venerdì 27 maggio 2016


Ethics and virtue in life and in society: 

A u
topia, a hope, a commitment

According to Aristotle, the appetite is the natural tendency for each person to realize what he or she considers "good." The concept of good is closely related to the way of understanding life and the manner of relating to others and society. The recent study by the OCSE, Trust in Government, comparatively analyzes the situation of 29 countries in the world in regards to corruption, highlighting the need, from the earliest years of life, to teach and to exercise the ethics of good citizenship. 
 Therefore, the report reminds all of the institutions called upon of their responsibility to take care of the growth of good citizens. However, even the citizens must know how to take care of the institutions. In fact, often the unvirtuous citizens make institutions empty of value and full of wrongdoing.
The ethical life consists of taking "care of oneself, care of others, and care of the institutions" (P. Ricoeur). One develops the ability to take care of oneself from birth thanks to the commitment and example of educators-leaders and to life in environments that favor the practice of virtue. The ethics of care interact with the ethics of justice thanks to an idea of good (the so-called common good) that unites the self and the other. It is the willingness to "be ready" for the other that characterizes the act with care.
There is no life without the ethical practice of virtue. I refer to human and civic virtues that interact well with those promoted by religion and favor its development. "Virtue is a habit and creates a firm disposition to do good.   The   human virtues are firm attitudes, stable dispositions, and habitual perfections of intellect and will that govern our actions, order our passions, and guide our conduct according to reason and faith. They make possible self-mastery and joy in leading a morally good life. The virtuous person is he or she who freely practices the good. Every virtue allows the person not only to perform good acts, but also to give the best of himself or herself. With all of his or her sensory and spiritual energy, the virtuous person tends toward the good; researching and choosing it in concrete actions." Thus, this affirms the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Some virtues have a pivotal function; they are called cardinals: justice, fortitude, prudence, and temperance. Indeed, “if one loves justice, virtues are the fruits of his or her labor. In fact, the virtues teach temperance and prudence, justice and fortitude(Sap 8.7). The other virtues gravitate around them. The virtues are not declaimed but lived, matured day by day, even in the little choices and actions of our daily lives.
The appetite to do good guides and supports in making sound choices and living a virtuous lifestyle. A good appetite since childhood pushes each person to become the protagonist and to devote himself or herself to mature and grow in an ethically correct manner. I think metaphorically to a restaurant that fills the street with good smells, presents dishes that stimulate the eyes, stomach, and brain, and also offers the opportunity to learn to cook delicious dishes and, at the same time, involves the customers to build on what they already know. As an example, the appreciation and fraternal accompaniment pull toward the good. Therefore, every institution, starting with the family, must be considered and lived like an educational space, a place where people absorb virtuous acts.
The same attention to legality, often recalled and manifested today, does not have value unless it is closely linked to the virtue of justice and to the concrete and daily commitment because justice is the natural way of being and acting of every person and institution. However, it should be a greater and shared commitment to guarantee to everyone a good education: an educative alliance that unites families, schools, civil institutions and the ecclesial associations and movements.
Moreover, Papa Francesco long stressed the need to educate the good, the beautiful, and the true. Recently he stated that "there are three languages: the language of the head, the language of the heart, and the language of the hands. Education must move on these three roads. Teaching to think, to help, to feel the good, and to accompany in its making. This means that the three languages ​​are in harmony; the child, the boy or girl who thinks about what he or she feels and does, feels what he or she thinks and does, and does what he or she thinks and feels. Thus, education becomes   inclusive   because everyone has a place; inclusive also humanly." These are signs for a virtuous path.
We are all called to perfume virtue so that the fragrance fills homes, schools, institutions, and helps each one to develop that active citizenship needed to feel good and to solve the complex problems of our time. A wish: that you avoid any sort of tepidity, deviant behavior, or anorexic ethics. Our appetite is always of good quality because it is beautiful, good, and true!

Giovanni Perrone

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