‘That’s That’

Hola, Bonjour, Hello and welcome Castleton! This is That’s That, your source for what’s what. Friends, this week your good buddy R.C. has something very important to discuss -morality. How many good people are there in the world? Better yet, how many people out there believe they are one of the good ones? I’ll tell you right now that at least half of them are liars. Oh that’s right – I went there.
What makes a person good or bad? I had a conversation with a friend about this the a while back, and they said to me, “R.C., as long as you don’t kill anyone, you’re golden.” I stared at him for a minute. I thought about how base and ignorant that comment was.
After getting over a slight case of nausea, I said, “What about lying, cheating, or stealing?” He responded, “Hey, those are just the ways to get ahead in the game.”
Now, before I could give this chap a dogmatic, verbal, round-house to the dome, I had to keep in mind who he was and how he came to be. This friend of mine grew up in a nice suburban home. Both of his parents are successful. His father is the President of an ABC-owned radio station in Manhattan. His mother is a successful realtor.
They provided my friend with everything he’s needed, wanted — and then some. So why is he so skewed? But wait, maybe he’s not the one who’s skewed here. Perhaps I have been the naive one.
After that conversation, I traveled far and wide. I ended up in the office of a Catholic priest. I asked him, “Priest, are all people bad?” The priest replied, “Yes. But then again everyone lies. So what makes them so bad?” I couldn’t believe my ears. He continued, “Listen, no one is perfect. You think I follow every commandment?” Obviously I said, “Yes! Yes you should! What is the matter with you?” At that moment, was I to believe that my favorite heroes such as Jack Sparrow, Han Solo, and the ever-adorable Al Capone were not good role models? It was as though my world was falling apart.
I ran out of the room in a panic. I tripped and fell face down in a puddle. As I pulled myself out of the puddle, I saw a hand extended to me. I looked up and there was a beautiful girl smiling at me. I stood up and she wiped my face with her scarf. What was going on? It was as if the powers that be had been watching me and decided to send this girl to give me some kind of closure. So I asked her, “What is this? Why are you doing this?”
She spoke only one word, “Karma.” In that moment I learned it all. People will be themselves. They will be good, and they will be bad. I choose to sit on my moral fence on this one. But I will leave you with some closure Castleton.
The best philosophical principle I’ve ever heard in terms of morality has always been the Golden Rule -“Treat others as you would like to be treated.” It’s so simple it works. And love shouldn’t cost a thing. I’m no hippie by any means, but I do think that love should be free. Next thing you know I’ll be wearing Birkenstocks, standing in front of the Village store singing about the levies in New Orleans. Listen Castleton, morality is subjective. Don’t be a clown, and you’ll be cool. That’s how I live, that’s how I roll. And that my friends is that.

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