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Friday, September 30, 2011

I Feel Your Pain. Period.

There's a clever lyric by Stephen Sondheim in his masterwork (and my favorite musical) Into the Woods in which Little Red Riding Hood, right after her close encounter with the Wolf, recounts what she learned from the experience.  She concludes, "Nice is different than good."

This op-ed piece by David Brooks, "The Limits of Empathy," makes a related point.  Empathy, he says, is a valuable skill in social relationships, but it is neither a substitute for nor a motivator to actual good deeds for other people.  In terms of Christian development, it is a reminder that the goal of discipleship isn't niceness but Christlikeness.  It's also a reminder that there is more (though not less) to being a good church than being nice.  There's also being godly.


  1. I wrote a post about something like that back in June. (It has more to do with your Red Riding Hood quote than with your link.)

  2. "Good" post, Ruth! I like how you connected what I talked about here to the character of God, the source and exemplar of any true definition of goodness.