the Basica

  Our eyes should be open to what goes on around us. There is no advantage to fostering ignorance and self-delusion. But we cannot afford to do unnecessary harm to others, even when we are very angry or afraid for legitimate reasons. We cannot allow the actions of any individual or the worse aspects of society as a whole to make us abandon who we are and what we value. We cannot permit ourselves to be turned into callous people who accept injustice and disaster as fate. We must not submit to bitterness. The fact that the world is a certain way does not mean that nothing better is possible or reasonably attainable, even if great struggle may be required to bring about change. The good that exists in the actions and attitudes of everyday people is the proof. Suffering is strong, but it is not all there is.

  Hope is our duty as much as any other virtue. If we cannot afford to lash out beyond the limits of reasonable self-defense towards those who threaten us, how much less can we afford to contribute to the misery of those who have done us no harm and are simply in dispair. Commiserating can create a much needed bond of understanding. But beware of painting a picture of such grim inevitability out of your own frustration that you cut the soul you seek to comfort.

  Humanity will not survive long if all hope is lost. Those who maintain it are the guardians keeping us all from devolving into a state so cruel that only destruction is possible. That there are intentional wrongs, accidental injuries, and senseless hurts where no one is to blame really is a fact of life. But so is the existence of deliberate kindness, serendipity, and spontaneous joy. Much of this we create ourselves, and much of it we point out to others too worn with woe and cares to see it for themselves. If we are not determined to serve, who will be?

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