Morality and Guilt

Recently, someone wisely told me "Food is not moral; it is not good or bad." Morals are supposed to be rules or principles that guide our conduct. Morals are there to help guide our actions and to help guide us in making decisions; however, at times other things get confused with morals. Take food for example. We are constantly being bombarded with messages about what foods are good and what foods are bad. It becomes easy to slip into that distorted thinking, that food is good or bad; but it is not. Food is not good or bad. It is just food; fuel for our bodies. Nothing more than that. Of course all food is not created equal, some of it is highly nutritious and some has no nutritional value at all. The rest of food lies somewhere between those two ends. So while food varies in the quality of energy that it can provide for our bodies, it is not good or bad in the moral sense of those terms. Once you grow accustom to referring to food (or anything else) in terms of good and bad, the line starts to become blurred. It can become so blurred that food is no longer viewed as fuel for the body, but as morals. And the consequent of that distortion is guilt. Typically, guilt is a consequent of when our conduct goes against our morals. When food is viewed through the lens of morality, we feel guilt because of our food choices. And that is a slippery slope. It may start small with only feeling guilty if you eat too much or eat a "really bad" food. But then it grows and starts to control you or punish you for every food choice you make. You could start with only judging yourself for your poor nutritious choices and end up judging yourself for the nutritious choices not being nutritious enough. You see, guilt is a very powerful thing. And once you start judging yourself, it can be hard to stop. Guilt can take control and steamroll you. Morality and guilt have their place in guiding our conduct in life but they need to remain in their rightful place.