Some Things Cannot be Taught

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently about this subject. I’ve talked about nature versus nurture before, yes, but I still haven’t reached a conclusion that satisfies my curiosity. There are things about myself that have always been part of me, and I’m not sure why.

I have an excessively-strong devotion to my moral code, and I don’t know why. All I know is that I was never taught to take my morals so seriously (yes, I was taught to take them seriously, but never as seriously as I always have). This kind of thing, you can’t teach to people. So, why is it part of me?

The oldest example: When I was in 3rd grade in the late 90s, I did something that got me in trouble. My teacher told me I have to stay in for recess as punishment. Recess was only an hour away… When it was almost time to go out for recess, my teacher pointed to all the kids who had to stay in, but she didn’t point to me. My friend who sat at the desk in front of me got excited. “She forgot about you!” he said. But I raised my hand and said, “Mrs. Hewlett, you said I have to stay in, too.” She said she didn’t remember that, but I insisted that I stay in because I deserved it.

I remember that story (I even remember exactly where my desk was). Every time I think about this story, it makes me wonder, “Why the hell did I insist on getting discipline when Mrs. Hewlett completely forgot I earned it?”

Now, a recent example: There’s this girl at work who, I think, is attractive physically. A solid 7, maybe an 8. She showed interest in me for a while. During the days I was still giving my ex-wife a chance to grow up and allow us to be a wholesome family again, I ignored girls that showed interest in me, like this one. But before the end of 2020, I completely gave up waiting for my ex-wife to be worth a damn again. And so after that, this particular girl at my work, I decided to … let in. I never thought she was girlfriend material, but she didn’t have to be. This past week, though, I became too repulsed with her to even keep her number anymore. This past week, she ran up to me all giddy as usual, but this time, it wasn’t because she was happy to see me, it was because she had news to share. She had successfully managed to change the joint custody of her son to sole legal and physical custody. This after never, literally never, having any positive things to say about her son’s father. I always thought, “She’s most likely exaggerating how bad the guy is, because that’s what girls do.” And honestly, it wasn’t the fact she now had sole custody of her son that bothered me. What bothered me was the fact she celebrated it. Her son’s father has no say in anything now, not even when he gets to see his baby. (He could be a horrible person, but I doubt that.)

No desire for her son’s father to change, no desire to work things out … she just wanted to win. This shit bothered me with my sister, it bothered me with certain friends, and of course it bothers me now when my ex-wife is hellbent on victory as she always is (even though she keeps losing).

When my nephew was born in 2007, I was just a teenager, and it still drove me up the wall. Why? Because my brother (the good one I grew up with) was not together with the mother of his newborn son, and that pissed me off. Those two never even tried to get back together. In fact, he consciously, intentionally, dumped responsibility of raising his son on her. He was happy to pay child support because it was a small monthly bill to pay for having no responsibility to his child. It pissed me off as a teenager, and it pisses me off now.

I know I used two examples involving family matters, but the principle is the same: Never, in all my life, have I not taken the issue of right-and-wrong seriously. Whether it was reminding my teacher that I deserved to miss recess, or whether it was a hot girl who wanted to hook up with me treating her son’s father like shit.

I disown family who shamelessly do immoral things that don’t involve me, and I permanently cut off girls from sex when they do immoral things that don’t involve me. I’ve even disowned a friend once when she told me she cheated on her boyfriend when she visited Germany, even though I wasn’t the one she cheated on and we were never more than friends. On this blog, I’ve mentioned how one time when I was 23 I got used for sex and I didn’t realize she used me until it was over. Well, one thing I’ve never divulged about that story is the fact she was very attractive (biggest boobs I’ve ever enjoyed), and she wanted to keep seeing me. I turned her down, so it was only that one night she and I did anything.

I don’t know why I take my morals so damn seriously. I’m an atheist, so it’s not like I’m afraid of God adding tallies to my sin count. Everyone who reads this blog can tell how seriously I take the subject of right-and-wrong, but even now, I still don’t know why it’s so important to me. Is it because of my inherent nature as a male? Masculinity certainly is a component, but I still doubt that could explain all of it.

Sorry, I don’t have a conclusion here. This would be an instance when I hope people will comment and we have a discussion. It’s not that I see this aspect of myself as a problem … I’d just really like to understand it.