Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Everything is Relative by Konnie Enos

The other day I was having a conversation with a couple of young girls and my older son in which I was saying to those girls that my younger son was a big boy. My son with me insisted he wasn’t that big.
I said, “Size is relative.”
For my son, who is only an inch or so shorter than his younger brother, his brother isn’t that big. However to a couple of six year olds, a boy who is well over five and half feet tall and close to 200 pounds is pretty big.
I told my son when I was younger, like those girls, my dad would get huge Christmas trees and put them up in the living room at Grandma’s house each year. They were really tall. When I got older however the trees got shorter. Or so it seemed.
Then one day dad told me that he always got trees about six foot tall.
The trees weren’t smaller. I was bigger. Size is relative.
Now take this a step further. Many people today say everything is relative, meaning what is right and what is wrong can only be defined by the individual and their circumstances.
I watched a recent CSI: Cyber episode in which a man and his father-in-law took upon themselves the task of finding a kidney for the man’s wife by kidnapping people to harvest a kidney from them. (It should be noted the father-in-law was a surgeon.)
While the man was apologizing for kidnapping these people, however, the father-in-law saw nothing wrong with his actions. He had no intend to kill anyone, he simply wanted to save his daughters life.
The fact that without written consent he not only perform surgery, but took an organ from someone to save his daughter’s life never entered his mind, even though he would have lost his license for attempting such a thing had he still been a practicing surgeon. He felt he didn’t do anything horrible, because he didn’t plan on killing anyone.
Not that it mattered. Laws are absolute, not relative. They kidnapped, and one person died because of it. They were charged with three kidnappings and one murder.
But in this day and age far too many people think everything is relative. They think they can define morality or what’s right and wrong by their own code.
Just for a moment imagine the chaos that would exist if every human being could actually affect the definition of what was moral for themselves. Imagine a society where everyone defined their own laws.
How could you prosecute someone for killing if by their definition of murder they hadn’t killed anyone? How could you get them for theft if by their definition of stealing they’d just “borrowed” it? How could you get them for rape if by their definition all they did was enjoy some sex? How can you get someone for lying if by their definition they weren’t misleading the truth? How is it cheating if the person doing it doesn’t define it as such?
Do you see how that is chaos?
When people define their own morality they start justifying lying, stealing, cheating even killing other human beings.
So as I talked to my son and told him size is relative. I thought of all the things that people today like to say are relative, like morality, which really aren’t.
Somethings are absolute. Like all those Christmas trees over the years have been about six feet tall. What changed is my height, so I viewed the size of the trees differently.
Other things never change, no matter the era or how people view them.
Dystopia stories are popular right now. Just imagine one with a world where everyone defines their one moral code, their own laws.
Smile. Make the day a brighter day.


  1. Hi, Konnie, and thanks for the thought!
    I can't understand how anyone can possibly defend a 'personal' definition of Morals - even the Latin root of the word, "mores" translates as "Customs" - plural, not singular, and therefore as a consequence applying to EVERYBODY in a community, regardless of how large/small that community might be. Unless I'm the sole inhabitant of a remote island, by definition I am not a 'community'.
    Treat others as you would hope to be treated isn't po-faced hypocrisy, it's simple common sense. "Do unto others BEFORE they do you in" is not an answer.
    "Smile" is the best advice anyone can get. It's the LONGEST word in the English language (because there's a MILE between the first letter and the last) and also it's energy-saving because it takes 7 muscles to smile and over thirty (I forget the exact number!) to sulk/frown/scowl ...
    lyrics by Charlie Chaplin
    ♫Smile, and the world smiles with you"♫

  2. Well said, Paul! And you are so right.