Monthly Archives: November 2020

Mind How You Go

Mind how you go.

It’s a phrase DI Thursday <ENDEAVOUR– INSPECTOR MORSE, the early years> uses regularly as a departure comment. We are now up to Series 5 but this week this statement has been like an ear worm. Mind how you go.

I have always been a political junky. I blame the Hughes’s, Lou and Gloria. Friends of my parents, they lived not far from Villa Cabrini in Burbank in the 60’s and they were part of the Young Republicans. In the election between Kennedy and Nixon, even though they were Catholic, they campaigned for Nixon. Had nothing to do with Kennedy’s religion, but they disliked his politics, I couldn’t tell you why, I was thirteen and a freshman in high school.

I am still that political junky and I’ve been reading political books for as long as I can remember, from the the Federalist Papers to the ‘Camelot’ series 🙂 through to Primary Colors and beyond, newspapers with bents both right and left, pundits both right and left and posts and tweets both right and left. I unfriend no one.

Mind how you go.

Recently a letter writer to the WSJ commented that the essence of morality is the willingness to forego pursuing one’s self interest if it may be detrimental to the interest of others.

So it is worth noting that over the past four years there has been a general call of resistance within the democrat party. Democrats proclaim their willingness to forgo their own self-interest and that they are the party of morality, proving it by being for system-altering issues that encompass women’s rights, human rights, black lives, love and peace. And they have pithy maxims that exclaim these positions on posters, streets in some cases, flags and memes plastered all over social media. In their moral exuberance they declare Mr. Trump, his family, his administration, his supporters, and anyone who votes for him to be immoral. There is very specific language used if you disagree. You can be any number of -phobics as well as any number of -ists. It’s not important to name them here.

Mind how you go.

For me it is difficult to give the high moral ground to those who push morality without actually having small moralities. The letter writer commented on the shopping cart theory. To return a shopping cart is an easy task. The “Shopping Cart Theory” posits that an individual’s moral character and capacity for self-governance faces its ultimate test in supermarket parking lots. Do you return your cart even in pouring rain? When you are running late? I have no idea if it truly is a valid test, but it always has felt to me if you pack up your purchases and leave the cart in the lane, or adjacent to the spot you are careless and ill-mannered. The question is if you are so careless and ill-mannered as to not give a care to those who come into the lot after you, when and where else are you careless and ill-mannered?

Mind how you go.

There is a video of a military higher-up who claims that success comes from making your bed each morning. I do that! Why? Because I learned that competence and growth come from a place of organization. Order encourages care, care encourages thought and thought encourages understanding and understanding seeks to be good and moral.

The WSJ letter writer states that we are no longer a moral people. I suppose because s/he sees the world as a series of etiquette blunders– not saying thank you when you are handed your change at the store, not opening doors for others, not keeping your space clean and neat in your neighborhood, not being aware of your responsibility to the common space by using trash cans.

Mind how you go.

There are many on social media who do not denigrate, declare other opinions wrong, swear, call names, or attempt to do harm to other by accusation or innuendo. Perhaps we have every right to think less of someone because of their politics, but if we are a moral and just people we have no right to act on that thought.

Mind how you go.

The letter writer concludes that we are no longer capable of self-governing. I think that is too pessimistic. I think many lost their way and been blinded, treating every detail as consequential, falling into a bubble that is comfortable and pleasurable. There are big issues that require resolution. I get that. Before you can solve the big moral issues, you must have small moralities. Before you can have social justice you need law and order. Please and thank you. Before you can establish any group rights you need individual rights. Respect for others beliefs and opinions.

Being politically moral is the not the right to rule, create obstacles or tell others what or how to think. To be politically moral is to take on the a commitment to serve, not just the greater good, but the rights of each person.

Mind how you go.