Feb 8, 2013 @ 12:50 By scotmcknight
They’re not “formally” commands, but they are ten principles to live by:
1. Resilience: Keeping going even when things are looking dark.
2. Empathy: The capacity to connect imaginatively with the sufferings and unique experiences of another person.
3. Patience: We should grow calmer and more forgiving by being more realistic about how things actually happen.
4. Sacrifice: We won’t ever manage to raise a family, love someone else or save the planet if we don’t keep up with the art of sacrifice.
5. Politeness: Politeness is closely linked to tolerance, -the capacity to live alongside people whom one will never agree with, but at the same time, cannot avoid.
6. Humour: Like anger, humour springs from disappointment, but it is disappointment optimally channelled.
7. Self-awareness: To know oneself is to try not to blame others for one’s troubles and moods; to have a sense of what’s going on inside oneself, and what actually belongs to the world.
8. Forgiveness: It’s recognising that living with others is not possible without excusing errors.
9. Hope: Pessimism is not necessarily deep, nor optimism shallow.
10. Confidence: Confidence is not arrogance – rather, it is based on a constant awareness of how short life is and how little we will ultimately lose from risking everything.
Noble, comprehensive, the best of human thought from the Pre-Socratics to today. Little to say against them; much to say for them (though #10 sounds like an atheist’s version of Pascal’s wager). Only problem is that they don’t work! We’ve been trying one version or another of this stuff from Plato till now – and failing. Without a biblical first commandment that decenters us and places us in submission to a great and merciful Creator Lord who wills all good things for us, overcomes our resistance to him, and graciously enables us to practice and experience them, all other codes finally become a mocking albatross of greatness forfeited – the dog trying vainly to walk on its hind legs!