being in Time
days go by
  flourishing before tragedy
gary e. davis
March 16, 2022
“Another writer wants realism about humanity now,” I noted coyly before Putin
invaded Ukraine.

Yeah, well, we must not let Putinism orient our sense of humanity as defensive. Our preceding sense of humanity motivates defense against a despot.

But that fact (i.e., precedingness or prcedence of motivation) dramatically (and tragically now) occasions realization of what We already are—whom we already were (albeit implicitly).

We might well have kept that realization—such appreciation—in mind all along, i.e., made a good sense of Our humanity cause support for, say, a leading global agenda, from which the delusional despot wants to distract us—an agenda which implies Our humanity, thus motivating defense against despotism.

Such humanity is driven by aspiration and promise. Our humanity is defined in
its own way (without need of critical points, to be salient), just as health and flourishing are best defined in their own way, not basically as defense against disease. We fight against disease because we love life, not primarily (presumably) because we fear adversity (or death), though we do properly fear, derivatively.

We love life: to thrive and to flourish. Preventive health care may vastly help avoid disease. High individuation (flourishing) may vastly serve flexible capabiity for dealing with adversity.

Though I’m not comfortable making Putin’s invasion supplemental to my consider-ations, because the tragic events dominate the news (and have dominated my attention), I feel the importance of not letting disturbance orient my sense of progress (which, by the way, the Dialectical paradigm does: negate-ive opposition motivates change).

I’ve been immersed in it all: Putin’s hunger for ethnic greatness; the awesome blitzkrieg of soft power’s rallying of the principle-based international order;
the Hitlerist horror of the scorched earth disdain for civilians; the inspiring resistance of Ukrainians. I have as comprehensive a sense of the Event as
I can obtain.

But I was deeply involved with truly appealing topics before the Event. To what degree do I let that become relativized to new adversity? Since the primacy of flourishing best fuels coping, the integrity of my life deserves to retain its orienting telos: being the basis for understanding what matters, not needing adversity to remind me of that, not letting tragedy fuel a depressive position. That’s not to ignore tragedy, or fail to sustain deep empathy, even mourning.

So, for the sake of being well, I put boundaries on my attention to tragedy,
for the sake of the life that makes defending against adversity important. It’s
no dismissiveness. Folks in southwestern Kentucky recently suffered devastation
of their entire city by a mega-tornado (due to global warming). The next day,
they were involved in beginning again.

I’ll give immense attention online to the Ukraine invasion after there’s resolution. Today, the scorched-earth horror—the carnage of Putin’s choice—continues. But his days of crime against humanity are numbered.


next—> flourishing humanity




  Be fair. © 2022, g. e. davis