One of the biggest traps we see in the culture today is this idea that everything is relative.
It’s dangerous to imply that there isn’t a moral standard or absolute truth for each and every one of us to discover.
Often, we hear the phrase, “It’s all relative,” as some sort of intellectual argument. A way to dismiss other perspectives so we can protect our own world view. It’s a form of hiding.
Hiding because we don’t want to be accountable for the years of mistakes. Hiding because we would have to change. Hiding because we’re afraid. We’re afraid of consequences and shame. Hiding because we would have to say we were wrong.
The moment we abandoned this search for absolute truth—the kind of truth that once was and always has been—we see the degradation of family and culture. While it’s great to learn from your own mistakes. Wisdom is learning from others:
- The Surgeon General reports that 1 in 5 Americans are struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction.
- Google recently published a list of the 100 largest non-Google sites, 8 were
adultpornographic destinations. According to one analytics company, 200 million unique visitors pass through Facebook every month. A single porn conglomerate, boasts over 100 million unique users every day.
- The National Institute of Diabetes reports that 1 in 3 adults are considered to be obese.
(Note: I’m not talking about those with clinical struggles. That’s a different discussion.)
If we are going to build a culture that we can all be proud of we can’t justify or excuse or dismiss bad behavior by simply saying everything is relative. Not when we’re trying to solve one of the biggest public health crisis in history. We can’t live in a world where everyone gets to pick their own truth. All it does is take us one more step further down the road we don’t want to be on. Making it even more difficult to turn around when the instinct is to keep moving forward. Which perpetuates the cycle of bad decision-making: one bad decision leads to another.
Sure, it’s natural to think that saying ‘no’ is a form of control. People don’t want to have their rights and agency and freedoms infringed upon. But freedom isn’t defined by those who can (or are allowed to or have the right to) pick up a cigarette. No. Freedom is the ability to put it down.