Too much morality

"The world has far too much morality," says psychologist Steven Pinker in his The Better Angels of Our Nature (2011: 622). It's a bold claim given the reported state of morals in the world. But, I'm going to agree with his claim, more or less, and I'm going to tease out why I agree with him.
Here's what I think we have too much of: too much blame; too much shaming; too much criticism; too much punishment; too much being "holier-than-thou"; too much fault finding; too much scapegoating; too much judging.
In part, we have too much of all these things because we have made morality about rule keeping. When rules are the moral standards, then rule breaking has its consequences. And the consequences are many, not least in looking for who to blame when things go wrong, shaming the wrongdoers, and dishing out punishments. More insidiously, the mentality of rule keeping makes for unpleasant characters who delight in finding fault, and putting others down. I have seen my fair share of this kind of morality in churches, in the workplace, in families, and in the media. Without casting blame (how ironic that would be!) I'd rather just walk away from it, and practice something different.
The something different is taking care of my self, being the best I can be, being forgiving with my own mistakes, and focusing on positive things than add to my own wellbeing and the thriving of others.
I've tried rule keeping morality. It keeps you in an alert state of criticism—of yourself, if you're conscientious, and others who never match up. The standards are always broken. It keeps you, too, in a constant state of guilt for failing to meet the standards. Not many folk take up literal whips to self-flagellate, but mental and emotional self-flagellation is common. If I'm to blame, then I punish myself internally. I don't deserve anything else. If I suffer, then that is my lot for my failings. Ouch! If that is morality, then the world has far too much of it. Such does not lead to wellbeing.
So, what does make for wellbeing? When I am the recipient of certain things, those things add to my wellbeing. When someone loves me, shows kindness, is gentle with my faults, forgives my stupidity, trusts me, is generous toward me, and sticks with me despite whatever, then I thrive. If I turn that into a list of attributes it's something like: love, kindness, gentleness, forgiveness, trust, generosity, and faithfulness. If that makes for my own wellbeing, then it's probably fair to say that it will contribute to the wellbeing of others too. And the world can't have too much wellbeing. You could, of course, make your own list. What makes you feel well? What adds to the quality of your life? Then add that to your life and to the lives of others.
Can the world have too much morality? Quite likely. Too much wellbeing? Not in a million years!
Be well today.
+Ab. Andy