Taking Stock of Ourselves | Vices & Virtues | Freethinkers

January 16, 2018

Listen to episode 231 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Taking Stock of Ourselves | Vices & Virtues. Edited and adapted from All’s Right with the World by Charles B. Newcomb.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. Support us by visiting our lifestyle brand BookofZen.com to shop for clothing, wall hangings, coffee mugs, and more — all of which feature our own original inspirational quotes within a classic zen enso circle. Thank you. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from All’s Right with the World by Charles B. Newcomb, published in 1897.

IT is a custom of retailers to have an annual "taking account of stock." At such times, they examine carefully the goods on hand, clear the shelves of unsaleable articles, mark down those that have become shopworn or out of season, and put new values on all for which there is unusual demand.

Just so in the thought life of a community, we find that periodically there is by general consent a taking account of stock. Old standards and ideas are removed from the shelves and carefully examined in the light of new discoveries — their character and usefulness are challenged, and their condition tested. If they have become unserviceable for any reason, and higher thought has led to higher standards, the old theories and views of life and conduct are soon laid aside. Their defects have become apparent, and better things are in demand.

At the same time, some ancient truth or teacher that has been long labeled passé and put upon a shelf comes suddenly into notice. New meaning and unsuspected value are found in the proscribed philosophy. It throws a fresh light upon all the ethical problems of the day, and is slowly becoming popular once again.

In this moral stock-taking, we are often surprised to find the necessity of a new classification of what we have called "virtues" and "vices." In the light of higher principles and larger knowledge, we find we must change the tags that have been carelessly put on. Some virtues do not hold their color in the sunshine of the new century. Some vices prove to be not so harmful after all.

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