The Nature of Goodness

The Nature of Goodness

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The Nature of Goodness by George Herbert Palmer

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The Nature of Goodness

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Book Excerpt

those who ask it have a special respect in mind. I believe they mean, "Will the man meet his notes?" In their mode of thinking a merchant is of consequence only in financial life. When they have learned whether he is capable of performing his functions there, they go no farther. He may be the most vicious of men or a veritable saint. It will make no difference in inducing commercial associates to call him good. For them the word indicates solely responsibility for business paper.

A usage more curious still occurs in the nursery. There when the question is asked, "Has the baby been good?" one discovers by degrees that the anxious mother wishes to know if it has been crying or quiet. This elementary life has as yet not acquired positive standards of measurement. It must be reckoned in negative terms, failure to disturb. Heaven knows it does not always attain to this. But it is its utmost virtue, quietude.

In short, whenever we inspect the usage of the word good, we always find behind it an implication of

Susan Rooke - A Mixture of Fantasy and All Things Heaven and Earth
FEATURED AUTHOR - Susan Rooke is a multiple Pushcart nominee, Best of the Net and Dwarf Stars nominee, and author of the Space Between series. Her poems and short stories have appeared in publications such as The Christian Science Monitor and The Twilight Zone Magazine, among many others. She and her husband live surrounded by cows on a square of green, peaceful country in Central Texas. When she's not writing speculative fiction and poetry, she blogs fortnightly about real life, food and cocktails at SusanRooke… Read more