What must we learn??? We must learn that you can't legislate integrity, or fellowship or awareness....because they're matters of the heart. Sure...we need rules and regulations. I'm not debating that. However, merely instituting a "rule" is not enough. We have to take it further. Much further. Ethically speaking...there is a transcendental aspect to what we call "virtues" and "vices"....and that is ...as I said...the domain of the heart. Others have called this aspect "conscience". Regardless of the labels....that's the root of it all.
Soooo what is a virtue then??? What is a vice??? Are gestures and actions virtuous or non~virtuous inherently??? I don't believe so.
This is where the concept of "intentions" enters the picture! Even our LEGISLATURE, which is by definition.. .the body of government that establishes the "rules" of society....takes "intent" into consideration when reconciling matters of difference... and delivering "justice".
O.k.! So....what ARE "intentions"???? Are they not EXACTLY what is at the "heart" of the matter????
We can raise our children "TELLING" them to "do this" ....and "TELLING" them to "do that" or conversely "TELLING" them to "not" to do this or that.....but when all is said and done....the reality of the situation is that we just cannot make a RULE for everything under the sun. We need to promote and
propagate FEELING....which is a matter of the Heart.
It all starts with awareness...and setting "rules" for young children is most certainly a starting point...but that's ALL IT IS....a "starting point".
When my son and daughter were younger....I taught them that it was polite to say "Please" and "Thank You". I believe most parents teach their children that. I also taught them to say they were "Sorry" when they had done something wrong. Not "sorry" because their "time out" would be reduced. Not "sorry" because I wanted them to play a part. But "SORRY"...because the party they interacted with was injured in some way and they REALIZE IT. It's the hurting...and the realization of that.... that's the issue. And as far as the Please and Thank You stuff is concerned....I'm quite sure we've ALL seen children spit those words out as if on automatic pilot! Are those children then "virtuous" ...merely because they said what for them was a few little "words"??? Is there inherent magic in the words PLEASE...or THANK YOU or "I'm Sorry"??? I don't think so....and I don't think anyone else would either.
Virtue is not about what we DO or DON'T DO....which would be ACTIONS alone....it's about FEELINGS...and OTHERS (as in besides ourself)....and it's about WHY we "do" or "don't do" certain things.
"I'm sorry" without REAL sorrow...is NADA!
"Thank You" without REAL gratitude...is NADA!
A "Please"...accompanied with a hidden sneer...because one is FORCED to say it....is a wasted expression. The negative energy behind the sneer always outways the appearance of the positive words! In essense...what I'm trying to say it that they're hollow....and.....as is true will all things hollow....they crumble easily.
And therein lies the essence of my closing statement for today! *LOL* In my estimation....it's all about AWARENESS!!!!!!!!!! And by that....I mean the awareness of OTHERS! We all know what we ourselves need and want. We're born with that ability. It's called instinct. What we have to do...is raise our children to grow into the kind of people that are in touch with what OTHERS need and want. And that starts.......with an open heart~~~
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