When I launched this blog a few months ago I was trying to make a transition from my previous blog, Ajax’s Whimsical Revolution. I wanted to focus more on writing about psychology or sociology and my theories and opinions on different topics. I thought it’d be good to do a few recurring themes such as this “What if?” type. I did volume I several months ago. Maybe I’ll do volume III sooner than another several months away, but maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll just embrace my style of informality and irregular consistency, regarding my blog posting. Maybe volume III can be “What if I followed a more regulated schedule with my blog?”
The what if question for this post is as follows: what if everyone in the world followed one of the Ten Commandments perfectly? My question isn’t about any one particular commandment, just any one randomly chosen from the ten. This isn’t even a religious question. What would the effect be if everyone in the world would perfectly live just one moral rule. I think the primary effect would be unity, and what would follow from that unity would be compliance with even more moral rules, likely the rest of the commandments.
I assume everyone knows what the Ten Commandments are, even if they do not know specifically what the ten commandments are. The ten laws issued by the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob delivered to Moses on Mount Sinai are recorded in the Old Testament in Exodus 20:3-17 and in list format are such:
- Thou shalt have no other Gods before me
- Thou shalt not make any graven image
- Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain
- Honor the Sabbath day and keep it holy
- Honor thy father and thy mother
- Thou shalt not kill
- Thou shalt not commit adultery
- Thou shalt not steal
- Thou shalt not bear false witness
- Thou shalt not covet
Given in the religious context these are the basic commands given by God for his children to follow in order to live peacefully and with the greatest joy. Also, obeying these commandments will lead to worthiness before God. Outside of the religious context these commands (most, if not all) equate to the general moral codes found in many cultures throughout the world. I think we’d be hard pressed to find a culture in the world that doesn’t put value in at least one of these commandments. Likewise, I think we’d be hard pressed to find a culture in the world that obeys even one of these commandments perfectly, or as close to perfectly as could reasonably be expected.
We need go no further than ourselves to get an idea of how often these rules are violated or ignored. There are certainly some that we feel we follow perfectly, whether we set out to do so or not. What if we all set out to do so? What if we could all get together and decide that from now on we will all honor one day (the same one for unity’s sake) of the week as a holy day? What if we could all stop lying? What if there were no more murders being committed? What if we taught our children to honor their parents by showing an example of honoring our parents and by being parents worthy of being honored? I think that last part is the trick; what if we all conducted ourselves so as to be worthy of being honored?
I think the result of world unity on any one of these moral rules or religious commandments would be overwhelming. The obvious peace and trust that would result from no murder and no lying is easy to conceive of, but what would be the result if all coveting went away? What if there were no more graven images or blasphemies, regardless of the personal construct of God? I suggest the result would be humility. Humility like most of us have never known. Selfish pride would cease. Common sense tells us how nice the world would be without selfish pride.
What if we could all live even just one of the Ten Commandments? We’d be united, humble, and peaceful. I don’t think these ten moral codes are the absolute universal law, I think there is more. I believe these commandments to be the basic rules of successful living. The Ten Commandments are rudimentary. I once had a work supervisor who constantly told us to focus on the rudiments. It was his thing. He had a point though; focusing on the basics paves the way for the more advanced topics. We can’t obtain world peace by working for world peace, we need to work on individual peace and world peace will follow. I suggest following the Ten Commandments as a sure-fire way to find individual peace, and then you’ll be on your way to doing your part in obtaining world peace. It’s as simple as asking “what if?”