Orient Expression

14 October, 2008

With Friends Like These

Filed under: Uncategorized — pyrotyger @ 9:38 am

Who needs iniquities?

I jest – my friends are wonderful. I can tell them anything – any moral dilemma or sticky situation – and they’ll be overwhelmingly understanding and accepting and will never judge. This doesn’t seem to tally with Toby Young‘s philosophy (Paul Carr’s relevant excerpt here) as I try to do the right thing at all times, yet my friends are strangely loyal. That probably says more about them than about me though.

However, fiercely supportive though they are, they do have a tendency to point me in the wrong direction…

There can be no “dilemma” more clear-cut or harder to resolve than the classic “I want to do something, but I know it’s wrong”. The difficulty is not in identifying what should I do, but the more ephemeral what SHALL I do? Those without a conscience can happily decry “There is no Right or Wrong: there’s just Fun and Boring.” (To finish the quote: “A thirty year prison sentence sounds pretty dull to me.“)

So when I turn to my friends and paint a picture of anguish, saying “I know I can’t really do it, but…” they do have a tendency to laugh and tell me to go for it. One friend even categorically listed all the reasons it’s a good idea, freely admitting that as far as she’s concerned the “moral high-ground” is the name for the bit of gutter she’s just left behind on her gentle descent.

Still, maybe I like people like that because they never take me seriously. I do enough of that for 10 people at least, so having friends I can turn to who won’t mirror my conscience can do wonders for my sense of perspective. I wouldn’t rely on an alley-cat for sage advice, but you couldn’t find a better creature to needle you out of your self-obsessed introspection!

So maybe I can look to my friends as a moral compass.

Just one that points South.
All the time.

And thank heavens for that.

Try to live a good and honourable life. That way, when you are old, you will be able to enjoy reliving your memories.
– The Dalai Lama

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