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Necessary Ethics

Ethics are the boundaries that define the course of my daily actions. When they're taken and considered broadly, they are indespensible, essential tools worth their weight in untarnished gold. When applied with suffocating specificity, however, they can quickly transform, shackling you to the ground, scrambling your vision hastily. Uncertainty and meekness come to define your countenance, and you become a pale, gaunt shadow of yourself, unable to operate at your full potential. We all have predelicitions towards certain perspectives and viewpoints. These invariably shape our beliefs, which in turn define the very ethics we rely on so furtively to navigate our barren world.

In the words of my angelic Mother, if Im guilty of anything, it's having a big heart. Ive come to begrudgingly accept this, for it is folly to run from one's true nature. I struggled to come to terms with my inherent benevolence, because I know for a fact that Im not all good. Where others see a paladin, I cast aside my veneer and become the silver tongued rogue. I love to fight, verbally spar, and generally immerse myself in conflict. I have comparatively few vices when compared with my friends, albeit a nearly slavish devotion to my lust for the fairer sex. Those indiscretions are myriad, and they are ecstacy. However, I am also polite and respectful to the point of absurdity when conversing or dealing with the elderly, particularly women. The ardor I harbor for bullies can burn maniacally at times, and I will never turn my back on any case of the weak being harassed or extorted by the strong. Such behavior is asinine, abhorrent, and reprehensible. So, with all of those points laid out starkly, I can be forgiven for being unable to believe in my own inherent good. As Ive grown, Ive come to reconcile the opposite sides of my nature, and even marvel at the duality of my character. Im no boy scout, no squeaky clean, faultless hero. Then again, I never wanted to be. Id rather be The Punisher then Superman.

This entire discussion was birthed by conversations Ive had recently. Ive always been vaguely aware of my tendency to weigh myself down with unnecessary, pointless guilt. I dont know why I do this, but once again, I feel that the underlying cause is my compassionate nature. After the failure and dissolution of any relationship, whether it be romantic or friendly in nature, I torture myself with directionless "What If?"  scenarios. I put myself on the stand, my salvation levied against me. My heart, callous and embittered, splits itself 12 times, occupying the juror's box with venom in its multitudinous eyes. My mind dons a 3 piece Hugo Boss suit, grey, naturally, and begins an exhausting cross examination. Entire conversations, whether spoken or written, are canvassed for any hidden meaning, unspoken truth, or possibility of being wrongly percieved. The timbre of my voice, the length of time allowed to pass between responses, and the stress, or lack thereof, granted any given syllable, are observed and tested inscrutably. Every possible scenario is presented before me, my mind's eye forced into overdrive and overtime, overworked by my overanalysis. There is no break, no lull, no recess. I must endure this until my stalwart companions, reason and logic, storm the court, weapons in hand. All of the contradictory thoughts, theories and speculations are shot dead, kept at bay, and terrified away. They crack the window, and the calming breeze of peace reignites my will to move, to fight. I clamor out that window, safe for another day. Of course, Ill blink, stupidly continuing my life, and find myself a prisoner on that infernal stand again. And again. And again. It takes awhile for us all to beat our demons, whatever they may be. But I can confidently say that Ive escaped again, and this time the window's lock remained securely fastened. I strolled out the door. Now Im just waiting to lock it.

Are ethics necessary? Obviously yes. Without them we are no better than animals, gratifying our instincts indiscriminately. We've all been angry, justifiably so at times. We've been furious, raging, and possessed. But if we had given in to those base feelings, we'd probably be in prison right now. Our ethics, morals and personal codes are our safety nets. The fact that they exist at all is a testament to our ability to reason, to think, to be human. However, when your guidelines imprison you, micromanaging every move you make so you can adhere to your dogmatic ideals, there is a glaring problem. Speaking from personal experience, attempting to constantly please and acquiesce with those personal laws you hold aloft like they were commandments will invariably cause you to devolve into a neurotic, paralyzed mess. Now obviously I dont mean what we all know to be right. Dont steal, dont kill, dont rape. That sums that up adequately. If youre using this piece of writing as justification for battering your disagreeable coworker with a brick, or to sexually assault your neighbor, please, seek help immediately. This is for those who feel compelled to live up to or meet impossible, haughty standards. For those that hear their Father's voice telling them that they're worthless and inadequate for failing a test or not being talented at a sport, destined for a life of mediocrity, youre not. For the woman who hears her Mother saying she would be beautiful if she lost weight/her hair was straighter/et fucking cetera, fuck that bitch. For the grief stricken and heart broken, wondering where they went wrong, regretting what they said, how they said it, or why they said it, let it, and them, go. Yes, that goes for me as well. Life is too short to aspire to conform to rigid expectations, especially when you burden yourself with them. Dont bog yourself down with baggage you dont need. Its akin to drinking all night and vomiting your organs to freedom, then refusing to brush your teeth and wondering why youre afflicted with  chronic halitosis. Youre too good for that. Life beckons.

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