Friday, December 19, 2008

On Virtue

"That virtue which requires to be ever guarded is scarce worth the centinel."
Oliver Goldsmith
The Vicar of Wakefield

For some reason, The Vicar of Wakefield, an old copy of which I picked up at the International Book Project, is resonating, lines and scenes from the book interrupting mundane tasks today like making bean soup and dishwashing.

Virtue comes from within, I agree, and if it's set deeply enough, if it's normal to you, you'll respond less to invitations to act inappropriately, yes?

But Oliver, don't forget about the influence of the people around you!

It appears -- the book is as yet half unread -- that our Wakefield family is about to find that norms from without are going to have a hard time balancing with the norms within.

Oh, my baby boys, what we have ahead of us, too...


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