Be One

“Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be, be one.” Marcus Aurelius

Cormac McCarthy wrote the brilliant story The Sunset Limited. HBO brought us an excellent production by the same name starring Samuel L. Jackson and Tommy Lee Jones who also directed. The central conflict revolves around the questions “who is my neighbor?” and “am I my brother’s keeper?” Mr. Jackson portrays the good Samaritan and brings the futility and angst of the prophet Jeremiah to the role with amazing fire and love. Mr. Jones holds to his Sartre existential nihilism magnificently to the end.

Goodness is expressed in community, even when community is denied. The lawyer asked Jesus, “who is my neighbor?” Jesus told him to go out and be one. The Coen Brothers frequently address this dilemma in their films, such as O Brother, Where Art Thou? and True Grit. Goodness includes forgiveness otherwise community remains broken and fractured. The powerful movie of recent vintage The Railway Man explores the pain and the joy of mercy and forgiveness even after the worst has happened.

Abundant living includes the call to human goodness supported by a commitment to community. May I be a neighbor today.


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