There are a lot of things that seem fine intellectually, but can be morally or emotionally problematic. Maybe legalizing prostitution makes sense on paper, but do I want to live in a world where my son or daughter to consider prostitution as a legitimate vocation? Not really.
When I lived in China, being pushy and obnoxious got me want I wanted. I would elbow myself in front of other people. I would yell at service workers in feigned exasperation. The person that yelled louder and held out longer would usually get their way, no matter who was right or wrong, how many other people there were, or how long they had to wait. And as I walked away from the situation with the last train tickets, or the discount I wanted… I felt hollow. I felt greasy. It worked out for me… but do I want a world where everyone is doing that? Is that the world I want to live in? Not really.
When I was younger, I was a bit of a scumbag. I got pretty good at lying, cheating, and stealing. I had stolen a nice Guess watch from a mall display. It was a nice watch – a round, golden watch face with a leather band. The design was simple and elegant. I really liked that watch. I was on the school bus one day, and another kid in my neighborhood, Thaddeus, was sitting behind me. He asked if we could swap watches for the day. He had a cheap, plastic Casio. I said ‘no’. He ended up stealing my watch. After fuming for a long time, I finally thought to myself… what else did I expect? I am surrounded by liars, cheaters, and thieves because I am a liar, cheater, and thief. Is that the world I want to live in? Not really.
Think about what is allowed in your community, in the country, in the world. Think about some of the things you allow yourself to do. Sometimes it’s good to think about some of those things and ask if you want to live in that world. And if not, what kind of world do you want to live in?