Abandon Text!

W. H. Auden once said: "Poems are not finished; they are abandoned." I have been abandoning writing projects for many years, since only the pressure of deadline and high expectations ever got me to finish, or even start, anything of merit. This blog is an attempt to create a more consistent, self-directed writing habit. Hopefully a direction and voice will emerge.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

(un)Sexual Morality

The Wall Street Journal had a piece on the op-ed page recently that had an interesting hypothesis: people's notions of morality had become so focused on sexual issues (abortion, gay rights, gay marriage, premarital sex, etc.) that everyone had completely neglected basic honesty and integrity, which has left us with our recent flood of scandals: Enron, WorldCom, HealthSouth, Barry Bonds, Jack Abrimov, etc.

I think they're on to something here. There are certain values that the schools try to teach these days -- tolerance, diversity, environmentalism -- but they never get into the most basic notions of honesty. No wonder cheating is rampant in the schools these days.

The worst casualty in a world with less and less honesty is the basic glue of all society: trust. Trust is what allows all cooperation. Trust is the essence of all mutually beneficial relationships -- I keep my promises, and I trust you to keep yours. When trust is eroded, then all kinds of needless conflict arises. Divorce, lawsuits, audits, investigations . . . pretty soon we spend all our time watching our backs and no time getting anything done. It breeds a society of fear.


Post a Comment

<< Home