Monday, May 16, 2011

Of Vice and Virtue

Ok, so perhaps you all DON'T have thoughts on that last issue. That's cool, that's cool, but what about this one?

The other day I was thinking about all the people I respect and admire most, and I noticed that they all seem to have pretty much the same traits in common. These people are kind, selfless, temperate, wise. They are humble and hard-working. These are people whom I consider to be as perfect as mortality allows; people who seem, based on my perception anyway, to be as close to Christ as one gets in this world. I realized that all these people were more or less alike each other, at least more alike than the rest of us baddens. Which made me wonder if this is sort of what Tolstoy was getting at:

Happy families are all alike
; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way (Anna Karenina).

There are a lot of ways to be bad (unhappy), but goodness (happiness) comes in pretty much the same forms - kindness, temperance, wisdom, humility, industriousness. It seems that the closer we get to Christ, the more alike we become - which makes perfect sense because we are, after all, converging into the same thing; that is, Christ Himself.

I was about ready to pat myself on the back for finally solving the mystery of what the heck Leo was talking about, when it occurred to me that perhaps there aren't so many ways to be bad after all. Could one just as easily say that badness is all the same, too? Cruelty, gluttony, foolishness, pride, sloth - are not all our sins some variation of these big'ns?

I know someone's gotta have an opinion on this! Also, 20 points to moi for using 'badden' and 'big'n' in the same post! I'm on an alliteral roll!

Also, I just remembered that my bro Bryce once offered a different interpretation of the Tolstoy quote which I think is also quite insightful. Go here to see it.


Sage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karrot Soup said...

None of us commented on your last post because we were all trying to be humble and assume our opinions aren't as wonderful as we might think they are...
I like this new post a lot lot, and basically have had those same realizations. (And at about the same age, I think.)

Collette Mae said...

Perfect. I think you are right. The baddness is pretty much the same stuff but done in different ways. I love reading the BOM and seeing wicked logic and relating to common ideas in today's society (people who think they are so original and smart lol) and being like "Wow, same old tricks, just done in a little different way." Ya know? I think you're right on girl. Creep

Mish said...

Good point, Kristin. And I suppose I was kind of looking for an excuse to be validated, which is also shamelessly prideful. Dah!

Collette, all I can say is that I find it amazing that you manage to leave such profound comments on my blog, and then portable urinals on my wall, all in the same day.

Tiffany said...

Mish, you would not have made a good natfatrat, but I mean that as a compliment. Way too blue and adorable.

My first thought is that you must be right in your interpretation of Tolstoy's words, especially if we're talking particulars here. There are particular things that foster a happy family life (eg keeping commandments) and those particulars hold true for every family. There are many antitheses to those particulars, though (eg many ways to break those commandments).

If you broaden the rules to happiness, however, then your second conclusion rings true. There are general principles by which families become happy (eg unselfishness) and just as general principles that create unhappy families (eg selfishness), but since we're in broad terms now, the application of these principles bears many manifestations.

I sure hope I make sense to someone other than myself. Also, why don't we ever talk deep stuff when we're together? This is much more fun to discuss in person!

Japanman in Japan said...

i think that that is a very wise interpretation mish. Simply put would you concur with happiness being the willingness to stay humble and put God first? I think that that is hat it all boils down to. While it isnt always peachy and the Lord gives us times in life when it is hard to stay humble and follow him fully and faithfully, i believe that that is really the secret to happiness. Who's this tolstoy guy? :) jk

Collette Mae said...

Michelle -- I did I miss your comment??? THAT IS HILARIOUS! Okay, I laughed out loud... alright