Friday 23 February 2018

The Small ‘Good’

In the Religious Education class I teach with Dr. Hine, we start off with ethics and the questions of right behaviour. Fundamentally, we ask the question: “What is the Good, and how do I act in a way that is Good?” One of my moral theology professors used to say that every human action is a moral action. That in every choice we make, we decide what is Good and we act in a way that either grows the Good or diminishes it. Too often, we get caught up on the ‘Big’ Goods; major problems that we are faced with that deliver big results and that carry big consequences. But the small Goods are at least as important, since they are where most of us live our lives. Saying (and meaning) “thank-you” to someone who has done something for us. Doing a kindness for someone we don’t know or isn’t on our ‘Friends List’ because they are in need. Listening to someone. Giving them half of our favourite lollies because they’re having a rough day. These are not bringing about world peace or solving the world’s problems. Or are they? If we all took care of each other with the small Goods in all our actions every day, what would the world look like?

That’s the point of our Service and Immersion programs at the College, to begin our dealings with one another by listening to and living in the experience of other people and seeing what we have to offer them. The results are pretty staggering. As Saint Teresa of Calcutta, Patron of Teresa House, said: There are no great things, only small things done with great love.

This week’s reflection:

Poor Striker. When the rest of the dogs got to go out and go for a run in the snow, pulling me around on a dog sled (not an insubstantial task), Striker had to wait in the trailer.

Who’s the person that I’ll meet today that needs a kindness from me?

Fr Jack McLain SJ