Take Me As I Am

...Only then can we discover each other.

On the Mistrial of Moral Judgement

by AE Paulino

Should a person's moral character be judged, if at all, by their internal or external constitution? That is, which behavior dictates whether an individual is deemed "good" or "bad?" Is it the external behavior, that which the individual displays to others, from which these others form an opinion of the individual. Or is it the internal "true colors" of the individual and nothing else that can only account for how a person may be morally judged. Is it what you do or what you feel that counts?

One would assume that what you do is based on what you feel; that would, in fact, be the case if everyone were honest. And it is true that there are honest people and that their behavior can be taken at face value but there are others who, not only put up a false appearance but are so aware of social-moral judgement that they can put up a front right into their graves. It is my belief that an individual can have views that never surface through external behavior, regardless of whether those views are "good" or "bad." You may wish to be romantic and argue that it isn't possible to live with oneself under such pretense--To you I say, you under estimate the social human condition.

Think of small things that you can't stand, for instance a successful band you hate, or a current fashion trend you can't grasp the popularity of. And even though you can't stand these things you decide not to go around and campaign against them. Rather, you just hate them to yourself but never admit it to others. This doesn't mean, necessarily, that you pretend that you are crazy as everyone else over these pop culture landmarks, only that you reserve your opinions to your own internal indiscretion. By changing subjects, politely ignoring, or vaguely agreeing, you steer around any personal output; there is always a way around any subject especially after practice, politicians may attest.

If a person is capable of withholding such trivial feelings, then is it likely a person may also have the build to behave likewise for stronger, further critical views that may impact how others regard the individual morally? I say trivial because ultimately, what does it matter if others know that you do not like Lady Gaga or think H&M to be a cheap brand? But people are strange for strange reasons, and hating Lady Gaga may invite others to feel you're a music elitist or H&M lovers may mistake your comment as snobbishly high maintenance. This may all be in the individual's head but as they say, "your mind is your worst enemy," and once he's locked you in, its very difficult for the outside world to pull you back out.

There is an obsession with fitting in, with not standing out if its not the fashionable way of standing out. There is a pressure that I need not even mention as we are all aware of. I maintain that a person may passionately hold a perspective without external demonstrations that reveal such a perspective, ever. Whether it be a lifelong crush, secret discriminations, hidden fears or joys, an individual may feel just cause for not disclosing any windows from which the external world may judge inwards.

If a person is impatient on the inside but does not reveal this, as they never make a bother of lateness, slowness or procrastination; if they appear understanding and forgiving, thus making the late party comfortable and unaware of their insulting behavior, how could one recognize the individual's impatience? Self conscious of how others look when impatient, resentful of how aggressive and proud others appear when misunderstanding or unforgiving, an individual may personally commit to an effort to avoid appearing as that which the individual finds an unappealing behavior. The question remains, is such an individual impatient? By action? No. However, internally there is a conflict. One is resentful for not being authentic, for grounding their true emotions from flight. A conflict like that may not pose a mortal threat but nonetheless, it can definitely be quite a nuisance. The individual, under such a conflict, is constantly aware of the insincerity of his/her actions, regardless if others are not. If the actions do not match the personal ideas behind those actions, shouldn't the "actor" then be judged by the ideas? If you feel impatient, you are impatient; if you don't, then you are not, despite your performance. Would Love be allowed the same leeway, would you mind at all that internally a person didn't love you, so long as that person never showed their true feelings?

At the same time, how could you know what a person is feeling if they never express it? And with that said, how could you ever truly, morally judge a person by their actions? Sure you can judge if a person is guilty of a crime, if a person has earned an award, or is sick; each of these can be deduced by factual, physical symptoms or evidence of actions but how a person internally feels is solely provided by what that individual chooses to communicate to the external world. That communication provides the evidence but as in a criminal trial, if the evidence is found to be falsified then it becomes insubstantial. We cannot rely on the assumption that everyone is being honest, until telekinesis develops in humans we cannot morally judge another person based on action alone.

Morality itself is a touchy subject, everyone has their own notions of good and bad, right and wrong. I don't think a person should be morally judged at all, morals divide people and shroud understanding by simply labeling and conditioning a behavior. But even if I felt morals were constructive and helpful in the overall evolution of mind expansion, how could I correctly make a moral judgement of an individual without all the facts? Without all the evidence, internal and external. I believe I cannot. Because only when the internal matches the external is the individual an authentic representation of their self and who they really are.

Is it what you do or what you feel that counts? It is what you do with the feelings you feel, what you feel for the things that you do, and if there is conflict between action and emotion then you cannot be judged because that is a coin that lands standing vertically, falling neither heads nor tails. External behavior alone cannot stand without disclosure of the internal sincerity of each act. That is, a patient person who is impatient on the inside is in fact, only pretending to be patient on the outside. Just the same, such a person is patient, because they are practicing patience regardless if they enjoy it or not; however, such a person is not authentically representing their self.

It is complex and human but I don't think it is something to be proud of, this conflict. We should all accept everyone as they are, understand and learn from one another, without fear of having our characters judged. Then we shall realize that when we reach that point where no moral judgement can be made, because we have fully understood one another, because we have become crystal clear as if our bodies were made of glass; there and only there, at that apex where no judgement need be established, thats the only point where moral behavior may validly be judged.

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