We are all taught to apologize when we offend someone else. We are all taught to honor our father and mother. What we aren’t taught is that either condition is a totally selfish act necessary to turn us into better persons. You are not responsible for the actions or ethics of others. You are only responsible for your own.
If the ethics aren’t internal, they aren’t real. Outside “should” and obedience to what you have been taught by others doesn’t count. That is the lockstep of polite convention, not the reality of your soul.
Robert Heinlein said it best with his description of “Duty”
“Do not confuse “duty” with what other people expect of you; they are utterly different. Duty is a debt you owe to yourself to fulfill obligations you have assumed voluntarily. Paying that debt can entail anything from years of patient work to instant willingness to die. Difficult it may be, but the reward is self-respect.
So what is this thing about the parents? Let’s face it, most of them made mistakes. Well the one mistake they didn’t make was YOU. So you damn well better honor them or you wouldn’t be here. So how do you honor them? Find the you in you that they gave you either by genetics or actions. In my case, mama was a singer and daddy was a dancer and both of them had darn good brains. Whatever else they might have done wrong (you really don’t want to know), they gave me a love of music, dance, and theater and the ability to become a researcher, writer, and editor. How much more reason to honor do you need.
How does this reflect on today’s political climate? We have one candidate in Donald Trump who doesn’t seem to have an ethical center. He reacts totally on the surface to whatever the latest event might happen and only responds to whatever petting of his ego that might make him feel better about himself. He is sad and because he is sad he is dangerous.
On the other side we have the good Methodist girl. in decades of action, she hasn’t changed. Her core is solid and decent. She is inner directed. She can be trusted to do what she says she will do. Even if you disagree with her beliefs and/or actions she can be trusted.