It’s often much easier to name what we don’t want than to clearly name what we do. And while it’s important to address those things we wish to eliminate, by itself this doesn’t move us closer to the good we actually desire.
For instance, the teachings of Christ don’t focus merely on eliminating sins. The greater emphasis is on becoming love. In fact, these are considered the greatest commands – to love God and others as self.
Simply not murdering each other doesn’t go far enough, for example. The higher standard is a heart of love toward each other, and this includes loving our enemies.
Certainly outlawing murder is a good thing. But another law condemning murder doesn’t move us closer to actually loving our neighbor.
A different focus is required to achieve this. In short, naming the good we do desire.
Focusing on becoming love makes murdering each other a nonissue.
In a similar way, simply complaining about what our boss, wife, or the government is not doing doesn’t move the conversation toward what we actually want to see accomplished.
A much better conversation is naming the good we want to see.
And as we focus our time and energy on building this good, many of the ills we seek to remove will take care of themselves.
Of course there will still be times to name bad behavior. But this must be balanced with also naming the good – putting off the bad without neglecting putting on the good.
Naming the good often requires deeper work and a longer view, which is why it’s easier to merely focus on addressing the immediate negative issues we face. But this short-sided view on the negative leaves us frustrated in the long run.
We find soul satisfaction by naming and moving toward the good.
Do the work to discover and name the good you desire. This provides the needed vision on the path forward.