Growing up I felt like I got dealt a crummy hand. This led me to believe it was within my right to “even the score” and I did many things that I have deep regret for (far past the time I should have known better).
In high school when I returned to my faith, I felt that I needed to do the right thing by God. Eventually I progressed to the point where I decided I wanted to do what I believe to be right, for myself. When I started teaching I wanted to be a good role model for my students. When Finn was born I carefully make my choices and hope that my actions will make him proud and even if they’re hard and he might disagree with them, he’ll know in the deepest part of his heart I made the choices I believed to be best for him.
My sister and I were having this conversation awhile ago and she said when she was going K-12th grade she felt she had to do her very best in school or else she was cheating the tax payers. I had to laugh at this…what 8-year-old thinks like that? I didn’t even know tax payers paid for public school when I was 8. That is exactly my sister. It shouldn’t have surprised me at all.
As a teacher, she work 80+ hours per week for social justice. Others that put in that kind of time at her school do it for religious or a variety of other reasons (the only one I haven’t heard is for the money). They end up working for the same goal…but they are motivated by very different moral compasses.
In the end, if you treat yourself and others well and contribute to the human race, I don’t think it really matters why you do it…as long as the reason means something to you.
Side note #1: Staring down the very scary 30-years-old in 10 months I look at myself and people I graduated with and I don’t feel that I was dealt a bad hand. I am proud of what I have done with my life and I don’t think I could feel as good about it if I didn’t work hard for it (and stumble a bit too). Some people had everything handed to them and now they aren’t motivated to do anything for themselves and they’re floundering. 30 and floundering is kinda sad. Although not as sad as 40 and floundering.
Side Note #2: I don’t believe in obeying rules/laws that I don’t agree with. I will never stop at stop signs in the mall parking lot. I refuse to stop at crosswalks when there are no people wanting to cross (if there’s a person who wants to cross anywhere on the road, I stop). I will always j-walk. I will teach Finn to not blindly obey moral expectations and laws unless they make sense. Thinking for oneself is something that is not taught enough anymore. Blindly following others’ laws and rules leads to immoral and unethical treatment of people.