The Stockings won! Hurrah!
The Redbirds lost! Boo hoo!
It all depends on where you live.
Rain lies ahead today. Great for farmers worried about the water table, no big deal for people with garages and covered parking at work, but a nuisance for people like me who walk 1.7 miles to work.
The ox being gored might be food for you but a tragic loss for me. Facebook’s deteriorating status among young teens might be welcome news to their parents but bad news for Facebook advertisers and investors.
My windfall might be your perfect storm. My gain might be your loss. Affordable Care’s sluggish start is fodder for Republican politicians but an untimely dilemma for those seeking health insurance.
How can I know? Only by listening to you and by imagining how the same circumstance might affect you differently. Claims of absolute good might be nothing more than one vantage point claiming victory and being insensitive to another’s loss.
With limited benefits to go around — jobs, wealth, housing, food — one cohort gains at another cohort’s expense. The moral question isn’t whether the victorious cohort deserved its victory, but what happens now as the first become last and the same pie is redistributed.
The old regime had no moral superiority, but neither does the new regime. When some benefit while others lose — when life is viewed as a contest that requires a victor — changing places simply hands the tools of oppression to new owners.
New victors claim they will be magnanimous. They claim that God brought about their victory and therefore it will be good. Magnanimity rarely survives pushback, and God’s alleged favor soon becomes weaponized.
The answer isn’t to avoid struggles or to freeze systems or to say it’s a new cohort’s “turn.” Loss is loss, whether or not the winner “deserved” to win.
The answer lies in an “economy of abundance,” where value is placed on things that God can make available and where benefits are scalable. Simply changing which hands control the “economy of scarcity” doesn’t resolve injustice or hatred. It simply aims at new targets.
Thus, in an economy of abundance, love and kindness can expand to embrace all who are heavy-laden. An economy of scarcity takes different measures — money, goods, services, resources — and because they are limited, fighting ensues.
We don’t put an end to warfare by redistributing wealth, but by deciding that wealth matters less than, say, family, or that having a great meal matters less than having enough food to share, or that being No. 1 matters less than being among friends.
Politics is about the allocation of power. Ethics is about consideration of the good.