Thursday, March 03, 2016

Tell me where is virtue bred...?

In general, I intend this to be for journaling about that which is greater than myself.  That said, my thoughts have been pretty much in this realm for the past couple of weeks.  I've been helping a friend build his wife a porch on the weekends (I love manual labor in a privileged thank-goodness-I-don't-have-to-do-this-everyday way. Helping people move is my favorite, but building projects are a close second) and I've just started reading Patricia Highsmith's Carol.

I'd have more to write about here if I were reading more theology, even popular theology, but I'm afraid lesbian crime novels are more my speed these days.  I'm still halfway through The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of Soul in Corporate America. 

Having read a lot of stoic writers, but very aware at how bad at Stoicism I am, I try to keep up reading on that too.  But I keep getting caught up in questions of how to maintain virtue. I'm not making excuses, I hope, when I note that a lot of the good qualities that make up a virtuous character are a lot easier to get when you're more secure in life and have had a reasonable childhood.  I do feel like I have to work really hard at things like having an OK relationship with anger and accepting life's hardships in a way that someone who has been kicked around by life less might not. 

One of the things I don't like about the way that human minds are put together is that problems tend to compound each other.  For example, if your   Adverse Childhood Experiences score is high enough, you're at a greater risk for, among other things, a bunch of mental illnesses. I look at all the ideals of human excellence I'm shooting for, and it seems like a high score on a test like that one makes qualities I want to work for all the more difficult to attain. 

Not that there's anyplace to file a complaint...  

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