The Mystery of Human Kindness



Christina Noble is a person you can recall as partial antidote to the understandable cynicism you may feel about human callousness toward one another. The movie Noble describes her successful efforts to provide warmth and development for 700,000 children in Vietnam and Mongolia. If the number were 7 her story would be remarkable. 700,000 is otherworldly.

And if we are to believe her story, she did not derive her desire and courage from Kant, Aristotle, Rawls, Nel Noddings, John Stuart Mill, or religious doctrine. She appears to have little interest in any of the various modes of ethical reasoning taught in school. She sees a particular ethical good and does it.

I think a valuable lesson resides in her story: by all means domesticate your emotions, but do not turn them off in some vapid effort to be a tough thinker for they can serve as springboards to reaching for the acme of your character.

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