Did you ever pause and wonder what sets genuinely honorable people apart from the crowd?
What unique traits and actions make them stand as a beacon of morality in a world often blurred by shades of ethical ambiguity?
Here are the most important things that give us an insight into their behavior and what we can all learn from them.
1) They don’t engage in dishonest behavior
People with high moral standards typically don’t steal, cheat, lie, or deceive. They look at these actions as a breach of trust.
When you’re committed to maintaining integrity above else, you’ll always speak the truth.
Of course, in the modern world, you can’t just blurt out everything that comes to your mind. This would be way too insensitive and make you a persona non grata in every social circle you went to.
But being an honest person is still a goal that should be easily achieved by most people.
2) They don’t harm others
This should go without mentioning, but moral people don’t deliberately harm others, physically or emotionally. This includes bullying, harassment, discrimination, or any kind of abuse.
I always refer to the Golden Rule that states you shouldn’t do to others what you don’t want to be done to you.
This cookie-cutter rule has stood the test of time and will continue to be the single most important convention for humanity in the future.
Think about it. Is there a more important rule?
3) They don’t gossip or invade people’s privacy
Gossiping may seem harmless or even entertaining on the surface. However, it can actually cause significant harm to individuals and relationships.
Gossiping is a favorite sport for many people, but it often involves sharing personal or private information about others without their consent.
That’s a serious breach of trust that can lead to feelings of betrayal and resentment.
It literally involves sharing information that may be inaccurate, exaggerated, or based on rumors. It can damage someone’s reputation and have serious consequences for them.
In turn, this could lead to social stigma, loss of opportunities, or damage to their personal and professional relationships.
4) They aren’t selfish
Another characteristic of people with high moral benchmarks is that they’re often selfless. They value cooperation over competition, understanding that we achieve more by working together than working against each other.
Although I wouldn’t call them people with high moral standards, but today’s comedians are a great example of selflessness and cooperation.
They engage in so-called co-opetition – go on each other’s podcasts, promote each other’s gigs, and tour together. There’s almost no hard blood between them, and they understand there’s enough audience for all of them.
Let’s see what other things moral people do.
5) They don’t manipulate
They certainly don’t manipulate other people for their gain. On the contrary, they prioritize fairness and equity in their relationships and interactions, recognizing the importance of mutual respect and consent.
There are many types of manipulation. What they all have in common is influencing or controlling others through deceptive or unethical ways to achieve personal goals.
Manipulation erodes trust, creates power imbalances, and undermines healthy relationships and social dynamics.
Engaging in these behaviors can cause emotional, psychological, and sometimes physical harm to the individuals being exploited or manipulated.
Although I’m not a highly virtuous person, I try to treat others with fairness, empowering them to make their own choices and avoiding all actions that seek to manipulate or exploit them.
6) They respect personal boundaries
Apart from not manipulating others, moral people also respect their boundaries. That means avoiding all non-consensual behavior or actions that violate the autonomy and rights of others.
In other words, we all have different expectations when interacting with others. And if we aren’t careful, we can easily cross boundaries that others have set for themselves.
If you’re into politics, this next one will hit close to home.
7) They don’t engage in corruption
There aren’t many things that are worse than corruption. I hail from a country where bribery and corruption are as common as sand on a beach. You give “gifts” to doctors, blue envelopes to city officials, and cash when you get pulled over.
Everyone from the cleaner to the CEO expects something in return for doing what they’re supposed to be doing anyway.
Despite that, I’m sure that most people would describe themselves as highly moral and godfearing people.
But the fact is, when something is as common as corruption, bribery, embezzlement, or misuse of power for personal gain, there’s simply no going ahead for normal people (or abnormal in this case).
8) They don’t neglect their responsibilities
Talking about doing what you’re supposed to be doing anyway, people with high moral standards don’t neglect their responsibilities.
They do what they signed up for, take ownership of their actions, and accept responsibility for their choices.
They tend to avoid blaming others or shirking their personal responsibilities. That’s something I couldn’t say about a lot of people, even the ones I engage in on a regular basis.
Taking responsibility for my actions is a fundamental aspect of my moral compass. I firmly believe that I’m accountable for the consequences of my own choices and behaviors.
By accepting personal responsibility, I embrace the idea that I have the power to shape my own life and impact the lives of those around me. That’s something I’m also trying to instill in my son.
9) They try not to harm the environment
If there’s one thing that infuriates me, it’s when people disrespect the environment.
It baffles me that even the simplest things, like throwing trash in the bin and recycling, are still too hard for many people. Even in this day and age when we should know better.
People with high moral standards respect and protect the environment and avoid contributing to its destruction or depletion as much as they can.
I’d go as far as to say that they feel guilt for what’s happening to the planet right now and that there’s not much they can do in the grand scheme of things.
Sure, they can raise awareness and do their part, but nothing much will change if other people don’t care about the planet.
This is a perfect segway to the last thing on my list.
10) They don’t ignore the suffering of others
Having high moral standards typically goes hand in hand with empathy. Without empathizing with others and being able to put yourself in their shoes, there’s really no point in talking about morals.
Honorable people don’t ignore or make fun of what others are going through, even if they haven’t experienced the same things themselves.
Instead, they listen, try to comfort people, and understand their feelings. They might even help find ways to make things better.
Because they can understand others’ feelings so well, they often want to do something to help when they see someone suffering.
But empathy is also about celebrating joy, success, and happiness in other people’s lives. It’s sharing their triumphs as if they were your own and expressing genuine happiness for their achievements.
And there you have it. Abiding by high moral standards has always been difficult but also very rewarding.
In the rat race that is today’s world and with access to all kinds of indulgences, sticking to your morals is arguably more challenging than ever.
Unfortunately, for many ordinary people just trying to live their lives, some people will walk all over them just to reach their own selfish goals.
But, in a world where actions often speak louder than words, it’s the everyday choices of those with high moral standards that inspire us all to live our lives with greater honesty, empathy, and respect for others, leaving a legacy of positivity for generations to come.