Weekly Virtues: Recap Prudence, Prepare for Justice

Overall, a very prudent week. Also a very productive one. I associate most virtues with productivity for some reason. In this case, most of my choices were to be more productive. During the routine end-of-day slump, rather than check the RSS feeds over and over again, waiting for someone to entertain me, I chose to do something. Sometimes it was off my current list, like filing. Sometimes it was on a “sometime” list, like going through bookmarked sites and dealing with them — usually taking the time to read them, then deleting or filing. (When I bookmark pages just to read them later, I put them in a folder by year. By the time I get to them, reading becomes less important and tossing easier.)

During the day, I repeatedly decided to stick with my plans, which also meant a lot got done.

The kids were pretty good this week, so no Wisdom of Solomon required. When Son was crying over a difficult math problem I chose to focus on getting him through “difficult math problem”, and only after he’d dealt with that did I help with the math. He’s a bright kid. Math contest problems are supposed to be “next year’s” work, so it’s okay not to get them this year. Stuff the teacher assigns to the class this year, though, he expects to be easy. I asked him, “What do you tell the kids in your math group when they find something hard,” and reassured him that, “Sometimes, you block on something. The important thing is how you deal with it.” Also, I pointed out he was very tired that night. If he started getting homework on a regular basis, he might want to think again about when he starts it.

Justice.

So many interpretations. I have two kids. Questions of justice and fairness between the two of them are common, and from their reactions, I usually deal with it just fine. They still come to me with complaints and mostly accept my decisions.

There are other forms of justice. The modern definitions talk about being a person who treats others fairly. Other, older, definitions talk about harmonious relationship between warring parts of a person or city. A man in his right place and time, working towards the proper goals, was said to be just. [ref: http://www.yourdictionary.com/dictionary-articles/Definition-of-Justice.html%5D

So it’s about more than being a judge and meting out consequences.

For my part, I could make the world a more just place. I’ve felt the need to do more good outside the home for a while now. My last volunteer job (counting fundraising money) used the requisite hours, and from the comments it was clearly a needed job, which freed people who hated counting to do work they liked, but it didn’t feel satisfying except as statistics. Just before Christmas is not the time to embark on a great and grand volunteering scheme. Things get too busy, and commitments aren’t met.

I also want the kids to get out and do more for the community. As a family, we get a failing grade on helping others. This weekend, I’ll update the kids’ allowance and charity envelopes. (I don’t pay it regularly, but keep careful track when I do pay.) Then we can choose a charity. That’s a start. I’ll also discuss with them a family project, and get suggestions from them. Other than that, though, nothing calls to me. Every idea comes with shades of “Everyone does it” or “I’d be to self-conscious” or “Won’t fit the budget this month”. I know, they’re all excuses rather than valid reasons.

Justice in the small picture will probably be easy, just keep up my current record. In the bigger picture, though, I’m stalling.

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