… continued from “Week/end of Morality – Part 1″.
… or so I thought. I mean, of course I do the regular things like eat my lunch/breakfast and sit and talk with my friends about the latest news or happenings and such – as anyone would – but the girls thing is quite the problem. Now, of course, it’s always a problem when you don’t have a girl, so to speak, but I’m talking about something a little different. Naturally, lunch and breakfast time are the best times to socialize and further your interest (wink) but when you start looking forward to these social hours to look for prospective soul mates, you start going down the ladder (and you don’t want to go down, you want to go up) of Swiss psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg’s “stages of moral development.”
|Lawrence Kohlberg. Photograph from LIFE.|
Just yesterday – Friday, the first Friday/weekend of my junior year – I was texting said prospective soul mates on my computer, using Google Voice (which I might say is an excellent SMS device when your cell phone doesn’t work). And, as I did, I started to think about my selfishness in doing so. I mean, who am I benefiting when I send flirty text messages to girls, trying to eke out the next “awwww” or “maybe we could meet up and talk about that sometime”? No one but myself, really, at least until said flirting turns into a mutually beneficial situation where both the guy and the girl benefit from talking to each other. Of course, simple flirting and trying to sweep a girl off her feet are sometimes the first steps to a relationship, so you might be thinking that my concluding that it’s selfish is kind of stupid. Well, I agree – it is. But when you become overly concentrated on said initial flirting and sweeping, that’s where the selfishness becomes evident and detrimental to your personality.
The person you’re talking to might end up liking you, might end up never talking to you again. But when you’re sending SMS flirts, the only thing you’re exercising is your social and conversational skills. You’re not making anyone happy, you’re not helping anyone. I realized this after I discussed the night’s flirts with a nonchalant friends of mine whom could, at least during our conversation yesterday, care less about flirting and trying to talk or get with a girl. What did she care about at the time? Well besides the weekend’s imminent homework time, she spent the greater half of our conversation talking from a higher level of moral thinking, labeled in Kohlberg’s stages as the post-conventional rung on the ladder of thinking. She talked about how she wanted to do something for her friend’s upcoming birthday, how her and one of her friends had hung out that day and studied together and gotten ICEEs at the local 7 Eleven. As I heard her talk about such simple, ultimately beautiful desires and events – as I heard her talk about the beauty of spending time with a good friend, a time that both people involved benefit equally from each others’ company … I realized how absolutely selfish I was being in getting worked up over texting these girls whom probably could themselves care less about what my intentions were.
|A bit of strong comic work, I know, but it’s hilariously true!|
Now, I don’t mean that in a “giving up” tone. Trust me, I really am not that concerned with whether anything good comes out of these flirtish endeavors (though it’d be nice if it did) – what I am frustrated about is in either preserving or fostering my own selflessness. For as long as I can remember, there’s been numbered occassions where I’ve thought about doing something nice for somebody else – leaving them a card in their locker, making them brownies. All that good stuff that makes people feel happy inside. That’s what I’m feeling blue about. When you get to the level my friend was talking from yesterday – Kohlberg’s post-conventional level of morality – that’s when you achieve true selflessness.
|Yeah, maybe we should spoil our countryside a little.|
So to aid my bothered conscience, I’ve decided to start doing something for my friends. But I won’t tell you what.
‘Til next time, friends. Good night, everyone.