Moral Compass – part 2

Now that we have established that a person can be a moral compass.    How?

 

A person is a moral compass based on:

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Their actions

If you are a moral compass, then others are encouraged to do the right thing based on watching your behaviour.  They see the way you are acting and know that they should act that way as well.

Others look to you as the example of the best way to behave.

How does this look?

This is where it gets a bit sticky (IMHO)…. some people are encouraged by your behaviour.  They are pleased to know where you stand on moral issues.  They willingly support and follow your lead on moral issues.  However, there are other people who are put off by it.  Who feel you are too rigid, or “old-fashioned,” or not enlightened… or… goody-two-shoes.  This is some of the grey area.

I believe that by our actions, we are moral compasses to our children at all times. Do they always behave appropriately?  No, but if you have modeled good moral behaviour, they have seen it and have a solid foundation for it.

Are we always right?  Of course not.  If we are trying our best to behave morally based on our own core values that we have from our own upbringing and religious training and are listening to our conscience (or, as someone pointed out, God) then our behaviours will reflect that.

 

Their words

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Of course, you set the example and direct people to do the right things with your words.  One does this all the time with their children.  You do this if you are a leader with a youth organization. You do this with your friends.

Tradition in my family is a saying that has been passed down from my mother.  When a teen is headed out to a dance, event, party, etc. they are reminded to stay away from the S’s and D’s.  Sex, Smoking, Stealing, Drugs, Drinking, and Driving.    (I have heard other families use the B’s – butts, brew, boys.)

Those are words.  Encouraging the teenager to watch their actions and stay away from those dangerous and potentially immoral actions.   Of course, if the parent/adult is not backing up those words with actions, they will fall of deaf ears.  If one tells a teenager to stay away from smoking, but one smokes like a chimney… even though the teen/child understands the danger of smoking, a part of their brain will hold onto the fact that if mom/dad does it, it can’t be that terrible.

 

 

In my life I have always tried to be a good example.  I do however feel like there are some stands that I take that are met with derision.  Maybe I am not mocked openly but I feel the judgement and the guardedness people have with me.  As was recently pointed out to me, it is likely that those people do not like being reminded of the moral implications of their actions.  So, instead of including me, I am kept at arm’s length because they are afraid that I will judge them and tell them they are doing something “bad.”

I try really hard not to say anything.  I realize that people (adults specifically) are responsible for themselves.  If you are going to choose to smoke, drink excessively, sleep around… that is your choice.  Do I agree with it, NOPE.   Does my presence and the fact that you know that I don’t agree with those (and other) behaviours bother you?  I guess that is your problem.  That is where I am being a moral compass.  Do I do it on purpose?  NO!  It is just who I am.  That is the way that I am wired and the beliefs that are at the core of my being.    Will my presences make you think twice about doing some of those things?  It might, if you let it.  If your conscience pings a bit when you pick up that 3rd, 4th or 6th drink and you happen to think of me, them maybe I am being a moral compass to you.

 

HOWEVER, this does feed right into that loneliness.  If I am being kept at arm’s length because I disapprove of your drinking/smoking/promiscuous behaviour, then that means I am sitting at home crocheting animals for the Girl Scouts.  Now, mind you, I enjoy making the animals, that is not the point.  The point is, because I make you uncomfortable – or maybe because you think I would be uncomfortable with you at the restaurant/bar – I am not included.  Am I saying that I WANT to go out with you when you are drinking excessively. No Thank You.   What it does mean is that because I am kept at arm’s length and/or protected (maybe?) from these “immoral” things, I am therefore not included in a circle of friends.

excessive-drinking

Sticky part of this….. I do not have any desire to go out to bars.  I do not want to go out with you and be the “designated driver.”   That kind of behaviour is not appropriate at any age.  Sorry!  It just isn’t.  In my “old” age, I am trying to be accepting of light/casual drinking, i.e. a glass of wine with dinner, a bottle of beer with cards.  I cannot accept when the only thing you drink all day is alcohol laced beverages.  I cannot accept that you regularly get drunk to excess.  I cannot accept that you might drive after drinking, even just one glass/bottle causes impairment.  I do not understand, nor do I really want to understand, the need for so many activities to involve alcohol.  I am really, really trying to learn to be more tolerant of this.  I suppose, however, if you know me and know my stance and it bothers you… then does it bother you because I am being a moral compass pointing you to what is more right?  Or does it bother you because you think I am wrong and thus not worthy of inclusion?  Or does it just make you uncomfortable to be around me?

It seems that in some other people’s “old” age, they are becoming less tolerant of me and respectful of my stand.  In my very small circle of friends/family I see more and more behaviour that was curtailed years ago in deference to my feelings now being openly flaunted/tolerated.  Not sure where to go with that… other than just when I’m trying to respect others more, I am clearly dismissed for my beliefs.

 

So much more to explore…..

 

 

Moral Compass – part 1

What is it?  What is a Moral Compass??

In my brain, a moral compass is:  something that points you toward doing the right things, the moral things.  Someone with high moral standards that guides you toward those standards.  Maybe even a “goody-two-shoes.”

 

But… what does the internet say it is:

From Wikipedia:

  1. An inner sense which distinguishes what is right from what is wrong, functioning as a guide (like the needle of a compass) for morally appropriate behavior
  2. A person, belief system, etc. serving as a guide for morally appropriate behavior.

From some other misc. sites:

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Moral compass is a person’s natural instinct to do what is right and avoid doing wrong – or at least what seems to be the most beneficial choice at the moment.

 

A moral compass is your conscience. It tells you what’s right and what’s wrong to do. Like a compass, it points the way.

 

Anything which serves to guide a person’s decisions based on morals or virtues.

 

Simply stated, it is the thing inside of us that tells us which direction we should go when we have to make decisions involving right and wrong.  This is how we judge a person’s character and whether they will make a moral and good decision.

 

So…. when you are called a Moral Compass… how do you take that?  Is it a good thing or not?

 

I was referred to as a Moral Compass this weekend.  That is not something I had ever thought of before and it got me thinking.  Lots of thinking.  Lots of things to explore with regards to this.  It also might explain some things as well.

 

I think it will take me while to process all these implications, thus the reason this is part 1.  I’m just going to look at the general definition today.

 

A moral compass as an object/thing

holy-bibleI believe that most people can accept that a moral compass can be an object.  The majority of people would say that the Bible is a moral compass.  It gives you instruction on what is good, what is right, what is holy, what is just…. things like the 10 commandments and love your enemies, to name just a few.  Other religions have their sacred books and I’m sure they serve a similar purpose.  As a Christian I have been raised that the Bible is the word of God and therefore true.  If it says, do not kill – you DO NOT KILL.  Of course, people are imperfect and even with the best moral compass and best understanding of the Bible, you make mistakes and do not follow the “straight and narrow” perfectly.

Other objects that could be moral compasses?  The only things I can think of would be religious related items – cross, church, statues, etc.   I don’t think those really serve as the compass though, but more of a reminder of the compass that is the written word that you have studied.

 

A moral compass as an inner voice

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Now, this makes sense and is probably what most people think of.  Jiminy Cricket.  Your conscience (the inner sense of what is right or wrong in one’s conduct or motives,impelling one toward right action) is that inner voice, that nagging feeling, that check that stops you (or at least slows you down) from doing something wrong.    We all understand from the Pinocchio story that a wooden toy does not have a conscience, so the cricket serves as his conscience – his moral compass – to help him understand what is right and wrong.  We also know, from the movie, that Pinocchio didn’t listen very well and got himself in trouble.  Which translates for us humans (the non wooden puppets) that we have a “still small voice” inside of each of us that we should listen to.  It will help us know if something is good or bad to do.  However…. I really think that only applies if you have been raised in such a manner as to have a foundation of right and wrong.  I’m going to assume that children raised by people who do not have a moral basis will not have a conscience that is very accurate.

But what is accurate?  What might be wrong to me, could be right to you??  Is that possible?  This all circles back on the Christian faith upbringing, IMHO.  That seems to be the basis for most (all?) right and wrong decisions.  Sure there is some grey areas … but that is another topic.  Do tribes in Africa or Brasil that have had ZERO contact with the outside world and thus Christianity have the same moral compasses?  Are there some moralities that are instinct?   Hmmm… there’s another topic too.

 

A moral compass as a person

 

This is something I hadn’t really thought about until I was called this.  It does make sense.  People can be a moral compass.  A pastor, for example, is a moral compass for his congregation.  By his teachings (and hopefully, life) he leads the congregation ever onward towards being more Christ-like.   Everyone has that one “good” friend.  The one that you call on when you are in trouble or look to for help.   I would imagine that to some degree, everyone can be a moral compass to someone.  Mothers and fathers are the moral compasses for their children. Grandparents serve as moral compasses for entire families.  Your 4-H leaders, your Boy Scout leaders, your Girl Scout leaders, the Youth Group leaders, other church members…. all can be moral compasses. What about Doctors/nurses?  Yes, I think they can be as well, especially in health related issues.

What if you were to be called a moral compass?  How would that sit with you??  I’m not certain how it is sitting with me.  Looking back over my life, it does explain a lot.

It explains why I was the “good” friend in high school.  Why I was told I would make a good mother someday.  Why my “bad” friends sheltered me and protected me from the “bad” stuff they were doing.

It explains why, in college, the rest of my friends were all “good” people.  We were all moral compasses to each other and to others.  I think that was something we all needed at the time.  A safe group to grow with, to learn with, to trust with our hearts.  We are not in touch anymore but I hold all of them very close to my heart and know that they are being fabulous moral compasses in their corners of the world.

Does it also explain why I have so very few (read that as 1-2) close friends now?  I think it does.  I think that I will be pondering that for days to try to understand all the ramifications.

As I wrestle (wrastle?) with this concept, I hope that I can find insights into myself that will help others who might also be struggling through this lonely world of being a moral compass.  It is lonely.  I couldn’t put a finger on why before, but inadvertently, I think this might be the answer to my lonely, friendless life.

Follow Through

I don’t play baseball, tennis, racquetball, or golf… but I do know the term “follow through” from Junior High Gym class is important in all of those sports.

But why??

I looked it up, here are some of the answers from the internet:

  1. Simple.  Inertia.  For you to hit the ball (or whatever) with maximum force, you should make contact while the bat, racket, club, or foot is in mid-swing.  Not at the end of the swing.  Following through is letting that energy dissipate slowly rather than trying to force it to stop at the point of contact, which would inevitably require you to adjust your swing or kick before contact.
  2.  A good follow-through maintains flow in the motion.  It is to hit ‘smooth’, rather than to hit ‘hard’.  It is to maintain a certain ‘looseness’ in the swing, rather than ‘tension’ or ‘over-hitting’ the ball with too much power.  You gain much better control and feel of the ball when your muscles are relaxed, and actually, more power as well (through better rotation).

But what is a non-sports definition?

  1. to complete an activity, doing what was promised.
  2. to continue something until it is completed

follow-throughWhy is it then, that so many people do not follow through?  Why is it so hard to do what you say you will do?  Why do people have to make up excuses for why they do not/will not/can not complete something?  Why not just take ownership of it?

If you discover that what you have agreed to do is too hard for you, or you are just not physically able to complete it, then by all means just say that.  Don’t make excuses or just disappear and never do it.  Just say, “I cannot lift the birdseed out of your car.  I’m sorry, I cannot fill your feeders like I promised.”  (example only – I actually can lift the birdseed)

If you decide you just don’t want to do what you agreed to/promised because you just find it boring, or tedious, or “beneath” you, or you don’t like it, or you lost interest,  or you are too lazy…

TOO BAD, SO SAD! SUCK IT UP!

Those are not reasons to not follow through.  You agreed to do something, so just do it.  Get it over with, complete the task, do what you promised.

There are many tasks that I don’t like to do, but they get done… follow through, complete the job.

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We have always tried to teach our children that.  We did not allow anyone to drop out of a sport or class that we had signed up for (especially if money was involved).  They had to complete the season.  We could re-evaluate before the next season.  Once you make a committment, you need to fulfill it.

Yes, I know that some people do not know how to say “NO” and they overcommit.  You need to learn how to monitor that as well.  I don’t feel like I was ever guilty of that, but I certainly am not now.  I carefully weigh my time and ability and desire to do something before I agree to do it.  I would rather someone tell me upfront that they don’t want to do it than for them to disappear mid project or make excuses for why they couldn’t/wouldn’t complete it.

I realize that sometimes this will be hard.  That others may question why are you continuing to do something that you clearly don’t like – those people do not understand about committment and follow through.   Or maybe they just want justification for their quitting actions… if they can make you quit, they will feel better about their quitting?

What if you just downright forget to finish something.   What if you remember it 2 days later and it may or may not be too late now?  If it isn’t too late, get on it, get it done!  Tell someone that you are working on it and it will be finished ASAP.  If it is too late, then obviously you need to apologize or make amends somehow.  You have let someone down.  (If you have a habit of forgetting, then maybe you need to visit a doctor or learn the word NO.)

Right there…. that is the bigger issue in following through… letting someone else down!  Disappointing a friend, loved one, co-worker, team member, boss, parent….  If you fail to follow through, you have let someone down.  You have disappointed them.  They may now have hurt feelings and trust issues with you.  You have said, by your actions (or lack thereof), that you are not trustworthy…  You do not honor your agreements/commitments…  Nobody likes to be let down.   Especially not repeatedly.

FOLLOW THROUGH – complete the project… complete the assignment… complete the task… complete the thought… complete the job… complete the promise… complete what you say you will do and be a complete person.     🙂

Books!

I did some re-organizing of my book shelves yesterday and discovered I had duplicates of several good books.

 

I started to list them on ebay

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But decided that I would offer some of them you to….  I will ship them media mail.  You are welcome to pay more if you want to continue to contribute to my Alaska Cruise Fund.

 

Here is what I have today:

Beverly Lewis 

DSCF4483Summerhill Secrets – 2 – paperback – $3

The Covenant (Abram’s Daughters #1) – 2 copies of this one… and I kept a copy… go figure why I had 3 copies.  Must have been on clearance someplace. – $3 each

October Song – paperback. – $3

The Fiddler (Home to Hickory Hollow) – paperback – BRAND NEW! – $4

The Shunning (Heritage of Lancaster County – 1) – paperback – $2

The Parting (Courtship of Nellie Fisher – 1) – Hardback, Large Print Edition – $2

The Forbidden (Courtship of Nellie Fisher – 2) – Hardback, Large Print Edition and some of the pages are wrinkled/folded because it had fallen behind the bookcase. – $2

The River – BRAND NEW BOOK!!  Just released in 2014.  – $4

 

I have more by other authors that I will deal with another day.

 

Also… if you were interested in those old hymnals… https://twalscott.wordpress.com/2015/08/06/hymnals/

I will be trying to deal with that this week as well.    🙂

 

 

 

Fair Final Update

Here are the final results of the fair….

Tricia

With the $33 from the Art Hall and the $6.25 from the Grange Hall and then add another $1.75 for First Place  Marigolds over the weekend…. $41.00  Not too shabby for my $25 registration fee.

AND I got all those fancy ribbons again.     😉

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Lydia

With $16.50 from the Art Hall and previously reported $5.25 from the Grange… and then add the First Place  for her 1st Birthday Decorated Cake, $6.50… her total is now:  $28.75  Her entry fee was only $10.

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Esther

As previously reported, she won $20 in the Art Hall and then $19.25 in the Grange Hall.  Add to that another 1st Place  for marigolds over the weekend ($1.75) and her total comes to:  $41.00

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Which means since Esther’s entrance fee was only $10, she had the greatest return on her investment… and we gained the most pounds eating her baked goods!  LOL!

Another successful year for the Scott girls in the Stark County Fair.  I have to pick up the items this afternoon and then I will take a photo of all the ribbons and share those.

Fresh From the Oven

OK… maybe not so fresh from the oven but recently from the oven and then taken to the fair and judged.  LOL!

Here are our Grange Hall Results.

Tricia

DSCF4407Pineapple Upside Down Cake – 1st place = $4.50

DSCF4409Brownies – 3rd place = $1.75

I also entered some Marigolds but they didn’t win anything.

Grange total = $6.25

Lydia

DSCF4408Brownies – last year she and I went head to head on brownies with 2 different recipes.  Lydia took first, I took second.  This year we used the same recipe but I used dark and milk chocolate and Lydia used dark and semi-sweet chocolate.  She still took – 1st place = $2.25.   Next year, we are making the exact same recipe and we’ll see how the judges like that!!

DSCF4448Sugar Free Apple Pie – 1st place = $3.50  She may have been the only entry.

Lydia also did 2 decorated cakes but those either haven’t been judged yet or they haven’t posted the standings on them.

Grange total = $5.75

Esther

Esther took baking to new heights this week.  She entered 6 different items.  She knows that basically there is very little competition in the Junior Baked Goods and one of the competitors is a good friend of hers.

DSCF4447Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Icing – 2nd place = $4.00  Normally we leave all things to be auctioned off by the Grange Board (that is how they get the money for the prizes) but we did ask for this cake back so we could enjoy it over the weekend.

DSCF4446Buckeyes – 2nd place = $2.25

DSCF4442M & M Cookies – 2nd place = $2.50

DSCF4444Monster Cookies – 1st place = $2.75

DSCF4443Peanut Butter Cookies (using Great-Grandma Lois’ recipe) – 3rd place = $2.25

DSCF4445Pumpkin Pie – 2nd place = $3.75  since a can of pumpkin makes 2 pies, we do have a pumpkin pie to share over the weekend as well.

DSCF4410Additionally, Esther entered Marigolds – 1st place = $1.75

Grange total = $19.25

There are still a few things pending and a second showing of flowers…. final results and totals will be reported later.

Art Hall Results

I know you all have been sitting by your computers chomping at the bit waiting for this information!

I had to go to the High School meet the teacher night and then back to the fairgrounds for the band show and then wander through the Art Hall AGAIN to get photos (with fully charged batteries in the camera).  I do know some results from the Grange Hall but I’ll save those till tomorrow when I have all of them.

Esther’s Entries

DSCF4418Knitted work – any item – she entered a hat she made for her sister for Christmas. – 1st place = $3.50

Woodworking – she entered the Jacob’s Ladder we made in scouts.  It did not place.

DSCF4419Duct Tape Wallet – it may be that she was the only entry in this category.  1st place = $3.50

DSCF4412Children’s Sewing – Pillow –  she entered the DOTS pillow she made for Wayne for Christmas.  1st place = $3.50

DSCF4415Picture of Home or Family – 2nd place = $2.50

DSCF4416Picture About Animal – 3rd place = $2.00

DSCF4413Charcoal drawing – 1st place = $3.50

DSCF4411Pencil Drawing – 4th place = $1.50

So Esther’s Art Hall take is:  $20     

Lydia’s Entries

All of her items are photographs.

Animal – color – it was a photo of the cat, entered into the adult category.  It did not place.

Nature – it was a photo of rocks and a ladybug on Linwood beach, entered into the adult category.   It did not place.

“What is it??” – it was a close up of the cat’s paw that looked kinda like a caterpiller, entered into the adult category.   It did not place.

There are probably 30-50 photos in each category for the adults.  It is hard to place in those categories.  She did much better in the Youth categories.

Person/people –  a lovely photo of a sunset on Linwood beach with 2 small children sitting on the shore with their arms around each other.   It did not place.

DSCF4426Animal/Animals – 2nd place = $2.50

DSCF4427Nature – 1st place = $3.50

DSCF4429Action – 3rd place = $2.00

DSCF4428Humorous – 1st place = $3.50

DSCF4431Special Effects – 2nd place = $2.50 (the feather was laying flat on the beach)

DSCF4430Candy – 2nd place = $2.50

Lydia’s Art Hall take is:  $16.50

 Tricia’s Entries

DSCF4421Crochet Rippled Afghan – 1st place = $5.50

DSCF4417Any Variation of Granny Square Afghan – 4th place = $1.50  It is the yellow ribbon below, not the red one above.  AND they hung it up inside out.  WHATEVER.  

DSCF4432Knitted Afghan  – 1st place AND Best of Show = $5.50 + $5.50

DSCF4424Any Other Afghan – 1st place = $5.50 This is the Sophie Afghan and the ribbon is the blue one under the neighboring afghan.

Crocheted Toy – it was Esther’s Grumpy Cat from the Girl Scout Christmas gifts.  It did not place.  I think because the “little old ladies” judging don’t know who she is.

DSCF4418Knitted Hat – 1st place = $3.50 (it may have been the only one)

DSCF4420Any other knitted work – 2nd place = $2.50

DSCF4414Antique Rocking Horse – 1st place = $3.50

Post Card collection – it was 6 antique postcards of Brady Lake, Ohio.  Mounted so very nicely by my dear friend, Jill.  It did not place.

Tricia’s Art Hall total is:  $33

I know that we already won some things in the Grange Hall.     🙂

Save that for another day!