Neil Tambe

I'm a Detroiter who happens to enjoy writing, national parks, orange juice, the performing arts, and fanciful socks. More than anything though, I aspire to be a good husband, father, and citizen.

The sacrifice muscle

The ultimate litmus test for moral goodness, seems to be a simple one. Can I put the needs of others in line with, and sometimes ahead of my own?

If I can, I’m probably a decently moral human being. If I can’t, I’m probably not.

Coming this rule of thumb has been a helpful, practical way to think about morality. It’s not as nuanced as moral philosophy, but useful day-to-day.

I don’t have a persuasive argument for this idea yet, but it fits intuitively. Human relationships, and ultimately larger communities fall apart when selfishness is present.

Sacrifice doesn’t grow on trees. But it seems to me that one can work on training that muscle over time. If that’s true, that’s the tangible goal of a moral life - being more and more capable of making sacrifices. At least mine.