On eagles wings: Our recovery from Coronavirus (XXVIII). Sloth explained.
We are closer to Friday. With anticipation, I wish you a precious weekend. In my last publication, we closed our article with the following enigma questions: What is the relation between the beatitude of “Hunger for Righteousness” and the material slides that I have shared with you? What is the opposite of “hunger for righteousness? Is it the vice of sloth, laziness, apathy, or indifference? What is sloth? Why is the beatitude “Hunger for Righteousness” the counterpoint to mediocrity, sloth, apathy, or indifference to Christ? I will answer all these questions today.
Before continuing further, please let´s recapitulate and review where we stand, first.
Ethical virtues are required in our daily life. We already stated that in order to acquire ethical values expressed in actions, we first need to understand their meanings in the context of our lives, and then we should try to practice them. It is not automatic to be humble or to be meek, or to be merciful. It requires a lot of years to show the beatitudes in our actions, our companies, our business models, our economies. In the case of our economic-business frameworks, which is the pertinent domain of this blog, I couldn´t continue with this saga without providing the basics about ethics. On July 2nd, I wrote that we ought to do an ethical virtues stopover. These main virtues are:
- Humbleness ↑
- Meekness and Peacemaking (kindness) ↑
- Mourning ↑
- Hunger for Righteousness (justice)↑
- Courage under Suffering
- Purity of Heart
- Personal and genuine concern for others
- Integrity (honesty, sincerity)
Today we will finish the material of the fourth virtue: Hunger for righteousness. Over the next weeks, we will visit each of the list virtues. In each of these ethical values or virtues, I am providing some support with examples, and I try to connect the dots of each virtue to our most difficult troubles of today, which are combined with the Coronavirus crisis.
Hunger for righteousness revealed. Let´s understand the word “Hunger” first. Hunger literally means a strong desire or need for food. When we have not eaten, our brain starts asking us to feed the stomach. We feel a craving, sometimes biologically we become weak and we desire urgently to replenish our organisms with basic nutrients. When we are thirsty we search for water. So, hunger for righteousness is the urgent and powerful internal desire for making things right. It is an insatiable wish to fix, to act, and to implement whatever we do in a right, fair, and morally appropriate manner. It is a virtue to practice the “hunger for righteousness” because only by exercising this ethical value, we are capable to repair any form of injustice and we deeply ignite our actions to change and evolve with what is morally wrong.
What is the opposite of “hunger for righteousness? Sloth. Hunger for righteousness has multiple opposites anti-values which are rooted in the vice of sloth. If we search the meaning of sloth in the dictionary, we find it too simplistic: sloth is defined as an aversion to work or exertion, like laziness, or indolence. For us, in the context of this article, sloth is beyond laziness. Sloth is far more than physical indolence, or a state of a couch potato in which many people, particularly younger individuals have fallen. For numerous reasons, during the last decades, our societies have become singularly indifferent to anything that means the pursuit of righteousness. In this context, sloth is reflected in a state of numbness or apathy or mediocrity or indifference to act in the pursuit of God’s virtues, of the true, the good, and the procuring of the beautiful in our lives and communities. Sloth is a condition of explicitly spiritual dejection, to the limits of omission to crave and do actions for the transparent pursue of righteousness.
For example, the quest for righteousness in the middle of this monstrous pandemic requires that everyone (from a family leader to organizations and nation leaders) must put their own economic interests in the second place because the first priority is to protect, prevent health chaos and heal the societies from the sanitary-health crisis. We can´t promote economic recovery plans without considering to defend and assist our societies from Covid19.
From the individual point of view, each of us has a profession or a job that might have a possible way to help to fight COVID19. By deciding to stay at our home (if we can), that is such an immeasurable contribution. And this craving to avoid being infected and contaminating others should be our motto. Of course, there are many other high-tech proceedings that can help to diminish contagion, but the remedy and the cure to the virus are to stop propagating it. In this particular pandemic crisis, you have no idea how much you help to keep the virus under control, by just staying at home. Once the sanitary hospital crisis is controlled, the economies will have to adapt to operate with at least half of the density population (to keep social distancing). Families can help themselves, by learning to say NO when someone invites you to hang out socially or to go be socially available. Every time we delimit and restrict our social mobility, that means to keep UCIs available to save lives.
From the point of view of national leaders (public, private and cooperation entities), hunger for righteousness shall be expressed in the motivation to work all together at a global basis to stop the propagation of the virus, with specific particular actions at a local basis, because each country has its particular contexts when it comes to particular emergency decisions.
Why is the beatitude “hunger for righteousness” the counterpoint to mediocrity, sloth, apathy, or indifference? If sloth is a sluggishness of spirit, feeling, mind and eventually body actions that grow from a state of dejection over the worthwhileness of putting in practice our ethical virtues, then it is crucial to stop that degree of indifference or spiritual laziness. Little by little, we can do it. As written in previous episodes, this pandemic has come to shake the fundamentals of our existing virtues. During the last three months, social media platforms are the mirror of our societies. These platforms have shown us the ethical virtues behind each of its participants. Many of the posts that we see shared by a vast amount of people are a reflection of the underlying condition of a secular materialistic condition. And what makes me tremble of panic, is to see that sloth posts are not coming from the middle-aged and the old (Generation X and Baby Boomers) but from the younger generations (Generation Z and Millennials). Sadly, the next cohort expresses such levels of apathy, indifference, and resentment toward us. Their publication postings on Twitter, Tik-Tok, Instagram, and other disruptive tech media expressions, have an abundance of messages, which reverberate of a most damaging virus than the COVID19. With the viral nature of social media, sloth has spread in our youngsters, with such an impact infection. Moreover, we can perceive the youngest groups’ continued efforts to find meaning in their own hight tech meaninglessness expressions.
Sorrowfully, behind those “cool and funny videos or new digital applications” there is a meaningless response packed with materialistic messages in the middle of such a global tragedy where people are dying daily. That is a real tragedy of our times. Nowadays the widespread embrace of sloth is masked with the younger generations’ attitude to blame us of “anti-technological” when in reality, each generation has had to fix something which was greater than the preceding one. The monotonous, uninteresting attitude of sloth is overflowing in social media through the most flashy and vivid empty solutions to our most urgent pandemic problems.
What is the relation between the beatitude of “Hunger for Righteousness” and the material slides that I have shared with you? Eleonora Escalante Strategy slides are not prepared with high-tech neither with digital media tools of the most recent tech trends, but they are the expression of my contribution to all in the middle of this painful despair… My work is trying to offer something in our common collective search to get out of this pandemic together, without leaving anyone behind. I might not be perfect, and probably some of my ideas might not be totally correct, but at least I wish to offer material of strategic reflection to us. It is in my hunger for righteousness as a “work in progress” author, to don´t be indifferent. I am simply trying. The purpose of Eleonora Escalante Strategy is in contributing with thoughts, solutions, studies, ideas that invite to think and repair our mental frameworks, that offer strategic reflections to our lack of wish to care for the planet’s blessings and resources, including the next generations’ next steps.
Sloth abounds in the next cohort of leaders. A few days ago, I listened to a youngest resented leader, an individual who suggested that it was good that I did not have economic revenues during the 2010 decade. He said it was good that I suffered poverty because it was a correction for having a few good jobs in the decade before. He, enviously accused me, that Generation X stole his generation of their promised abundance of wealth and well-paid opportunities, and even he dared to incriminate Generation X of reducing to him the possibility of a better economic situation than his parents. I wondered how could it be? I belong to the middle class. Everything God gave me, was a product of years of personal struggles, searching for scholarships, filling my future with student debt and acts of striving for academic development. This leader´ level of cognitive content was a spectacle (not because at his 35, he never finished an undergraduate degree) but because all his life was a curriculum vitae of laziness, of non-ended efforts and irresponsible demerit of academic knowledge and school, a tandem of sloth to the higher possibleness. All his background shows a paralysis of will, a boredom “that stems from a hatred of all things spiritual or not, that requires effort”. And guess what? This more immature leader was arrogantly diminishing the quality of my WordPress blog (just because I use painted real watercolors, or I don´t use digital videos or I am against crypto-currencies or because I am warning of the excessive utilization of digital screens and addiction to social media)? Finally, I asked myself: what type of role modeling is he (and his wife) bestowing with his little kids?
When we observe sloth in the next generations as the “normal” of their lives, or when we see many digital disruptive technology business models that are based on irrational sloth, I wonder how far we stand of building ethical virtues in our quest for a balanced-integral-fair-ecological economy, particularly with the next cohort of leaders?. Sloth starts with careless indifference to ideals and actions of “hunger for righteousness”, then it continues as a wasting disease (as the Coronavirus) that if left unchecked and in the hands of future business owners or the public leaders, will inevitably create worst future crises than a pandemic. I wonder if the new 4th Industrial Revolution is being used and manipulated by nothing else than sloth? I wonder if by impulsing machines of artificial intelligence and the digital economy is leading to spiritual and even physical death of the beauty of those who are passionate hungering after righteousness?…
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied”. Matthew 5, 6.
Sources of reference utilized to write this article:
“Steering through Chaos- Vice, and Virtue in an age of moral confusion”. The Trinity Forum, 1999.
Disclaimer: Illustrations in Watercolor are painted by Eleonora Escalante. Other types of illustrations or videos (which are not mine) are used for educational purposes ONLY. Nevertheless, the majority of the pictures, images, or videos shown on this blog are not mine. I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated.
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