Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Do the Good and Avoid What is Bad

 An opinion piece in the Catholic Times introduces us to a learned gentleman from the past who placed first  in the state exams, and was appointed a county magistrate. Wanting to govern the county the best possible way, he went in search of some wise counsel. 
He found a celebrated scholar he trusted, who told him, "Just do the good and avoid the bad, that's all."The magistrate answered that a mere child knows this and wanted something more rewarding. The scholar repeated the same words.

The magistrate, disappointed, was about to leave when the scholar invited him for a cup of tea. The scholar poured the water into the magistrate's cup until it began to overflow. The magistrate yelled, " Master, the  water is overflowing! The scholar replied, "You know that  the water is overflowing the cup because you see it with your eyes. Why don't you know that knowledge can at times surpass wisdom?"
The magistrate understood immediately what was meant and, embarrassed, left the room and hit his head on the door frame. The scholar told him if he had bowed his head, he wouldn't have hit his head.

This is an anecdote that is often used, our columnist says, when lecturing  to those involved in welfare work. Do the good and avoid the bad is easily said but in practice, it is not  always easy to determine the good from the improper. In our society, the judgement on what is good and what is not  is hard to make, and our columnist would  like more clarification from our master scholar.

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