Our Moral Compass: What Does This All Really Mean?

“All that is gold does not glitter. Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither. Deep roots are not reached by the frost.”

-J.R.R. Tolkien

     Today’s quote is an excerpt from author J.R.R. Tolkien’s book Fellowship of the Ring and I think connects to our own continuous quest in developing and refining our own moral compass.

When he writes that all gold does not glitter it reminds me of the scene in Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade when Indiana Jones has to choose which, out of the many cups on display is actually the real Holy Grail. They ranged anywhere from elaborate and beautiful cups to ones that were not. The real one gives eternal life while the rest give immediate death. He had already witnessed the antagonist in the story choose unwisely. Indiana Jones chose the most plain one possible and, as it turns out chose correctly. This serves as a reminder that beauty and riches are deep within and that is what truly matters in how we live our lives, not necessarily outward appearances. It makes me think of those that in that are in the public eye and are perceptions are made when they see how they treat others when the cameras are on but are completely different (in a not so good sort of way) when they go off. I believe you should always conduct yourself in the same manner when you are or are not in the spotlight because beauty comes from within in.

In the sentence not all who wander is lost this is at the premise as to why I have written this daily blog, produced a podcast and recently written my first book. In life we may not know where we are always going but we do know where we have been. We make decisions on a daily basis that either knowingly or unknowingly lead us to either continue on the same path we are on or choose a new one. Each choice gets us closer to learning more about ourselves and what our moral compass truly is. Sometimes it is the right choice and sometimes not. And that’s okay. As long as we keep moving forward we will find the path that leads us out because we will not be lost forever. As long as we believe, we will achieve.

When he relates the old as being strong that does not wither I think that when we are young we are going through certain experiences that are happening to us for the first time and often times they can hurt us pretty deep, whether it us due to a bad relationship or something else. I am sure we have all heard someone say to us “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” and from at least my perspective this has held true for me. When certain things happened to me, at first I would feel like my whole world was ending and that this feeling of sadness, anger or hurt would never go away. But over time and with my hard work or the support of others in helping me overcome whatever I was struggling with led me to become stronger so that when I would face similar experiences later on in my life (which I have) I was much stronger and had the tools necessary to move past that obstacle and carry on. So if you are struggling with something know please believe me when I say you will overcome it and it does not have to be done on your own. Remember sometimes you need strength in numbers to overcome something.

Lastly, his reference to deep roots not being able to be reached by the frost reminds that if we continuously work on becoming more self aware, manage ourselves better, develop our social awareness and relationship skills while practicing responsible decision making we will create the necessary deep roots for our moral compass to withstand anything. We all have the power and the ability to live the life we want to live and contribute towards others doing the same. We are all strong and can overcome anything that ours our way. We just need to let our moral compass be our guide and show us the way.

What does this quote mean to you and how can you apply today’s message towards defining/refining your own moral compass?

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