Sunday, May 31, 2020

Virtue in Government

The Mystery within...
As is my usual practice after dinner, I had my television tuned to a PBS station while cleaning up the kitchen. A documentary on China’s long history was playing. A word attributed to the ancient Chinese philosopher, Confucius, regarding successful government, caught my attention. The word was virtue. So when my dishwasher started humming, I went to my computer and goggled Confucius and virtue. An October 2010 Los Angeles Times article by Daniel K. Gardner, East Asian history professor, came up.

I encourage you to check out Gardner’s article for yourself, which got me thinking about some of the more graced teaching in my life relating to virtue in the Eight Beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount that you can find on Wikipedia. It is the invitation to be blessed in life through humility, mourning, gentleness, hungering and thirsting for justice, being merciful, having a clean heart, working for peace, and enduring persecution because of a thirst for justice. 

A few days later this quote from Confucius found me, “When walking in the company of two other men [I’ll include women] I am bound to be able to learn from them. The good points of the one I copy; the bad points of the other I correct in myself.”  

There are no perfect people or governments but people and governments can strive to be virtuous. Unbridled capitalism and a ‘me first’ attitude is desensitizing us to the cry of the earth, and the needs of the poor, hungry and sick. 

This worldwide pandemic can be the wakeup call for us to understand how intricately we are connected to one another and the fragility of Mother Earth. It can prompt us to understand we are designed to be here for one another and to protect the environment. 

There are minds and hearts out there that desire a virtuous government. Support them; encourage them; vote for them.