Vanity arises when you believe beauty is a moral or social virtue. True virtue needs no classification.
They say charity starts at home, and this is true. Charity is a virtue. If you are unwilling to return any good to the world, you obstruct any potential for the furtherance of that good. So eat the apple, plant the seeds. Eat the bread, pay the farmer. Receive help from your community. Help those in need when you are able.
Kings and Queens teach their children how to work in poverty because they will never be poor, but they were venturing into humility. You cannot understand charity if you do not extend the principle to yourself. The martyr become impassioned is a miser. Deny everything to the self and you will be unable to give anything to anyone else, but charity for the self pursued passionately leads to sloth, apathy.
So Scrooges ghosts were trying to remind him that he still had virtues worth sharing? Indeed. His money had nothing to do with anything the spirits were trying to communicate to him, but he could choose to use it well in the pursuit of expressing his virtues. Those who are passionately forgiving of themselves, excusing themselves every chance they get, are not doing anyone any favours. They withhold all that they were given before, and give nothing after falling into this apathetic state. They do harm by doing nothing.
Is that the definition of a narcissist? Virtue taken too far? Charity taken too far. Charity turned inward beyond wisdom. I have to admit, I myself struggle with this. I don’t feel my work and contribution to the world has any significant value so on some level I feel the urge to just do nothing. Pass the time and survive the best I can would be much easier than this. But I do what I do and offer what I have to offer anyway whether it’s valued or not. Because when I do not offer what I have to give, my life becomes all the more empty for it.
Does that often leave you depressed? Yes. I do have bouts of depression unfortunately.
I think those kinds of bouts are somewhat natural though. Indeed. They say that this depression is actually the source of wisdom. That in the loss of passion we can perceive true virtue more clearly, and act on it with fewer expectations.
Depression telling you to be bored for a while. Slow down and do nothing for a while. The earth would burn to a crisp if we had sunshine every day and it does that most summers in my area. Ah, yes. Forgiving oneself their moments of weakness is a virtue, the root of charity. Forgiving oneself their entire life is a vice, stealing all that you would have been for your loved ones. One must be willing to take ownership of themselves and resources in the world. This is the same as taking on responsibility to some part of the world around you. It’s not meant for someone to do all the work, but some part is necessary yes, and you have to claim the resources to do that.
Initiative or ambition is a virtue. When an opportunity for further well-being is perceived, when an opportunity for growth presents itself, it does need to be pursued. Nature is pretty clear on this. An organism grows or dies. But to claim more than you have a use for, to hold onto monies or materials that you will never use to better your life or that of your friends, family or community, that is a vice. In pursuit of ambition, the passionate pursuit of hope, you wind up grinding others under your heel, condemning them to a hopeless state. This is a major issue in the world today. The source of the Occupy movement among other things.
Is it about territory? The gathering of materials just to say you own them but have no real use for. Actually, it’s the notion that “I have to have this … just in case.” In the name of ambition they try to prepare for ambitions not yet realized, and thus ignore the immediate impact.
I know pack rats who get very nervous when faced with throwing anything out even if it’s recyclable things. Hoarding I guess they call it now. Ambition taken to psychosis. These days ambition is seen as a measure of worth in our society so those who cannot enact their ambitions attempt to satisfy them passively.
Yes and I think it is one of the more tragic conditions. It seems literally to cause them pain. The idea of parting with any stuff they have collected. Yes, chains on the soul.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.