Monday, September 7, 2009

Comfortable Mediocrity

There is an article worth the effort to find in the June 2009 issue of The New Oxford Review. “To Love the Lovable & Hate the Hateful” speaks powerfully to the malaise that afflicts contemporary society (and which also affects today’s Christian witness). I hope you will try to access the whole article. The following should be incentive to get it (and implant something to think about, even standing on its own):

A witty cynic once said, “Mediocre people are always at their best.” To them it makes no difference what a person’s ideas are, as long as he’s a “nice guy,” feels good about his beliefs, and does not challenge those of others. Why should we oppose people because of their “lifestyle”? People should be left to choose their own paths; this alone would guarantee universal peace. Who can say what truth is anyway? Everyone is entitled to his own opinions.

Popular people “wisely” refrain from engaging in “sensitive” topics, usually ethical or religious –– the genesis of most disagreements. This explains why some of our most mediocre politicians have attained key positions in government.

But are such people loved? The answer is that they are neither loved nor hated, for they are neither hot nor cold. On the day of their death they will be forgotten. They are not to be envied, for he who goes to his tomb without having been loved has had a sad life indeed (Schiller’s “Hymn to Joy”). Dante has severe words for such people, who “lived without blame, and without praise” (Inferno). He refers to them as “These unfortunate who were never alive....”

Look up the whole article!

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