care, etc. But, they say that as individuals we neglected to define and
fulfill our social responsibilities, i.e. helping.
Others have taken up the cry for responsible behavior (Branden,
1996; Bly, 1997). Baumeister (1992), as cited earlier, insightfully
discusses how needs determine the meanings we seek in our lives.
Haan (1985) also discusses our development of practical morals.
Averill & Nunley (1993) depict meaningful journeys based on caring.
But, if you think our social-economic conditions are fair, read Kozol's
(1994) description of children living in the slums of South Bronz and
compare their life with the Wall Street brokers just a few blocks away.
How can we level the playing field?
William Bennett (1993), once the leader of the nation's war against
drugs, tries to tell kids the difference between right and wrong by
sharing stories about honesty, self-discipline, courage, commitment,
etc. Remember: setting noble goals does not tell you how to behave so
you will reach the goals. Robert Coles (1996) interviews children and
tells parents how to raise moral children. Check out
values and good character. For pure inspiration it is hard to beat
Canfield & Hansen's (1991, 1993, 1995, 1996) Chicken Soup for the
Soul series; the short stories make you feel good about yourself and
the whole human race. They build your spirit.
In an interesting, easy to read, relevant book, Halberstam (1993)
has tried to help people think through everyday moral dilemmas, such
as "is it wrong to have sex with someone you don't truly love?" or "are
mean thoughts bad?" (In regard to the last question, Halberstam asks:
can you imagine Jesus Christ drinking a beer, watching a football
game, jumping up and yelling, "Get that quarterback! Smear him!")
Much of McKay and Fanning's (1993) guide to being a man centers
around values. Finally, 30 of the best thinkers of the last century have
shared their philosophies of life with us (Fadiman, 1931, 1990); that
should stimulate thinking about your own philosophy. It is worth your
time to think about morals.
The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all
cases. Each of us carries his own unique life form--which cannot be used by any other.
Be your own person--live your own life--you are unique, one of a kind-
-the world needs you--you have many choices--you can be many