There is a Chinese proverb that says He who knows he has enough is rich; but the modern Western version of the saying seems to be: One never has enough; I deserve more; or There is always someone who has more.
Over the last years, we have built a system of incentives and motives so powerful that it overwhelmed values. Ethics is the resistance of values under pressure. But there is a breaking point. Enough pressure will grind values down. Heroes and saints do what they think is right whatever the costs and consequences for them. Most mortals, mes semblables, mes frères, dirait Baudelaire, are suspended in webs of motives and meanings they themselves have spun. We must understand how we have come to spin this web and learn to spin a new one. Continue Reading →