Rationalizing Vice


Today we explore the seven deadly sins and the seven virtues (Vice and Virtue). Amaya challenged us to look inside ourselves and evaluate one of each. As I looked down the list of seven there was more than one I could have chosen. I decided to hit home and challenge myself with this one. These signs have appeared in welcoming yards across the country, since President Trump put limits on immigration.  Where do you stand,,, on the side of vice (Greed) or on the side of virtue (Charity)?

I must confess when I read the sign something inside me resisted

The Pharisee in me reared its ugly head // made me back away

Possessive greed required my allegiance // rejecting some who are different

Surprisingly, open arms and welcoming seemed foreign to my spirit

Questions arose: are they legal, are they dangerous, or perhaps the wrong color?

The story of our nation reveals

How quickly we took from welcoming native neighbors

Burning villages // killing them off // Relocating them to far away places

Out of sight // out of mind // the problem was now solved

We live here in luxury with guards, walls, and gates

Disinviting all who are different from us // closing eyes to the problem

Is this what it means to “Make America Great Again…”

Hedging ourselves in // using them to do our bidding

Or can we move from our vice to virtue with charity in our hearts

Saying,” No matter who you are // where you are from,,,

we are glad you’re our neighbor”


Sign Photo: Dwight L. Roth

38 thoughts on “Rationalizing Vice

  1. These are challenging times, for sure. It’s interesting how our greed becomes so limiting, and in shutting ourselves in to protect “our” stuff from “them,” we are closing ourselves off from so much more. Hmmm, maybe I should write a poem…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s bold of you to confess this change of heart here in the open. Often it seems people are so ashamed by being wrong and so end up living a lie just to stick to their initial declaration. When really, showing a change in heart is indicative of strength and virtue. Humility is my favorite virtue, I must say and one I use for discernment all the time. Doing what you do here, not only welcoming your neighbor but confessing your sin and changing, heals the world. Thank you, Dwight.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Amaya! I appreciate your kind affirmation. This is not an easy one for me to deal with. All the fear and division put out on public media daily makes it is hard to discern sometime truth from fiction. Every time there is another terrorist act, it send me spiraling backwards one more time. It is very difficult to live a life of love and acceptance in the world we are now living in. Thank you.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. SMiLes.. Human Animals More Conservative
    by Nature as Science shows are More Averse
    to Different than the More Nomad ones of us..
    so in some ways
    it’s Naturally
    some folks to be
    open to Different and by
    the way Jonathan Haidt is
    an Excellent Modern Social
    Scientist to Reference Fuller
    More Modern thoughts
    on what makes us
    Humans Tick
    in the
    or Behind Walls
    And even just another
    Brick in the Wall as that goes.. too..
    Smiles.. i’ve been a Public Dancer now for
    9600 Miles iN A Reddest Trump State part
    of the Country.. the FL Panhandle now for
    Five Years as i am A Dancing Litmus Test
    for the Nature of Nomads and Bricks
    in the Wall too.. and usually with
    A Will of iNtentional and
    Carefully presented
    those walls
    will come down and
    Some Days Bricks Loosen
    too but the More Conservative
    Nature A Human Being Has/Is
    the More Difficult it is which goes
    to SHow a Greater Meaning too of
    ‘They’ Feel and Sense STiLL NoW NoT what they do to others
    sTill.. Freedom is an Ongoing Art and Unconditional Fearless
    Love IS A Most
    oF aLL..:)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I live in Canada where its a multi cultural and open society. I must admit I am a skeptic first but I have learned not to judge too hastily without knowing who these new neighbors are. I sometimes find that underneath, we all share the same fears and hopes – we are more alike than different. I really like that sign, smiles.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Grace. I saw the sign this summer while visiting a cousin in Virginia. I live in a multicultural neighborhood with many more excusive high end neighborhoods all around. I see a lot of what I wrote about going on. It becomes most prevalent when the county schools try to redistrict and send kids to different school. They there is a strong resistance.


  5. This is and always has been a controversial subject. I, for one, struggle with it. Jesus said, love one another as I have loved you. He loves everyone, yet wants obedience. Israel had strict rules for strangers. They were welcome, but were not allowed to infiltrate their customs and gods. Who is my neighbor? The Samaritan on the side of the road was mocked and passed by by the religious. Who is my neighbor? You are, everyone is. Mr Rogers got it almost right, won’t you be my neighbor? What about, hey, you are my neighbor. Still, there are rules. We just had to, after about 10 years of mocking and verbal abuse, had to go to my neighbor across the street, (actually we confronted a few yrs back too) to ask him again to stop. We had to go to the police also. Their dog using our lawn. To walk in the Spirit requires listening to the Spirit. As a Christian, they will know us by our love. What does love look like? Hmmm, a variety of faces. Very good poem Dwight.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Mary, for your thoughtful and well said response. I also do not have all the answers. The Bible says, “As far as it depends on us, we are to get along with all men.” This recognizes that there may be conflicts that cause separation, It is difficult to watch people working the system and taking advantage of the loopholes in the law to avoid doing their fair share in society. Dog and lawns are a big issue here as well. My neighbor scattered moth balls in the grass to deter dogs from going in their yard!! It takes a log of work to love your neighbor!!
      Thanks, Dwight

      Liked by 1 person

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