Daily moral decisions

We live in a particularly divided time, where factions of our society have turned upon each other, and in some cases, have turned upon themselves. Political groups find themselves in internal debates, even civil wars, unsure of what causes they support. What common beliefs they hold.

For journalists, this conflict takes another dimension. Journalists hold themselves out as being more principled than the average professional. Journalists believe they must be devoted to the truth, and to reporting it ethically, even when it doing so would be personally difficult.

Yet, on the pages of the same newspaper or website, there are words written by commentators who don’t follow the same ethical standards.

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Happiness through honesty

Never tell a lie, your mother may have told you.

But you probably tell lies every day. To yourself, your co-workers, your family.

Sorry I’m late, there was an accident on the freeway.

Looks great, honey. Wouldn’t change a thing.

I’m doing the best I can.

But the real truth is that, in a general sense of things, we are not truthful. And why should we be? Dishonesty can make difficult moments easier to deal with.

It also makes us normal to be dishonest. If lying wasn’t a common activity, it wouldn’t be something our mothers would even warn us about.

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Routines with flavor

It’s easy to conclude that an organized life is one that is less chaotic. That if a person takes time to evaluate their day-to-day activities, and organize them into easily repeated routines, then there is less danger of suffering from the stress of unpredictable events. But what happens when we become so organized, so regimented in our routines, that we lose the excitement that comes from unexpected events? Do organized people have less fun?

No, not necessarily. A person who has ritualized aspects of their daily activities can free up the other parts of their lives for more enjoyable activities. Legend has it that Albert Einstein had a closet full of identical outfits so that he didn’t have to waste time deciding what to wear.

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