What are moral principles?
The Free Dictionary defines moral principle as “the principles of right and wrong that are accepted by an individual or a social group”. It is also defined as “the principle that conduct should be moral”.
Why we need moral principles?
Who we become and who we are boiled down to the moral principles we uphold. I believe that no matter how successful we are in terms of fame and money, we are nothing if we do not abide by moral principles and have moral values.
What is filial piety?
Filial piety originated from Confucius. The character 孝 “xiao” consists of an upper component representing “age” and a lower component representing “child”. It signifies the relationship between parent-child where the parent leads the child and the child supports the parent. This means that the parents must rear and educate their young ones, and children who are of age must support and assist their parents. Filial piety is the most important virtue in Chinese culture, for without our parents, we would not exist.
Practicing filial piety in times of COVID-19
Now is a good time to repay your parents’ kindness. At times when we are forced to stay home due to the danger of COVID-19, where old aged people are high risk to this infection, it is only right for us to do our filial duties. If your parents are old and senile, If you are away from home during this time of duress, be mindful to check up on the well-being of your mum and dad. Skype, FaceTime or Whats App Video call them to ensure they are ok and also to let them know you are ok, wherever you are. If they are fortunate enough to live with you, respect and be kind to them. A parent’s love and worry never end no matter how old their child may be. Wherever you are, ensure your parents are getting the assistance they may need to stay safe. Our parents are the utmost important people for us to be of service to when we are grown and capable. Love, honour and respect them always. When we were young and helpless, they provided and took care of us and it is only right we look after our elders when they become old and helpless. Do this not just for this COVID-19 period but for the rest of the days of your parents.
Be aware of your present moment and focus on your thoughts, words, and actions that they may be wise and filled with common sense and truth. COVID-19 has taken away our norm and there are still many who are not mindful of the safety of others and themselves. Fear, anxiety, and panic may have taken over our lives. Wake up and breathe for a moment. Put some thoughts into the current situation of COVID-19 and use your wisdom. Be mindful to fact checks what you can do. Accept the reality of what is happening now and why we need to stay home. Discard our ignorance by learning from trusted sources and experts, transform our fear and worry into courage and resilience to face this adversity and reduce sufferings together.
Be responsive to situations. Have a caring attitude and act in the best interest of mankind. Care about the people around you and care about the environment. Only when we care with love, kindness, and compassion, we are motivated to do our best for a better result. Humanity is the first principle to ensure the survival of all humans and matters. Instead of pointing fingers at each other, or harping about what happened, focus on what we can do conscientiously and collectively to bring this epidemic to an end.
Service To Others
Find ways to be helpful to others. What goes around comes around and what comes around goes around. Serving others with humility teaches us to let go of our ego. It enables us to learn and grow to be better as we listen and put others first before us, creating a harmonious affinity and environment with people. It shows our willingness to be open-minded, to practice patience and understanding the perspective of another.
Now more than ever is your chance to build your character. Be mindful of who you are becoming as our character is what makes us authentic. Look in the mirror of your mind and check to see if you like the person that you are now. Are you being authentic and real, not just to others but to yourself? Are you the same person behind closed doors when others cannot see you or are you always the same person you are, no matter where you are? Character is built from our experiences and what we choose to learn from them. Be mindful of your daily thoughts, decisions, and actions as they turn into habits that will define your character.
Be grateful for what is already in your life. Look not at what is not with you but open your eyes to the treasures that are in your possession now. Be thankful for each day and accept all experiences that happen as an opportunity to learn and grow from them. Everything happens for a reason and if we can take the positive out of every experience and situation, our lives can only improve for the greater good.
Acceptance and detachment
Understand the cause and effect. Know that every thought, every word and every action we take have consequences. Learn to accept matters as they are and let go of what we cannot control or change. Good thing or bad thing, who knows? Things eventually always even out.
When we practice truth, we deal in honesty and transparency. It means we are reliable, and it builds a good reputation of trustworthiness and respect. So always speak the truth and keep your promises.
These universal moral principles have always been within us. We know the principles and the virtue of practicing them but only a few will follow as ego, greed, and desires overcome our true nature. However, as the world goes into lockdown, this is a great time to dwell deep within oneself to reflect. You have the power to bring these moral principles alive in your day to day life.