Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Commerce Without Morality

I decided to just post the sin I'll be discussing today in the title of this blog. For those of you unaware, we are still discussing Gandhi's Seven Social Sins and "commerce without morality" is today's topic.

Unfortunately, I feel like I've discussed this topic several times already with my previous posts. One of the endearing facets of American society is a business community that has skirted the rules to make a buck. Actually, I'm sure that's a part of every business community in the world, but since I live in America, that's the country I'm most familiar with.

Then I decided to look up the dictionary definition of the word "commerce" to hopefully get some new inspiration. What I found was not only does the word "commerce" relate to the financial world, but it also has some other meanings

According to dictionary.com, the word "commerce: can mean an intellectual or spiritual interchange; communion.

That definition resonated with me.

"Intellectual and spiritual interchanges" are an important part of my life these days. Whether it be chopping up world events with folks on the Internets, or trying to find a better connection with God and my wife, I've found that establishing different types of "communions" is important to living a fulfilling life.

The thing is, it's a struggle to maintain a rigid and unchanging sense of morality and self in everyday life.

For example, as a married man, I've learned exactly how difficult it is to live with and love another person. When I got married, I thought I understood what it took to maintain a healthy relationship. In fact, I thought it didn't seem as difficult as everyone made it out to be.

I needed to be slapped.

Have you ever noticed how easy it is in a relationship to begin to justify everything you do, and demonize everything your partner does? It's amazing how quickly we become perfect, and our spouses become the scum of the Earth when we have a disagreement. I also thought that my keen, objective mind (lol) would shield me from this behavior, but that was a farce. I'm just as susceptible to establishing a sliding scale of morality or ethics as everyone else.

I'm not talking about massive ethical lapses, like infidelity or abuse. I'm talking about the little things. Like complaining that your wife doesn't clean up after herself, right after you left your sweaty socks in the middle of the living room floor. It's admonishing your wife to be firm when disciplining the children, and then bribing your little boy with gummy bears to get him to stop crying. I think I do a good job of being just and fair with my wife, but, like everyone, I tend to cut myself a little slack.

If I value the practical things in life, my wife is more concerned with the emotional well being of our relationship and our children. My primary focus is whether they are fed, clothed and housed. Happiness and the rest comes after I meet those needs. But, my wife's focus is different, and while I may not agree with her focus, I need to do a better job of understanding that.

An ethical communion is one built on mutual trust and understanding. Like the communion between Jesus and believers, the communion between a husband and wife must be grounded first in love and forgiveness. That doesn't mean we must abandon all standards, but it means that we must maintain a heart open to reconciliation when we see sincere repentance.

I don't know about y'all, but that's been a tough pill for me to swallow. My internal ethical code tends to lean more towards the "eye for an eye" mindset, than the "love those who spitefully use you" way of thinking. Consequently, my communion, or relationship, with my wife and others has been lacking in all-encompassing forgiveness at times. It's not enough to say, "no big deal," you actually have to mean it.

As I've said before, well all need to establish some bedrock values, whether they be biblical or otherwise, and then strive to reflect those values to the rest of the world. That means taking tough stances and holding ourselves to higher standards. It doesn't matter if we're talking about traditional "commerce" or if we're talking about relationships. If we live our lives according to a sliding scale of ethics, we will soon find ourselves capable of doing anything.

And that ain't good business.



Deacon Blue said...

Wise words, man.

Especially on the relationship thing. Even when you see early on how it's harder to be married (or the rough equivalent) rather than dating, you still think, "I've got the secret recipe."

And then the years go on and you find out you've taken on one of the three hardest jobs on Earth, and don't get paid a dime for it.

The other two hardest jobs are president of the United States (unless you refuse to DO the job, like Dubya did) and childrearing, and only ONE of those pays you a salary either.

Big Man said...

I knew childrearing had to be one of the three.

Deacon Blue said...

I wouldn't have included the presidency at all except for the fact it almost uniformly turns the hair of the officeholder gray (if it wasn't already) and seems to add 15-20 years to their face after only 4-8.

Anonymous said...

Hi Friends,

I Find Absolutely FREE PlayBoy & Penthous


If I find something else I'll inform you.

Best Regards,

Deacon Blue said...

Oh, and "anonymous" couldn't leave any links for Hustler, Juggs or anything else? Yeesh!


Freeman Press said...

I have to go and read Ghandi's seven deadly sins to catch up. Just wanted to drop a line.

Raving Black Lunatic