19 October 2009

Lewis: Our Morbid Enjoyment

Some people say it is morbid to be always thinking of one's own faults. That would be all very well if most of us could stop thinking of our own without soon beginning to think about those of other people. For unfortunately we enjoy thinking about other people's faults: and in the proper sense of the word 'morbid', that is the most morbid pleasure in the world.

We don't like rationing which is imposed upon us, but I suggest one form of rationing which we ought to impose on ourselves. Abstain from all thinking about other people's faults, unless your duties as a teacher or parent make it necessary to think about them. Whenever the thoughts come into one's mind, why not simply shove them away? And think of one's own faults instead? For there, with God's help, one can do something. Of all the awkward people in your house or job there is only one whom you can improve very much. That is the practical end at which to begin. And really, we'd better. The job has to be tackled some day: and every day we put it off will make it harder to begin. (C. S. Lewis, 'The Trouble with "X",' in God in the Dock, 154)

Wise words from C. S. Lewis. How easy to elevate others' weakness and overlook our own! How much better to elevate our own weakness and overlook others'. The gospel gives us reources for this, and joy awaits.

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timy said...

hello
i think you are pretty much right about morbid enjoyment ,, but in my opinion feeling guilty and counting upon one's own mistakes and faults is also morbid ,,, as i have experienced personally with myself and people i know that we seek remorse sympathy while telling about grieves which we had , and i have noticed if one does not listen then people satisfy by counting there mistakes and they keep waiting as well for the others to do something wrong...it is very common ..for me counting your own faults or seeing others do wrong is all morbid ...seeing others in problems and doing nothing also accounts