No Neutral State

by johnandterri

We can never be morally neutral, either we are growing in virtue or falling into vice.  We never have the luxury of simply being in some neutral, holding state. There’s no moral neutrality.  Either we are growing in virtue or sliding into virtue’s opposite. That’s true for all of life. A thing is either growing or it’s regressing.

I thought this might be a good quote to post to start this blog. It certainly gets one’s attention. It really speaks to an important aspect of living a full and happy life that has real meaning, it seems to me. We can not stay stuck in neutral, so to speak.

The physical and emotional struggle of walking the Camino de Santiago is the constancy of the walk. There was no neutral state, you had to keep moving (or at least that is they way we did the Camino). We were moving most everyday of the walk. Going ever farther away from the starting point of the walk and moving closer each day, to Santiago de Compostela, our final stop of our walk.

Like the Camino walk, we are also on a journey in our lives heading toward our final destination. I believe we must be committed in our life to continuous growth in the virtues (Humility, Generosity, Chastity, Kindness, Meekness, Temperance and Diligence). See there is no neutral state, so if you are not working to grow these virtues you will be moving away from these virtues and into an unhealthy state of being that is full of oneself with little concern for others. I know that not everyone may agree with this but for me it seems to ring true. If we all strived to live these virtues, what a beautiful world this would be! So much heartache and sorrow comes to us from not striving to these great virtues.

But the fact is, that growing in the virtues does not come without focus and effort and grace. I don’t become an pilot because I love to fly in an airplane. I have to have the desire but more importantly I have to put in the work to get to the point where I can be certified as a pilot. So just desiring to be more virtuous is not going to work for us either. Just desiring to walk the Camino does not get you to Santiago.

So I am challenging myself and all of you to also take the virtues as a measuring stick. Where do I need to grow more in virtue?

Blessings and all good,

Photograph of the Month

God’s Hole

This image was taken during a car ride home from a hike/photography trip to the Skagit/Chuckanut Mountains. My friend, Bob’s son, Karl, refers to the mystical opening of the clouds and rays of light shining through as a “God Hole”.