[Good’s] existence is the unmistakable sign that we are spirit creatures, attracted by excellence for the good.**
So long as the gift is not withheld, the creative spirit remains a stranger to the economics of scarcity.^
Goodness may be the most amazing human innovation of all.
it is believed that way back in our hominid past we became domesticated, making us able to live and work together:
It looks like we too are a domesticated species, selected by a buch of Dr Belyaevs – each other- to be less reactively aggressive to strangers, the better to survive in the urban, agricultural or dense hunter-gatherer settlements. At some point in human prehistory we must have weeded to people who had fast-migrating neural crest cells and hair-trigger reactions.^^
In Bible-ese, goodness is holiness and righteousness, a harvest of what it can mean to be human, the gift being one of the most telling expressions of goodness, whilst its absence is telling:
When all property is privatised, faith is privatised, and all men feel fear at the boundary of self.^
Our innovated tools don’t end with axes and spears, wheels and ploughs, printing presses and telescopes, steam engines and corrugated steel, computers and rockets, they also include neighbours and friends, religion and philosophy, music and art, novels and poetry, psychology and therapy, personality-tests and accompanists.
Meaning that today is another opportunity to innovate goodness a little more.
How we do this will depend on each person’s talents, energies and values.
*The title comes from this song: it’s the only thing taken from the song, but enjoy;
**From Iris Murdoch’s The Sovereignty of Good;
^From Lewis Hyde’s The Gift;
^^From Matt Ridley’s How Innovation Works.