Dr. Henry McCord – a fictional character from the TV Series: “Madam Secretary” Season 2: Ep. 4, is a guest on a radio show. He is confronted by a caller, Jeff, who, in self-righteous outrage, essentially accuses him of being a hypocrite on the subject of morals and ethics, because of his (Dr. McCord’s) daughter’s immoral behavior.  Dr. McCord’s aggressively defensive reply illuminates how self-absorbed, narcissistic individuals seek self-aggrandizement by judging others without knowledge – and the effect of this behavior on society. Here’s his answer to Jeff’s hostile, accusatory question. It provides a model of response to all who are motivated to draw attention to themselves. Dr. McCord:

“…I’d like to answer that:“…morals are how we treat the people we know and ethics are how we treat the people we don’t know. So, morals are what make us a good parent, a good friend, a nice neighbor, but ethics are how we build a society.

That’s the true test of our higher self. But what happens, Jeff, when society’s ruled by the subjective morals of, say, “you”? And your family? And you choose to project it onto complete strangers is that we all end up with a society that’s governed by “self-aggrandizement”.

So really by calling to make sure you’re the first little pedant to jump off your chair and teach me a lesson with smug superiority about your own particular moral point of view, when you know precisely nothing of the situation, you’ve done your part to contribute to the erosion of our entire social fabric.

Pat yourself on the back…Bravo!”

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