First off, what the heck is a moral compass? According to dictionary.com, the definition of moral compass is, “anything which serves to guide a person’s decisions based on morals or virtues.”
Since I was 3 (I am not making this up), I have been interested in morals, values, and ethics. On my third birthday I insisted my mom throw me a Character Counts birthday party. Character Counts had six pillars of character and my favorite pillar was fairness. I have always liked to follow the rules and fight for what I think is right. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, there is more to this than just my stubbornness and bossiness (LOL).
So, my spring break technically started on Thursday but Saturday, Sunday, and Monday I decided to take a spring break intensive class focusing on ethical decisions in leadership. During this course, I came to several revelations. The most important revelation I came to was when one of my classmates said I have a “high moral compass.” It got me thinking. Do I really? It smacked me in the face. This is so innate to me, I just operate in this fashion of ethical authenticity and I didn’t know what to say but the two simple words of thank you.
I talked to my mom on my lunch break and was naturally talking faster than she could probably understand. I usually speak with a lot of analogies and during this conversation, I was spitting them out left and right. One analogy stuck with me and here’s what I discovered:
1) Having a strong moral compass is like wearing a particular pair of glasses with “super powers.” These glasses let you make “wise beyond your years” decisions, give you the role of being the “mom” when going out with friends, and the never-ending comment of, “I wish I knew that when I was your age.”
2) These glasses are a gift, but if and only if they can be used in a way that can benefit you and your surroundings. It is important to remember that the gift of being able to wear these glasses promises a level of conscientiousness and aspect of self-control. It must be noted that a level of self-awareness can assist you to be present in combination of the other factors as mentioned above.
3) You have to remember that just because you have these glasses, or super powers, or whatever you call it, that others may or may not. Some may never have the desire to strengthen their morals or values until they grow older, some may not have a desire to make ethical decisions, or some may not want to figure out what their real values are.
4) I FINALLY understand that while I have the ability to wear these glasses, I can also choose to take them off. I can wear my superhero shades, but at the end of the day I can also take them off and be human because that is a super power, too. I can make mistakes, even when I have a high regard for right and wrong. My values and morals do not need to be stagnant, and I can be human and adapt to life. I can embrace the waves of life and welcome change with open arms. I can do that, and I can own that.
A strong moral compass can be a bless or a curse, just as a strong moral compass can be a blessing and an opportunity. I choose opportunity. I choose the opportunity to grow, to be human, to make mistakes, and to accept change.