©Josh Humble

The Essence of Morality


We must be careful that our morality is truly used for the betterment of the world — not to boost our ego by disparaging others. This is not morality. It’s a superiority complex.

Morality seems to be very big today. But what is morality, and according to who? While there are many schools of thought, spirituality, religion, etc, there seems to be some universally shared values or guidelines among these systems. But we’ve largely become a chaotic and secular society with a less cohesive perception of right and wrong. Our views are based more on emotion, hype and mob mentality. Being principled is a good thing. But if we’re not mindful of our views and actions, at what point do we contradict ourselves at every turn when trying to instill our values to the rest of the world?

THAT is when.

It is when we —from good intentions —believe our experiences and values MUST supersede the world’s, and that those who don’t share our views must be inferior. It’s when we CLING to our morals, and others must believe as we do or face harassment, taunts and personal insults for believing differently – and perhaps not all that differently. We often belittle like-minded friends who approach the same issue from another angle or more holistically. This is when we’ve become a toxic soul and our values are pointless —they can’t be conveyed to anyone. We blame everyone else for the horrible things we perceive around us. Yet we fail to understand the blind role we play in escalating problems and the reactions we invoke in others. We have no ability to enact change if we’re not truly self-aware of the ego —after all, emotional tirades and insults have no affect other than backlash.

Morality can be many things to many people. But at the core, humility and the taming of our ego is what holds it together. This is key. Without true heart, there IS no morality. There’s simply the opposite —RAGE. Are we making any difference in what we do and say, or just ramping up the turmoil around us?

Truly knowing both ourselves and our opponents, ridding the heart of ego and bias, we can then initiate the change we seek, breathe easier, be more content. Life will have more color and the world becomes a very, very different place.

Open your mouth only if what you are going to say is more beautiful than silence.
— Arabic proverb

I photographed the image above with the Samsung Galaxy S5 as part of my minimalist Tree Series, edited with Snapseed. While the barren and lifeless tree at the end of its life can represent both beauty and decay, I feel it well resembles the soul when not in check with itself and the world. We become lifeless before our time.

Landscape and street photographer roaming The Midwest with a camera, phone, and random thoughts. Composer, pianist, voice actor, budo.

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