What's the point and why does it matter?

 Picture

A very thoughtful teenager asked me the other day about "the point."  What's the point of doing things in an ethical and moral way?  Does it really matter?

I have to admit that I am not great at answering kids' questions in the "best" way.  I never have been and I blame that on my poor training and limited vocabulary.  I can't remember one time that I went for much needed advice from my parents and came out feeling better. I gave them each multiple opportunities, and then, somewhere along the way, I gave up asking.  I have found many "surrogates" over the years who are wise and helpful and I continue to go back to them for assistance when I need it.

So...What is the point and does it really matter?  My answer went something like this:

I love how you have tried to live your life in moral and ethical ways.  As I told you before, you have more integrity than anyone I have ever met.  I love that about you and am so proud of you for it.  You've been encouraged to stand up for others and do what's right, but, in the end, it is your choice to make.  You know loads of people who make very different choices in terms of how they live their life and what they do (drinking, drugs, etc.) and you've picked a different path, a better way to do it.  I think all of this does matter.  You've made a difference in so many people's lives already and I know you'll continue to do that.  You may not always know when you've made a difference, but you get a pretty good idea.  So, I think this stuff is the point and that it does matter.  Your legacy is created right now, as you live your life day-to-day.
What advice would you give in this situation?

Bonnie L. Frank

Recent Posts by bonniefrank

Comments

In order to comment on BlogHer.com, you'll need to be logged in. You'll be given the option to log in or create an account when you publish your comment. If you do not log in or create an account, your comment will not be displayed.