How To Live Up To Your Own Moral Standards Perfectly All the Time

There are two ways to live up to your own moral standards perfectly all the time.

1) Keep your standards really, really low.

2) Willfully engage in self-delusion.

I don’t recommend either of those. Nope, go ahead and set high moral standards for yourself. High as in tapping into your higher sense of good — not high as in punitive or unrealistic, inhuman.

If you don’t know the difference (some people were raised in harshly judgmental climates and did not get to learn the difference), then you could look for guidance, perhaps from a trusted mentor or colleague who seems to have values and aspirations that resonate with you.

I used to be so demolished when I’d fail to live up to my own moral code. Then I realized I’m just human. Nobody can always live up to their own standards. My advice is to go ahead and set them high, though! It helps a lot in life. Simplifies things greatly. Decisionmaking, goal-setting, prioritizing become so much easier.

When we fall short of our moral standards, that’s what apologies and amends are for. Confess, apologize, make amends, self-correct. Whew!

Mentioning this because a lot of us environmentalists get accused of being “hypocrites” because (say, for example) we drove a car to a climate protest.

We live in an imperfect world. We can’t always live up to our own ideals. Meetings can be too far away to get to without motorized transport; thunderstorms can hit; some roads aren’t safe for cycling. Obviously we do our best to minimize our fossil footprint but we sometimes end up incurring more of a footprint than we want to.

Some of us are pretty idealistic and beat ourselves up for every shortfall. Don’t do that; we need all our energy directed toward making a positive shift.