Will You Answer?
When I ponder my life, a central question keeps demanding attention. The answer is important to me, but it is the question itself which defines my world view.
Are my choices and actions only determined by what reward they provide me?
I am most happy when I answer no.
I like to believe I would still be a good, happy person without external motivation to be so. I like to think I help others and do good because it is the right thing, not because of some perceived reward (or perhaps even more interesting, a perceived punishment) .
Unfortunately, the answer is never definitive. My actions often do bring some compensation. Simple things, things we all understand-A thank you. The look on someone’s face. The joy of helping another person or that satisfaction of accomplishing a difficult task.
But if none of that occurred, would that change anything? If there was no reward, would you still behave and act the way you do now? I believe moral behavior should be beyond such things.
The things I do and don’t believe have everything to do with my answer. They probably do for you as well. In the end, those things determine the integrity of our lives and our actions.
“Who are you, I really wanna know?”