Morality is Overrated

Hello dear reader(s)!

Happy day after my birthday!  Thank you all for the birthday wishes.  Unfortunately, nobody got me Riki Lindhome and I am now sad.  Oh well, moving on.

Have you ever been in a situation where something that you wanted would cause a ripple effect of pain and hurt feelings if you were to get what it was you wanted?  No, I’m not talking about Riki Lindhome here, FYI.  What if everything was that way?  At what point do you say, “Damn the torpedos!” and try to obtain it anyway?

If you were a CEO of a major corporation, you would have no problems going after what you thought was best for you, even if it meant hurting a lot of people.  It is the same in government.  Those people are defined as successful.

Does that mean people with consciences are doomed to not being successful?

When do you place your happiness above the happiness of others?  What criteria do you use to make a decision that could negatively impact others?  What criteria do you use to keep yourself from being negatively impacted down the road for a decision to get what you want at the time?  Do you think your conscience holds you back, or is an asset?

For me, I think my conscience holds me back in the traditional definition of successful.  However, I define success as others seeing me as a good person and not that I always have everything that I want.  So I try really hard not to let my desire to have something cause pain to anyone else.

Like any other subject, I’ve made mistakes in that area.  Sometimes I’ve gone against that core principle because I wanted something so badly and it actually worked out well.  Usually it doesn’t work that way and I regret going after it.  So for me, I have to want something extremely bad to risk hurting people by going after it.  But what if I didn’t?  What if I saw people as obstacles in my path, instead of part of the path and help walking it?

I don’t think I could live with myself if I did that.

But then I am sitting there, seeing the things that I know I could obtain if only I could be sneaky about it.  If only I could place myself so far first that anyone else’s feelings on the subject were dismissed.  If I could just steal or manipulate with no care for the impact of doing so.

I won’t though, because it is ingrained in my morality.

But then I see the successful people I know did a lot of underhanded things to get where they are and I think, “Morality is overrated.”

What are your thoughts?  Would you override your morals for more success?  Could you?


Author: Josh Wrenn

Cancer survivor, wanna-be artist, musician, author, and all around good guy.

24 thoughts on “Morality is Overrated”

  1. i’m very self-centered and selfish and have hurt lots of folks. i’m alive and a free man because of my barely functional victim empathy (must count though), my conscience is most certainly an asset, and knowing my base-est desires would get me locked away forever; i love my freedom and i don’t ever want to lose that…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hmmm….I like this thought process. I’ve never contemplated this particular question before. I think I’d rather think of people as part of my path and help walking it rather than obstacles, although some are serious irritants sometimes. lol I honestly don’t believe overriding morals for success is worth it. You still have to live with yourself at the end of the day, and if you’ve stomped on people to get there, you’re going to be very lonely.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Your morality is what you were raised with. Some people keep that, others grow and change. Human beings are able to rationalize just about any behavior and make it fit their “morality”, don’t you think?
    Example. The Iraq invasion. Mr Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, etc. still claim that the people of Iraq are” better off” with invasion because Saddam is dead. Maybe so. Maybe not. But the fact is that the invasion had killed over 125,000 (low estimate) civilians who were not members of Saddam’s circle. And it has created over 5,000,000 orphans (being children they also were not members of Saddam’s circle). And over 4.5 million refugees who have fled the violence. And ISIS.
    But even today those who planned the invasion stick by their “moral” position that the Iraqis are better off for having been invaded. Do they mean it? Are they morally bankrupt?
    The ability of humans to rationalize even the most vile behavior and justify it may be the one trait that sets us apart from the higher…I mean ..lower animals.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My core morality is simply to live your best without trying to hurt others, and even to help them where you can. The details have changed, but that hasn’t and I don’t think it will.


  4. Happy Belated Birthday! My idea of success doesn’t have anything to do with money. Even so as far as a career I would choose at this point, it would be with Hospice, so the question ends up sounding redundant in my head. A little confusing, but whatever.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have these sorta morality conversations with The Mister all the time. It’s like, really, really hard to make a good living/desirable income without working for evil or doing wrong. There’s not nearly enough ‘honest days’ work’ going on anymore. Even drs and teachers face ethical dilemmas they did not face in the past.
    I like to think that there is more charity, that there are more humanitarian efforts, because I’m an idealist, but I’m not actually sure.
    I could go on and on about this, and so could he, which is what we do. But suffice it to say that money comes and goes, and a conscience is forever. Ultimately, we get one life to live and there are consequences to every choice we make.
    It’s really hard to justify a greedy life.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Morality is subjective, so what works for you may not be a fit for someone else. So it is up to you to define what your limits are as to what you are/are not willing to do.

    As far as success, it depends on what criteria you use to define it. If you use titles, money or power – you probably will have to compromise quite a bit to achieve it.

    At the end of the day, you have to live your life for yourself. If you choose to make commitments along the way (spouse/kids as an example) you then have to decide if your personal desires outweigh the commitments you willingly made. When you look in the mirror, can you look at reflection in the eye and be proud of what you see?

    If this seems to be kind of a “non-answer” it is because there will never be a “right” answer to your question.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Morality is subjective to a degree, but some things are universal. There is a lot of variance and therefore no right answer, just looking for people’s opinions and their ideas on what could make someone stretch them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hate to admit, I find very few things to truly be universal (especially when it comes to things like ethics or morality). Religion, culture and demographics are big factors and not everyone prioritizes the same values laterally across countries.

        In response to your question, perhaps as you progress in life your priorities shift. These shifting priorities perhaps open the door to making a “moral compromise” that you many not have been willing to consider previously?

        Liked by 1 person

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