Morality, virtue, ethics, legality, right and wrong are relative, temporary, mechanical.
Goodness is situational; kindness is personal. They demand mindfulness.
It is entirely possible—in fact we see it every day—for someone to be ‘moral’ or ‘right’ without being kind or good. Police officers sworn to ‘protect and serve’ all too often abuse or even kill unarmed people who did nothing harmful, just because they can get away with it. Betrayal abounds, even or especially between friends, family members and lovers.
The greatest cruelties in history have been perpetrated in the name of religious morality or political ethics. The Crusades. The Inquisition. The Jewish holocaust. The Native American holocaust. The Buddhist holocaust in India. World Wars I & II. The ‘war’ on drugs. Hundreds of millions of people have been treated cruelly or killed in the name of so-called ‘morality’.
Goodness and kindness are rare. They demand mindfulness and consciousness of another’s feelings, another’s situation and values. What is good or kind to one person at one time or in one situation, may be hurtful or unkind in another time or situation.
It’s far easier to slap an impersonal label on someone to justify unkindness, regardless of the actual situation, than it is to act for their benefit. It’s far easier to treat a person like an object, a symbol instead of a living being.
Narrow definitions of identity such as family dynasty, tribe, village, nation and religion are disappearing due to the global reach of instantaneous communications. Isn’t it time to transcend narrow symbolic definitions of morality, ethics, legality, right and wrong, and develop mindfulness of goodness and kindness?