The guy who never cursed

Many years ago I was speaking with a flight instructor in St. George, Utah. Utah is home to many Latter-day Saints, and St. George is a Mecca for many within the church. My flight instructor, who was also a good friend, was an avid Mormon.

He confessed to me after one of our flights over “Dixie” that he had never cursed in his whole life. Not a single stray word. I was stunned. This feat seemed miraculous, but I also considered it trivial and unnecessary. I remember thinking, with all the evil going on in the world, not swearing is one of the most important social evils to focus on?

Are there any risks in not being too moral? / Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay

Still, I understood. If the goal of never swearing was important to him, it was to me.

After all, when I was a Christian, following the endless social customs of my Adventist faith was also important to me. Things like being a good vegetarian, or not drinking alcohol or caffeine, or even refraining from drinking water for up to 30 minutes after eating. (If you have to know, it’s supposed to help with digestion.) So, yes, to be a good Adventist, I was also anal enough to perform every religious ritual that my church zealously throws at me.

“Don’t be too moralistic. So you can go wrong with a lot of life. Aim above morality. Don’t just be good; be good at something. Henry David Thoreau

This is one of those quotes that puzzles believers but makes sense to free thinkers. The reason is that just beyond the colorful glass murals of the church sanctuary, this is where real life ensues. Church shrines are more than buildings; they are protective cocoons, which are designed to isolate and protect believers from contact with the evils – and wrongdoers – of the world.

The world is a place of many wonders which are meant to be enjoyed. It contains wonders that can be savored both in the natural world, but also in the daily experiences of its human inhabitants. Yet, as we all know too well, life is also filled with disease, hunger, misery, waste, misery, pain and other forms of human suffering.

So if a person really wants to be “good at something,” they will have to get their hands and soul dirty. They are going to have to connect intimately with life in all ways and at all levels. They’re going to have to see things they don’t want to see, hear things they don’t want to hear, touch things they hate and say things they’d rather not say.

To put it bluntly: They are going to have the fall of their Polish pretension, and start giving a # * =! on the big issues that perplex mankind, rather than on smaller issues like saying the word “# * =!”.

Are there any risks in not being too moral?

For example, will it cause a person to become – heaven forbid – an atheist? More on that in tomorrow’s post. . .

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