Wednesday, April 09, 2008

For the kids

Sleepy angry 2 year old
Originally uploaded by In Shaw
On another blog I posted about another subject relating to government programs to, I guess, help poor people. While writing that up I got to thinking about a podcast (back when they had those available) lecture about effective compassion, where the lecturer asked if your brother (or other immediate relative) was in need, what would you want to help him? So looking at the pictures of my nieces and nephew, I thought, well I sure as heck don't want them in any sort of sorry city run 'job program'.
I want the mean 2 year old (pictured), the exceptionally smart 8 year old and the bourgie blacexican 5 year old to have careers. I'm not too worried about my nephew, he's been legally adopted by my aunt & uncle who have successfully raised two college educated children, one of them a boy. It is pretty much a given that he will attend college, hopefully, he will not get a B.A. in English.
I have been informed of my purpose on this planet by one of my aunts. And that purpose is to put the 8 year old through college. If she goes to UF, then that is totally possible to cover tuition, with enough time I may be able to spring for housing and a meal plan. If I have enough left over, then the angry 2 year old. But right now, I'm thinking community college for her, provided she doesn't knock over a liquor store before then.
So no, no 2-3 month job training for these kids. No, I want them to get a crappy minimum wage job at 16, go to college and do work study, then graduate and get a crappy entry level salaried position. So crappy, they begin to think..... grad school, and really, they are on their own for that.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Virtue and goodness

Cross-posted from another blog:
I think it was Law & Order:Criminal Intent where the Dentist was found dead and the kids rifled through his stuff. They saw the deaceased or dying DDS, went through his stuff and left. In the interrogation the mother of one of the boys claimed that "they were good boys". Then the detective pointed out if they were good boys they would have called 9-1-1 instead of doing what they did.

To me this pointed out our definition of 'good' is completely messed up. I understand the mother's definition of good, as in lack of doing incredibly evil things and the detective's definition as proactive goodness. This made me think of something I read from the Eastern Orthodox tradition in trying to make a point distinguishing themselves from the Roman Catholics, about it's not the avoidance of evil but the pursuit of virtue that we should concern ourselves with.
The minor characters (the boys) should have chosen the more virtuous path, trying to help the dentist, or calling the cops, or reporting it to an adult.

We blame the citizenry of a country or state or city for tragedies and injustices when that citizenry stands back and does nothing. Even if they did not elect the monsters in power, or even if they did not participate actively or passively in the wrong doing, they are blamed. Because they did not pursue the virtuous path.

So what if our judgement stands on what we have done, and not what we haven't done? Like some standard college test where the right (virtuous) answer gives you points, the wrong answer subtracts points, and no answer neither adds or takes away.