Showing Up For The Bull Fight

What do we love? Why? How much? What attachments do we have? To what? Are our attachments in contradiction? For me at least I discover competing attachments, contradicting loves. I want to follow Jesus but I also like my stuff. What do I do? How do I let go of what I no longer need when I still want it?

These are ethical and spiritual questions that face us all.

I return time after time to Parker J Palmer’s book, The Promise of Paradox: A Celebration of Contradictions in the Christian Life. Palmer points out that neither ignoring nor avoiding our contradictions is life-giving. What we must do is embrace the cross/pain of the contradiction by admitting to God and to a trusted person the exact nature of our stuckness. The pain of truth telling will pull our shell of denial apart and grace will drip inside. Such a posture promotes healing and growth.

Ruthless honesty and relentless kindness is the imperative. Are the weapons of choice for the bull fighter.

Ethical Principles

—Examples of Virtues or Values:

Autonomy: the duty to maximize the individual’s right to make his or her own decisions.

Beneficence: the duty to do good both individually and for all.

Confidentiality: the duty to respect privacy of information and action.

Equality: the duty to view all people as moral equals.

Finality: the duty to take action that may override the demands of law, religion, and social customs.

Justice: the duty to treat all fairly, distributing the risks and benefits equally.

Nonmaleficence: the duty to cause no harm, both individually and for all.

Understanding/Tolerance: the duty to understand and to accept other viewpoints if reason dictates doing so is warranted.

Publicity: the duty to take actions based on ethical standards that must be known and recognized by all who are involved.

Respect for persons: the duty to honor others, their rights, and their responsibilities. Showing respect others implies that we do not treat them as a mere means to our end.

Universality: the duty to take actions that hold for everyone, regardless of time, place, or people involved. This concept is similar to the Categorical Imperative.

Veracity: the duty to tell the truth.