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the simple life

"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Monday, March 21, 2005

Of Mores and Estates

My estate is undergoing upgrading.

New paint. New floors. New (additional) rooms. New roads. New lifts. New facade.

But it the same people who live here. Old customs. Old habits. Litter, Rubbish, Waste. Beer cans, urine, discarded furniture, trash in lifts. Filthy habits.

While upgrading itself is not a bad thing, I wish we can upgrade the mores of our people for their new homes.

I'm reading C.S Lewis. He's talking about a different context but the same thing really:

"What is the good of drawing up, on paper, rules for social behaviour, if we know that, in fact, our greed, cowardice, ill temper, and self-conceit are going to prevent us from keeping them? I do not mean for a moment that we ought not to think, and think hard, about improvements in our social and economic system. What I do mean is that all that thinking will be mere moonshine unless we realise that nothing but the courage and unselfishness of individuals is ever going to make any system work properly. It is easy enough to remove the particular kinds of graft or bullying that go on under the present system; but as long as men are twisters or bullies they will find some new way of carrying on the old game under the new system. You cannot make men good by law: and without good men you cannot have a good society. That is why we must go on to think of the second thing: of morality inside the individual."

- Mere Christianity, The Three Parts of Morality

C.S. Lewis is one of those chaps you'll like for a lecturer: concise, intellectual and interesting.

He's old school for a new world.


At 3/22/2005 05:05:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

good to know that you're reading my CS Lewis' books. pls remember to return whatever you're supposed to!!
by the way, where's my ravi zacharias' sermons in cd?

At 3/22/2005 11:06:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great quote by CS Lewis. Reformation on the inside is what I need too. My boys too, not forgetting. I find Ravi Zacharias a little overbearing, especially his , "Can Man Live Without God." I highly recommend Os Guiness' book. Especially, "The Call"

Mr S Tan


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