Dear friends,45093-Believe-There-Is-Good-In-The-World

In light of events in 2017 so far, both public and political as well as private, minds have stirred. Many of my close friends and loved ones are asking if they are Good. Are they a good person? How would they know? I do my best to help them unwrap the question as I have so many times for myself. Being Good is like Courage and Excellence; it’s a virtue and a habit. Aristotle talks about virtues as the center point between two extremes. Courage is the virtue between Cowardice and Rashness. It is easy to become caught up in either extreme, the need to hide away in order to protect oneself or the need to radically and thoughtlessly challenge that which we find oppressive. To find the center is to both practice not letting fear overtake ourselves and to find constructive and sustainable ways forward. This practice is a daily one for all virtues we wish to embody. As Aristotle says, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit,” I argue that Good is the same. It is the center point between giving too little and giving too much. Good is giving just the right amount. And to be Good we must give the right amount every day. We must give the right amount of concern, support, and energy, to all people (this includes ourselves), and the planet. With so much going on it is easy to let ourselves become stretched too thin from good works or to hideaway completely in order to hold on to the energy we have left. The right amount to give commonly pushes the line of our comfort zone, where we’re giving as much as we can without draining ourselves dry. We are all in this lifetime together for the long haul and being Good is as important as ever. Let us all practice the daily habit of being Good to ourselves, to others, and to the planet.

Tessa Veto