As long as I can remember I have had a billion thoughts rattling around my head all fighting to be heard and therefore rarely ever being fully explored.
But there is a common theme. I am deeply obsessed with the question of ethics. In every situation I give thought (probably too much thought) to doing the right thing. Sometimes, this can almost paralyze me – like when I wanted to give my seat up on the tram and was trying to figure out the most effective way of exiting my seat while making sure it went to the person I had decided needed it most before someone ‘less deserving’ could steal it! So if you consider how much thought goes into the ethics of tram seating, you may begin to understand the guilt I’ve suffered since helping get Tony Blair elected in 1997. Apparently ignorance is no defence so I will not try to justify that one.
I am renowned for having an opinion on every matter of ethics. And I passionately believe there’s a right and wrong position on everything. Everything. No matter how complicated. No exceptions. Everything. Everyone has something they are compelled to do, right? Well I guess I am compelled to judge. I am like Loki (the angel of death from my all time favourite film Dogma), only minus the genocidal tendencies. Just to be clear, I judge situations – not people. Sometimes people make choices I wouldn’t and sometimes I make choices I later regret (again… Blair). What makes a bad choice is really a matter for that individual’s soul to determine, but even bad choices don’t = bad people. I don’t believe in bad or evil people (that’s over-simplistic thinking) and, for a variety of reasons, I don’t go around condemning anyone to hell. I wouldn’t go around condemning people to hell even if I believed in such a place… which I do not. I am all about encouraging people to question their beliefs and actions a bit more rigorously. If your beliefs don’t stand up to scrutiny they’re not worth having… they are the proverbial castles built on sand. I find it hard to relate to people who have never really thought about wider issues and what’s happening beyond their own frame of reference. I don’t understand that. Having fallen in love with someone who takes that attitude I now understand it even less 😉
Being opinionated really isn’t about being “right” or better. It’s the desire to know myself that drives me. And because I’m taken the time to come up with a considered opinion about everything I do know myself. Pretty damn well. And you must first understand yourself before you can hope to understand others.
I’ll be sharing my position on modern ethical dilemmas here in the days, and hopefully years, to come. Comment and discussion of a constructive nature are encouraged.