We know that what we eat makes a difference in how long we live and in the quality of life. We know that how we drive our cars can determine whether we make it through the day. And yet, we find ourselves eating salt laden french fries with one hand and texting with the other while making our way through crowded traffic at seventy miles an hour. We might make it home alive doing that, but it doesn't change the fact that we chose to move closer to death by driving carelessly and by eating food that isn't healthy.
There are two cycles that operate constantly on this planet. The life cycle and the death cycle. With each decision, we move toward one and away from the other. Once we understand that, it becomes apparent that all decisions really boil down to a single question; do you want to live or do you want to die?
This is where morality comes in and why morality is important. That which uplifts and enhances the human condition is part of the life cycle and therefore moral. That which degrades or detracts from the human condition is part of the death cycle and therefore immoral. When people argue that morality is based on outdated concepts or is the province of religious nuts, they may not realize it, but they are arguing for the death cycle.
Fresh fruit and vegetables or junk food? Drive carefully or carelessly? Anger and stress or relaxation and peace? When you view decisions in terms of these two cycles, suddenly the choices become easier to make. It's not a matter of whether that one fry in the bottom of the bag will kill you, it's a question of which cycle you want operating in your life.
Awareness of the two cycles will move you to see what others miss when there is a choice to be made. This awareness of the life cycle vs. the death cycle will also bring to you a new perspective on major issues. Should I mock and insult the tea partiers who, in their Washington, D.C. rally left the city cleaner than they found it and protested so peacefully that police reported zero arrests? Should I be harsh in my criticism of good people, just because I disagree with some of their positions?
Similarly, should I support the union protesters in Wisconsin who disrupted meetings, trashed government buildings and threatened the lives of the children of legislators? Can I side with bad people, even if I nominally agree with some of their goals?
What kind of person do I want to be? Do I want to be part of the life cycle or part of the death cycle? Such questions give us a moral compass and help determine who we are. Perhaps that is what God meant when He said, "choose ye this day whom ye shall serve."