What’s Next?

The task I set for myself more than a year ago has been completed. I haven’t found the meaning of life, or even goodness, but I did do what I said I would do: After 365 days of research I came up with an answer to the question: What is goodness. Hooray me! But I don’t feel like I can let this goodness thing go. Not yet.

First, there’s the problem of my final post. In My First Theory of Goodness, I hypothesized that goodness is a skill. Such a spiffy theory; I am rather proud of it. But what the heck do I mean by that? And how does one attain this skill? I’m hypothesizing that just like there is more than one way to learn a skill like writing and to practice writing, there is also more than one way to attain and practice goodness. But between you, me, the electrons and whoever else happens by, I really don’t know how one does that. I have some hunches, but hunches can lead one down the garden path to poison ivy or worse.

Coming up with one definition of goodness also feels unsettling, as if I’ve lowered a thick bell jar over myself, blocking out any other approaches to the topic. (I hear you shouting on the other side of the glass, but I can’t make out your words.) More than that, I haven’t come close to interviewing all the folks I want to see, or to reading all the books I want to read. Clearly, there is more work to be done.

At this point, I can’t say exactly how I’ll do this, but I can promise that The Goodness Project will continue. A year ago I envisioned this project as a journey and wrote about my port of embarkation. Today I realize that fulfilling my stated goal, as I did on June 1, is not the end of the journey. I’ve reached my first port, but there are so many others to visit. I have more interviews to complete, more reading to do. Meanwhile, I’m playing around with a book proposal.

I also think that my original question is still valid. I have come up with part of an answer, but it’s not the entire answer. It might not even be the best answer. One thing I do know is that I intend to continue asking: What is goodness? I’ll keep posting the responses, and I’ll let you know what else happens.

Thanks for stopping by, thanks for reading, thanks for commenting. I’ve learned so much from you all. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

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3 Responses to What’s Next?

  1. Kelley says:

    SO glad you’re continuing with the project, Diane! I’ll stay tuned…

  2. Linda Herzberg says:

    I am glad you are continuing with the project, also, Diane.

    As far as the skill, I would suggest that it starts with being an infant and is part of nature vs. nuture. Nuture could play a very large part in this skill because if your needs are met you are more able to have time and energy to feel empathy for your fellow man. The way nature is involved is that I believe people are born with certain traits which may make it easier or harder to relate to others.

    I suggest you read Speaking of Indians by Ella Deloria. When I return it to the KU library you can check it out from there. The call number is E99.T34 D45 1979. In this book Ella Deloria talks about how the Lakota socialize their youth to live in a very close knit society prior to and just after being placed on the reservations. I do not like her last section, but the first 3 are great. Her family is well know among the Lakota in South Dakota. You might find it very interesting.

  3. dianesilver says:

    Thanks for the comments and the support, and thanks for the book suggestion, Linda. It sounds interesting.

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