The weather today is pretty chilly – in fact, the heater is running fairly regularly, even though we don’t have it set all that high. In between watching reruns of Tony Shahloub’s brilliant Monk (the “Defective Detective”) and accomplishing small acts of sewing repair (like replacing buttons that have been separated from their respective materials for over 6 months), I have been contemplating what constitutes a “good” year.
First, I have to ask myself, “Who defines what is ‘good’?” According to Common Doctrine (you know, the kind that “everyone knows”), good is relative, individualistic, and highly personal. CD dictates that one must “find one’s bliss” according to one’s own moral code, and espouse it at every turn. It is important to realize that, in CD parlance, moral codes are tightly bound to feelings, which in turn spring from the depths of experience, which…well, we’re getting a bit complicated, aren’t we?
If we return to the word good, we can save ourselves a great deal of trouble if we just acknowledge that we, ourselves, have no real idea of what constitutes good or where the State of Goodness is located. (Colin Kaepernick is certain it does not exist in the U.S.) Although CD openly declares that we all know what is good, in the privacy of our hearts we also know that that is not true. (There are a few possible exceptions: Barack and Michelle, Hillary and Bill, and even Al Franken all state that they are good people.) How can I make such statements? Because, as individuals, we just don’t know what is good and what is not good, unless and until we have checked with other people – often our own political crowd. And – more often than not – our informants are wrong – and we end up confused and in the State of Contradiction.
So where does that leave us? We still don’t know – can’t know – what constitutes goodness by ourselves. We don’t always recognize good in all its “goodness," and we can’t be certain that any other fallible human being has the right answers, either.
OK, does this mean that I am saying that this quest is futile? Not at all. In fact, I am going to turn this whole conversation right around and suggest the most fantastic idea ever: there is an Answer, and it was given centuries ago by the Person who knows exactly what is and is not good.
Care to know Him? We just celebrated His birthday a few days ago…
And with Him, you can certainly have a good year.