in one day than most find in a lifetime. Seek out the like-minded to share your experiences with. Find camaraderie in an otherwise lonely world and give encouragement to those on the path to enlightenment. Today’s the day that you can openly embrace your identity, calling out loud for your needs and breaking free from the bonds which hold your soul captive. And remember, it’s only immoral to violate the principles of your own customized moral code, which means true morality may require a blatant disregarding of one’s society or religion have implemented. Therefore, those found to be most immoral by society may in fact be the exact opposite of that label, who are just under attack for refusing to be one of the flock.