Unfortunately many will not see the lesson all the way through and will conclude, “Oh, doing good is inherently selfish, therefore, why bother?” They will priggishly congratulate themselves on “not being hypocrites”.
When the real crux of the matter is Twain’s last thought: “Diligently train your ideals UPWARD and STILL UPWARD toward a summit where you will find your chiefest pleasure in conduct which, while contenting you, will be sure to confer benefits upon your neighbor and the community.”
If good is done because millions of people have the wherewithal to do it taken from them without their consent so that the political class can feel good about themselves at the expense of the rest of us, I care.
McGehee, I think we (Chaz, Mark Twain and I) are talking about good performed by individuals, not governments. And good can be defined as whatever you have the ability and wherewithal to give. I’ve heard stories from people who were hanging on by a thread, didn’t think they could make it through another day and some random stranger did something as simple as offering a seat on a crowded bus, or giving a lift to a garage or helping to change a tire and that made all the difference. Or any number of things that can be done by individuals and no contribution is too small.
Sure it’s not a lot. It’s a little. But if a lot of us did a little, it would be a lot.
Who is getting paid? What does it even mean?
Sometimes, Chaz,reading your puzzling comments I wonder where the chunks of dialogs I obviously skipped went to. I started to think – maybe this format is similar to certain journals in LJ, where they have an option – to lock “under eye” selected posts or portions of, so people outside can only see disjointed remnants of conversation.
I know just the place: the Gold Rush town of Murphys. Sadly Mr. Twain is no longer with us, of course, but his spirit is strong. And it’s strongest in Murphys which looks (besides the gift shops, boutiques and wine bars) exactly as it did when Twain helped start the E Clampus Vitus movement there. I’m still figuring out how I can crash that club:
And I can just picture the 1st Meeting of Beacons Of mercy Society: Chaz and Lisa blowing off the foam, patting each other on the backs for their indispensable service to ungrateful masses (and the more ungrateful, the more self-congratulatory their blurred speech sounds, after a couple).
Agree. Only a teenager does not engage in direct answers in conversation, but writes his replies in a separate journal and then refers to them, in a passive-aggressive manner. And then, when asked directly, mutters something incomprehensible under his breath and drops suggestive hints instead of on open opinion.
Either you didn’t understand me in the original “screamfest”, or misrepresent what I had said.
My sincerest regards to Mr. Clemens; I love him tenderly.
Under the Freedom of Information Act, which I’m sure covers blogging, I DEMAND that Chaz reveal those secret journals. And speak up Chaz! No more “muttering under your breath”. We want the truth. Don’t make us waterboard you.
That’s gonna take a lot of water. (Or a lot of board. Or something.)
Still, given my understanding of the limitations of FOIA (note: I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV, and it’s been over a year since I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express), you have no right to demand an answer to your questions. Nobody has an obligation to you.
“Secret journals,” indeed. About the only thing I do in secret is gardening. It’s how I learned when to put down the shovel.
Maybe I should add that the Moose Lodge was also in Calaveras County, though higher up the mountain. For a time my dad lived in Arnold and that’s where I got into the Moose in the first place. Going up there to visit I usually went right up Murphys’ main street. Beautiful place.
So McGehee, am I understanding correctly that you might have some pull with the Clampers? And Arnold is a wonderful place. Big Trees Country and a place to find some real characters. Wrote a couple of posts about it recently.
Hmmm. Chad, could you have been quoting Tatyana’s comments from another post (“you have no right to demand an answer to your questions…”) for humorous and ironic effect. Especially as she was demanding you answer her questions? Apparently it went over some people’s heads.
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"Every partisan in every party has to learn one thing: Sometimes your people are wrong. To paraphrase an old retort, saying 'My party, right or wrong' is like saying 'My Kennedy, drunk or sober'." James Lileks