A good individual is distinguishable from a bad one on the basis of morality alone. A morally upright person is a good specimen of a human being and a morally corrupt persons is a bad specimen. A good person deserves to be appreciated for what he is and a bad person deserves to be condemned. That is exactly what God does. Not only that, He promises the morally scrupulous rewards in the afterlife and the unscrupulous punishments.
Good morals have numerous expressions: Fairness, honesty, gratefulness, patience, empathy, compassion, politeness, humbleness, discipline, integrity, helpfulness, courage, reliability and many others. Likewise bad morals have manifestations which are the very opposite of the good morals.
Nations rise and fall on the basis of their attitude towards morality. A morally upright nation cannot fail materially. A morally corrupt nation has no hope of making material progress. Not only that, a morally corrupt person has little hope of succeeding even materially in a morally upright society and an ethically good individual has little possibility of making worldly progress in a morally corrupt society.
Although morality is primarily an individual’s concern, a society can make arrangements to ensure that its individuals are performing morally well. This can happen if morally good performances are taught and rewarded in educational institutions, true morality is preached in religious gatherings, and people in general make morally good individuals their ideals and leaders.
A change for the better must, however, start from the individual. It is the individual’s resolve that promises to bring about a change. No matter whether the society changes or not, the individual who realizes the significance of morality must change himself and also do his best to change others. As some God-conscious people from the Children of Israel said to those who asked them why they were worried about changing others, they responded: ” (We are doing it) to present an excuse before your Lord (on judgment day) and, you never know, they might become God-conscious.” (7:164)