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Discernment Vs. Judgment: Navigating the Gray Areas of Ethics on a Heart-Centered Path

acceptable behavior biglove energy compassion ethical boundaries ethical dilemmas forgiveness healthy boundaries internal narrative love marketing strategies mindfulness moral compass non-judgment personal growth positive contribution seth godin society evolution spiritual awareness taylor swift concert ticket reselling

I was recently involved in a fascinating conversation with some dear, longtime friends. We found ourselves discussing the actions of an acquaintance who, on a whim, decided to purchase Taylor Swift concert tickets with the sole intention of reselling them for a profit. The outcome? Two tickets sold for an astonishing $6000.

As I relayed this story, I couldn’t hide my discomfort with the ethical implications of this person’s actions, essentially revealing my judgment of their behavior. My friends’ response, however, took me by surprise.

“Well, if someone is dumb enough to buy them for that much, or is so eager to go and can afford to pay that much… why not?”  commented one of my insightful and kind friends.

This “live and let live” perspective got me thinking. Are we slowly letting go of our moral compass? Is this indicative of how our society might evolve?

I recall Seth Godin in his brilliant book “This is Marketing” where he offers a perspective for fundraising marketers appealing to very wealthy philanthropic donors to contribute generously to their worthy foundation… he writes: “As marketers and agents of change, we almost always overrate our ability to make change happen. The reason is simple. Everyone always acts in accordance with their internal narrative.” Essentially, he was referring to the power in how we frame and hook an elite status association to a specific behavior. In this case million-dollar donations.  This is from his chapter titled “People like us do things like this.”

Following my girlfriend’s chat I both felt appreciative of her generosity and flexibility toward the key person in my story, and a bit troubled by the broader implications, and I wondered:  Will we need to broaden our definitions of acceptable behavior to maintain peace of mind?

As someone who strives to be a spiritually aware and mindful individual, I aim to contribute positively to the world and the collective energy we’re all part of. This includes practicing non-judgment and embracing BigLove energy (a concept I discuss in my book), which extends even to those facing the greatest challenges. It’s not always easy, but it’s a commitment I make to myself – to be a source of love and kindness, while also maintaining healthy boundaries.

So, how do we navigate these gray areas of ethics and behavior? I believe it’s possible to establish healthy boundaries, to be kind and loving, and to discern what contributes positively or negatively to our world. And we can do this without being judgmental. Observations made with compassion, love and forgiveness can guide us on our path. 

A helpful starting point is to ask ourselves, “What’s here FOR me?” and to approach the answer with love. We are all on a journey, navigating the complex terrain of ethics, judgment, and discernment. And it’s through these conversations and reflections that we continue to grow and evolve.