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 →
The events of the past couple of weeks have left many of us utterly heartbroken. This world we live in seems to be starving for peace. We’ve been experiencing waves of rage and grief at the deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, of the five officers in Dallas, the attacks in Baghdad and Bangladesh, the attack on Bastille Day revellers in Nice. It seems endless. It gave me pause when I realized that that list only encompassed the tragedies so far this month. How can we retain any shred of hope?