Monday, March 30, 2009

Etiquette and Ethics

Been thinking of the line between social mores and morality. Had another funeral this weekend. A not-so-old deadhead friend passed away from cancer and the conversation amongst a bunch of us was whether to wear tie-dye to the service. On the one hand, there's no doubt that Andy would have smiled at the sight, it would have been done out of love, and would have been meaningful for many who did. But the concern was for the family. He was one thing to us, but like all people he was multi-faceted. Would the tribute seem to trivialize the occassion? It certainly would have been counter to etiquette, but would it have crossed the ethical line into disrespect? Surely, not every act that violates norms is wrong. There is nothing immoral about using the wrong fork. But is there a line at which a breach of etiqueete becomes more than a question of manners? If so, where is that line?