The last week has left me reflecting a lot on virtue: what does it look like when it shows up? I’m trying not to sink down into pondering the ugly, murky crater that is virtue’s absence. Spending too much time staring at a trainwreck of bad behaviour has never done my soul any favours: whether I feel superiority or despair, it’s the opposite of edifying. “Well THAT person has made awful choices” doesn’t exactly make me jump up and sparkle with good energy. “The world is filled with horrible people doing horrible things, hope has left the building”, makes me want to lie down and not get up.
Possibly it’s a lot more worthwhile to spend energy reflecting on the good, on what’s beautiful and righteous and dignified. I don’t mean empty Pollyanna daydreams, either (they annoy me in a similarly lie-down-forever kind of way). I mean the kind of right-doing that makes me want to get up and fight for the same cause. Continue reading →
Awe and wonder are two of the emotions most integral to spiritual experience. When people hear that I do something “spiritual”, they’ll say things like, “I don’t believe in God, but when I look up the stars, I can barely breathe”. Indeed, spirituality is all about universal human experiences like wonder and awe. And this is a good time of year to notice them. What do they do for us? Why do we choose to celebrate holidays that revolve around them? What does it feel like to experience wonder? We could, you know, wonder about wonder. Continue reading →