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I found peace in a short passage tonight from the writing of Fred Rogers.  Not at all surprising of course...  To find peace (or at least calm) in the presence of his work -for those of us who grew up watching his television show-  is something I suppose that is automatically assumed.  And yet the particular passage to which I'm referring may in fact not be the first one to come to mind.

Here, Mr. Rogers poses the antonym of 'justice' as being 'greed.'  Not unfairness.  Not a lack of righteousness or even a lack of peace.  He says it simply:  Greed.

There have been many moments in my life when I have struggled with how to psychologically respond to greed.  Greed for money, greed for power, greed for control.  In so many situations, I don't understand how those ideals can motivate an individual beyond a certain point.  In recent days, this is a concept I've found myself yet again faced with, particularly when listening to headlines both here in the USA and certainly around the globe.

And tonight, perusing Fred Rogers' important keepsake book  (for as it happens a seemingly unrelated reason)  "The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember," I am brought to these vital and heartfelt words...

"You don't ever have to do anything sensational for people to love you.  When I say, "It's you I like," I'm talking about that part of you that knows that life is far more than anything you can ever see or hear or touch... that deep part of you that allows you to stand for those things without which humankind cannot survive:  love that conquers hate, peace that rises triumphant over war, and justice that proves more powerful than greed.  So in all that you do in all of your life, I wish you the strength and the grace to make those choices which will allow you and your neighbor to become the best of whoever you are."

I share his words, in case you too may need to read them this day.  Or any other day.  The opposite of greed?  Not selflessness.  Not compassion.  Not generosity.  Or perhaps the most obvious to me:  temperance.  Not any of those captures the meaning in entirety:  I believe Mr. Rogers is right.

The opposite of greed?  Justice.


 

 

 

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