Privilege Blog

Is The World Getting Worse Or Better?, Or, Saturday Morning at 10:35am

Is the world getting worse or better? I worry, because I have assumed all my life that it’s getting better, and if I’m wrong I’ve made some bad choices. So this is a serious question, albeit one in need of clarification.

Here’s what I mean by getting better. Are we finding our way to more well-being for more sentient creatures? Well-being in the sense of physical health combined with social tolerance, or, best case, kindness? I believe the more people who live healthy lives, allow each other to do the same, and accept others’ non-violent personal choices, the better world the world becomes.

One note. I weight this imaginary index towards humans, others will not. For example, I believe we should not extinguish animal species, but it’s OK to eat them. Others find that unbearable. But I think we can ask the question, “Is the world getting worse or getting better?” and see that even with scope limited to people we are not sure the answer will be happy.

Two events from this week’s news, one fun and encouraging, one sad and violent.

07JOAN-articleLargeThe fashion house of Cèline chose Joan Didion as their new icon/model. Didion, to point out  the obvious, is both old and intelligent. Oh, and she’s a woman. Designer advertisements rarely feature old intellectual females wearing clothes. Put that way, one might wonder why it’s something to hope for, but in fact we take Cèline’s decision to indicate that women continue to win scope and authority beyond their biological role as baby-makers. One plus in the social tolerance column.

And then. This sank my heart, almost altogether. A small group of men killed a larger group of people, in France, because they didn’t like having their beliefs mocked. One could use heavier terms, like insulted or vilified, or lighter, such as “made fun of.” I leave that parsing to others. To be clear, I am not making light of the event in any way, I am only unable to say more than has been said, by Liza Donnelly’s cartoon, for example.

Charlie-hebdo-deaths2-685x1024For this discussion we do know that the events at Charlie Hebdo and following were about as far as one can get from well-being without fiction, and monsters. And it does feel, often, that similar horrors just keep coming. Feels like one hundred million pluses in all the columns of bad.

On beyond the immediate sorrow and outrage, I’ll ask again. Is the world getting better or worse? If I’ve been right, and in general it’s better, I can live my life local and kind. I can rely on personal generosity, honesty, and kindness to warrant me the privilege of being alive. But if I’ve been wrong, then I’ll have to act otherwise. If we’re breaking bad, one can’t just break along.

I am not the first person to ask this question. I Googled it, as one does. Turns out, the entire first page of search results insists the world is getting better. Economists, technologists, journalists, and men of god alike agree.  The statistics back them up; average income, life expectancy, even violence – political and more locally criminal. The one identified parameter that’s worsening? Global temperatures and their effect on our environment. Huh. I understand that showing up on the first page of Google doesn’t determine absolute truth, but it’s enough for this morning.

Here are some links, if you’d like to read on.

The Higher Learning
New Scientist
Church For Men
Start Up Guide

This answer, we owe most to the planet, feels right to me. And gives us simple things to do; use less stuff, support technologies that enable sustainability, and continue to be kind, in all the meanings of that word. Maybe even, speaking here to myself so as not to be lazy, expand the scope of kindness in some way or another.

Of course I should do more, but don’t we always imagine doing more, tomorrow, and shouldn’t we sometimes focus on this morning?

I struggle with that question.

One last note. I don’t require that the world be good, only that it experience good. In other words, Cèline probably chose Didion to model because they thought she’d help their business, not because their hearts bleed for the right of women over 60. That’s OK by me. If greed takes us in the right direction, we’re apt to get there sooner.

Have a wonderful weekend. I shrink, usually, from exhortation, but it seems that any effort you make today towards the world, any kindness, will be to the good. And I’m a little tired and I feel the need for more good.


Photo credit: New York Times, Juergen Teller for Cèline
Drawing credit: Liza Donnelly via

70 Responses

  1. To the question, “Are we finding our way to more well-being for more sentient creatures?”

    My answer is yes and no, depending on where in the world we live.

    In the western world, more and more people are learning about the horrors and environmental destruction of animal agriculture and are eating fewer animals and animal products.

    China is going in the opposite direction.

    From The Economist:

    “Entire species of plants and trees are being sacrificed to fatten China’s pigs. Argentina has chopped down thousands of hectares of forest and shifted its traditional cattle-breeding to remote areas to make way for soyabeans. Since 1990 the Argentine acreage given over to that crop has quadrupled: the country exports almost all of its whole soyabeans—around 8m tonnes—to China

    “Swine in China” can be read here –>

    The new documentary “COWSPIRACY” is an excellent overview of animal agriculture and it’s impact on the environment and animals.

    The COWSPIRACY filmmakers are hopeful. We can find our way to more well-being for sentient creatures and we can repair our environment. If we choose to.

    COWSPIRACY is a movie everyone should see.

    1. You’re welcome, Lisa.

      The creators of the excellent and witty film “COWSPIRACY,” Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn, live in the San Francisco Bay Area.

      The movie demonstrates clearly how our unquestioning indulgence in animal products harm the earth, animals, and ourselves.

      For anyone concerned about climate change, “COWSPIRACY” is a must see.

      If no theatrical screenings of “COWSPIRACY” are on the horizon in San Francisco, the movie is now available on DVD:

      I’ve seen “COWSPIRACY” several times with all sorts of people. Everyone I’ve talked to loves it. I hope you can see it soon.

  2. I actually think we will be eating insects before long as it takes far too much water and land to raise cattle…not that i will be keen to eat a beetle but I am leaning more towards vegetarianism. I try to make several non meat meals each week and my carniverous husband seems to be adapting quite well…often i don’t mention that the marinara sauce or lasagne is meat free!

    The Paris events are very distressing and unsettling..we had an attack on Parliament not too long ago and I expect there will be more…we are living in a dangerous time.
    I wonder too if Paris will change in light of these events…and with a trip planned soon, will I feel safe?

    Greed does have a lot to answer for…but if some good can come of it I suppose that’s not a bad thing.

  3. Lisa, I think it is laudable that you are able to take the long view. I had always been able to do that as well- until lately. Perhaps it is today’s instant communication. At the moment, I can’t help but think we are breaking bad. Maybe next year I will see things differently.

    1. @Susan, I too have found the recent events very difficult to recover from. That’s why I wrote the post today – I had to understand if despair was warranted, or something to move through.

  4. I think evil has always been among us and I think human nature does not change. What has changed is what we know. We have a lot more information about what is happening around us.

    Two hundred years ago, when workers at the match factory in England were suffering and dying from their jaws rotting from the phosphorus, their neighbors knew about it, but the rest of the world did not. In the Congo, when King Leopold of Belgium was having the Congolese killed for refusing to harvest rubber and their hands chopped off and smoked (to prove that the bullets were being used for frugally), the rest of the world really didn’t know much about it.

    Communications have improved and so has the killing technology. It is easier to kill more people faster, but I don’t think human nature is any worse than it ever was. There are still as many bad people as there ever were but now it is easier to see them.

    1. @the gold digger, A very good point there! Also, that our news is predisposed to sensation, drama, emotive lanuage and images and to negative stories.

      There clearly is a worrying level of tension in the world, leading to all sorts of negative things from removal of our civil liberties, to racism, bigotry, death and injury.

      However, my theory is that there is, over the long haul, a homeostasis. Some things get better, some things get worse, some times are much harder but then we get a block of golden years when things go better. I do find history very comforting, overall.

    2. @the gold digger, I’m with you gold digger.
      One doesn’t have to be much of a student of history to know that the world not only is a violent place but it has been for a long time.

      I think the fact that we now see more of it, nearly in real time, is a good thing. The more we know the more we can do what we can to reduce violence.

      As for Joan Didion, I think that’s a full-on business gamble. Unfortunately she reminds me of more than one older relative who has looked that way on her way to eternity, and I found myself not looking closely to see if the T-shirt had an dribble down the front.

  5. Here’s what I mean by getting better. Are we finding our way to more well-being for more sentient creatures?

    not at all, which is the big reason i feel a twinge of sadness every time the human race gets a little bigger. for every person who goes meatless every monday, there’s an agribusiness protected by decades of congressional support who finds a new way to extract profit at animals’ expense. beyond the horrors to which humans subject their food – eating it is one thing, and treating it like insensate matter we can manipulate at our will, which is what the vast majority of us do (“free range” and the like are demonstrably meaningless terms, and only humane certification begins to approach the standard to which we should hold all of our food producers) – there’s the fact that we’ve irreparably damaged this planet, and continue to do so. i would be shocked if the earth is a viable place for human beings a century from now; global warming is the tip of the iceberg, as it were. we’ve barely begun to experience the effects of our rapaciousness. i love my infant niece and my friends’ children, and i also believe with every fiber of my being that their world, if they even get a world, will be awful.

    1. @lauren, I wrote this post with you, among others, in mind. Of course. I think I differ from you mostly on one word, which changes everything. “Irreparable.” I have to believe we can work together to repair. I just have to, whether I am right or not.

  6. Comparisons like “better’ or “worse” are not as useful to me as me asking of myself (and those who will tolerate it from me), “What am I/we doing today to make this place better?”

    Over five thousand children died the same day from disease and malnutrition-on one continent. That is not to belittle the acts in France one bit, but to say, our work is cut out for us in so many arenas. I have to pick a place to act.

  7. Very thought-provoking post, Lisa, and comments. We are pretty much vegan in this house, because my younger son is committed to animal rights. He hasn’t eaten meat since he was 11, and he’s given up eggs now, as well. It’s hard to keep a 16-year-old vegan who has just hit 6′ fed. I spend a great deal of time cooking.

    I’ve learned a lot from my son about animal rights. He has read Peter Singer and is an adherent of “effective altruism”, but when it comes to animals he doesn’t agree with Singer as quoted in your link. There is a school of thought that goes by minimization of suffering as a guiding principle. These people believe, for example, that wild animals should be allowed to become extinct, because wild animals’ lives are dominated by suffering:

    The question of whether the world is getting worse is a difficult one. I agree with others who have commented that it probably isn’t really worse, but it seems worse because of increased information. Apart from the horrors that have been mentioned, I am discouraged by the resurgence of racism in this country and anti-Semitism in Europe. At least, it seems to me to be resurgence; I’d thought we’d made progress in these areas.

    1. @Marie, Your son sounds like a very thoughtful boy. Please thank him for me. I don’t think we ought to judge another species’ suffering and decide they ought to be allowed to become extinct, but, I haven’t read your link yet. There’s always more to learn.

  8. Hmm. You pose a tough question. I always operated under the assumption that things were indeed getting better but within the past few years have had to acknowledge otherwise. iIt occurred to me that the human condition is just as it has always been…rife with circumstances and choices. We are likely no better and probably no worse than those who came before us. My perceptions about the condition of the world over time seem merely to reflect the ages and stages of my own life rather than some tangible and meaningful larger shift. I am not fatalistic, however; I do think we can always situate ourselves.
    I started in law enforcement but left when I despaired at man’s inhumanity to man. I could no longer bear knowing the horrific things people chose to do to each other. Others had the stamina required to do that difficult work without succumbing to despair. I then found a comfortable home in education…a far more bouyant place for me to exist and help others and one far removed from the front lines of deviance.
    I concur with Duchesse on this one: focusing on what one can do to make things better. For me that means shrinking the world to right here and right now and going after it one day at a time.

    1. @M, I think it’s a very interesting topic, the degree to which our outlooks depend on our time of life, and even our body chemistry. So hard to have an absolute morality given the muddy waters of our bodies and minds.

  9. Whenever there’s a horrible act of violence, like you, I remind myself that the statistics all point to things improving. I have a copy of Steven Pinker’s “Better Angels of Our Nature” & I re-visit it when things seem bleak; helps me keep things in perspective. Thanks for the links; I’ll check them out.

  10. I don’t know. I would really love to believe it’s getting better, for the sake od my 8 y.o. daughter. But I think if it is indeed getting better, it’s only for the Western World. May be. Right after the tragedy of Paris, about 2000 peopke were killed in a city in Nigeria by Boqa Aram. But that feels too distant for us to worry… I am not underestimating what happened in France, I am saying far worse things are happening outside of our world. So, can we say the world is really getting better?
    I have no answer. But then, when I see doctors volunteering to fight Ebola, when they could stay home enjoying their lives, I keep my hope.
    And to “homo homini lupus” I reply “homo sum, nihil umanum mihi alienum est”.

    1. @Chiara, I keep up my hope too – and I just loved reading a Latin quotation here, to remind us that humans have been considering this question as long as they have had a spare moment to think.

  11. It is very difficult to make any real impression on the sadnesses of the world & there is a limit to how much of it I can cope with . I have been vegetarian ( of meat eating parents ) since I found out where meat came from , age six , & find fur disturbing worn by humans . I’m not preaching as I wear leather shoes & bags – eating flesh seems horrific though . I do try to have an effect in my little corner of the world by volunteering at our local RSPCA home & have done for twenty years now . It is often distressing but often rewarding too . It is a drop in the ocean as far as making the world a better place but if we all did a little for the causes close to our heart – apart from just financial donations – it might be a tiny bit better & we would feel better in the process . It certainly helps me .

  12. I have been thinking about this question, and the answer is still…”I don’t know”.

    The Gold Digger certainly articulated a part of what I’d been thinking, and very articulately.

    Thanks for the provocative post – so much to think about.

    1. @chicatanyage, Oh thank you. That is such a beautiful way to put the question. Can it be answered logically, we wonder, or only in the sounding chambers of our hearts?

  13. The evening news reports negative events, particularly if they are unusual, far more than they ever report acts of kindness and generosity. This bias must get better ratings, which is why I don’t watch the news very often. Large events such as the Charlie Hebdo do penetrate my consciousness, but I don’t read every word I can find about it and fill my head with negativity and despair for the human race. It’s just not a balanced picture of the world.

    Buddhism starts with the premise that life is suffering. As Duchesse mentioned, children are dying from starvation and disease. People die in car crashes, animals are treated horribly, greedy employers pay their workers wages they can’t possibly live on. There isn’t much I can do about these things except in my personal choices – donate to Doctors without Borders, drive carefully, choose grass fed beef, not shop at Walmart.

    I concur with Duchesse and M – I try to aware of my part in the dance of life and make my choices for kindness and compassion. And not have negative thoughts toward anyone, even terrorists. By definition that’s what they want – our fear and anger to match their own, so I refuse to live there.

    1. @Northmoon, I too always try to remember that those who hurt others have often been hurt themselves. I think human life does involve, if not suffering per se, an awful lot of struggle. That can’t be avoided. But I too feel that kindness is the key – towards each other, towards creatures, towards the universe. Martha Nussbaum includes love in her philosophy. That feels so wonderful to me.

  14. Your post and all the comments are very thought provoking. Which is what I should do, think more deeply, because my knee jerk opinion is the world is getting better.

    My mother had 8 children because she was (at the time) following the teachings of the Catholic Church. She also firmly believed homosexuality and doing laundry on Sunday were both grave sins. Now, in her 89th year she’s not so sure about the laundry but accepts LGBT humans as humans with rights and not sinners.

    If my mother can change, there’s plenty of hope.

    I believe the day will dawn when all humans respect and value all humans, where religous beliefs do not include ‘mine is the truth so therefore I am superior and nasty consequences befall those in my way’, and we can feed ourselves without pillaging the earth and relying on mass cruelty to animals.

    That day is a long way off. Not in my lifetime.

    DNA is the bulding block of life. An unbiased education is the foundation of a better world.

  15. If we all understand that we need to be more kind, more tolerant, more helpful, in any way that we can, no excuses, then the world will get better.

    During this week, I felt that the world is getting worse, but, seeing the community spirit rise up in Paris and for Paris and France, I think we can learn, and be on the track to getting better.

    Thank you for tackling this topic so sensitively.

  16. Just read an interview with a futurologist and it
    t sounds very positive. Even at the moment it does’nt look so, world is in rise in the long run. Let’s think all of us positive so it comes to reality.

  17. Fantastic post, Lisa. Like others, I’m going to answer ‘I don’t know.’ The events in Paris were hideous, and over the last year or so, there has been a lot of horrible news in the world. We need to be kinder to others and to the planet and be grateful for what we have.

  18. Thank you for a thoughtful post about the recent tragedies in France. I agree with gold digger’s comment, we have have always had evil among us, we just hear about it now. I pray for those who are suffering and try to give to organizations that try to alleviate human suffering. It seems to be a drop in the bucket but I try to do what I can.

  19. The media loves to focus on the negative, the net is an echo chamber, etc etc … on balance, the world is getting better. We need to stop ISIS though!

  20. I wonder if there’s a connection between the climate/resource scarcity and where the worst violence is happening? When traveling in Israel I had the good fortune to be on a tour of the northern borders with a high ranking Israeli officer and pointed out was the location of potable water resources near or on the borders. That really got me to thinking about that aspect of the Islam-Jewish-Christian conflicts, or perhaps that’s positioning that some are taking advantage of…

    1. @Stephanie, I have always assumed that resource conflicts exacerbate violence. Which goes along with my hope that as we become less at risk for hunger and disease, we’ll become kinder, over all.

  21. Very thought provoking and I’ve enjoyed reading the comments as well. What happened in Paris was a real tragedy and I agree with Gold Digger on there’s always been evil.

    On another note, I’ve not been receiving your posts by email for some reason. I wonder if I’m the only one? I hope you have a lovely week ahead.

  22. As far a being a vegetarian….. I work in an agricultural rural setting with cattle,goats… etc. I had to ride my horse one morning to “herd” in an ailing momma and her calf so we could doctor her. The look on her face as she protected that baby was the day I quit meat and exited the entire commercial meat food chain as far as dinner goes. I am a mamma too, and I know that look. I have also seen a beast lay down his head as he dies just so we can have a BBQ.

  23. I believe we in the US are doomed. Our government has been taken over by politicians purchased by lobbyists, and is totally corrupt. There are a few exceptions but not in sufficient numbers. The oil lobbies in threaten development of renewable energy resources. Our educational system is bad, schools are bad. As a nation, we can’t DO anything anymore. Compare the development of the SR71 with the flawed development of the F35. Billions wasted and it still can’t deliver. Bridges, freeways, infrastructure crumble as money is diverted elsewhere. The race issue is alive and well, with the attendant suffering. Africa and the Middle East will never move forward with the current level of violence. Pakistan harbors Al Queda. Where is there improvement or betterment? I don’t see it. The sad fact is, the big companies own us, don’t care about us and will grind us all into dust in the pursuit of profit.

    1. @Allison, I hear you. I see it otherwise, partly because I’m natively optimistic, and partly because I’ve encountered so few evil people in the corporate world, but a lot of damaged ones. And I think we can work with damage.

  24. Thank you for this thought provoking post. It’s not all about vacations and fashion. I am glad we have this forum to air our concerns. And, yes, I am on the fence about vegetarianism. I am certainly eating less meat and more mindfully, but not ready to give up chicken and seafood.

  25. The world has always been a violent place with a good deal of suffering for certain populations. The difference now is the news media and the proliferation of information that occurs in a few seconds. I am very concerned about terrorism, and I fear it is also residing in the U.S. and we are just oblivious. I think that the politicians and many citizens don’t understand the mentality of the terrorists and all of the factors that drive them. That won’t change, so unfortunately terrorist activity will continue, at least until we can contain certain elements in such a way that does not breed violence.

    1. @E. Jane, We used to have full-on wars, now we have terrorism. Overall rate of death is falling, but the threat among us and the media raises the group feeling that evil’s nearby.

  26. Thank you for asking the question. I appreciate all of your thoughts and your readers comments.
    I just turned 70 and have been thinking about how the world has changed since 1945. Overall I think it is better but there is more we can do to make it better individually and collectively.
    Educating ourselves about the consequences of our actions and improving our behavior are good first steps.
    Thanks again for your blog.

    1. @Jim, You are so welcome. Thank you for your comment, and for giving us the benefit of your life experience. Educating ourselves, and then improving ourselves is, I agree, a first step I am taking.

  27. Y’all,

    My apologies for jumping in more than my fair share but I can’t resist posting two recent articles by Chris Hedges. Hedges researched animal agriculture after viewing COWSPIRACY in October. The November article, “Saving the Planet, One Meal at a Time,” addresses animal agriculture’s damage to the environment. The January article, “All Forms of Life are Sacred,” focuses on ethics. No matter your diet, I think almost everyone will find these pieces compelling.

    Environment …..

    “My attitude toward becoming a vegan was similar to Augustine’s attitude toward becoming celibate—“God grant me abstinence, but not yet.” But with animal agriculture as the leading cause of species extinction, water pollution, ocean dead zones and habitat destruction2, and with the death spiral of the ecosystem ever more pronounced, becoming vegan is the most important and direct change we can immediately make to save the planet and its species. It is one that my wife—who was the engine behind our family’s shift—and I have made.

    A person who is vegan will save 1,100 gallons of water, 20 pounds CO2 equivalent, 30 square feet of forested land, 45 pounds of grain and one sentient animal’s life1 every day.”

    “Saving the Planet, One Meal at a Time”

    Ethics ……

    “There is an intimate relationship between human rights and animal rights. You cannot think about this in isolation. Sexism, racism and classism are about turning others into objects. How can we talk intelligently about nonviolence when we are putting the products of violence into our mouths?”

    “All Forms of Life are Sacred”

    1. @Karen Orr, I am glad you feel free to comment fully. For myself, as I do not feel the ethical pull, some times when I am repeatedly told how much it appears, I get contrary. Whereas when told about the effect on the environment, I buckle down. I think sometimes too much focus on ethics can backfire, as people who feel shamed or attacked often go into denial. In any case, that’s been my pattern, and I’m glad to find motivation that works.

  28. I meant to get back here much earlier to ask if you’ve read “world-renowned environmentalist” Paul Hawken’s Blessed Unrest. The subtitle — How the Largest Social Movement in History is Restoring Grace, Justice, and Beauty to the World — gives you an idea of how Hawken might answer your question. It was published in 2007 and it’s a few years since I read it, but it gave me hope — it’s very well written, and it cites credible research in various fields. He looks at issues of social justice, environmentalism, commerce/economics, indigenous cultures and their rights to, as the back cover blurb says “tell the story of what is going right in this world.”

    1. I think you’ll really enjoy it — since your post, I’m hoping I’ll get a chance to skim through its pages again, although my reading list is chock-full of stuff I’m teaching at the moment.

  29. I love that some of my favorite designers and cosmetic companies are using women of a certain age (my demographic, and older!) to advertise their products…from Tilda Swinton, Diane Keaton, Julianne Moore, and Cate Blanchett to Charlotte Rampling, Jessica Lange and Joan Didion…I think it’s a good sign that we’re finally being heard. Or, pessimistically, just a fad.
    I’d like to believe that things are getting better, the signs being education for women, and ALL people being emphasized, human rights violations attended to, and climate change not being ignored. But then, we don’t have peace, privacy, and our rights as women seem very perilous at times. But I have HOPE.

  30. What an interesting post, and an interesting group of comments as well. I put off writing initially thinking that I could clarify my thinking, only to decide that anything I would say has already been said here. I would say you have asked one of those questions that has no single answer and yet makes us think. Still, I tend toward optimism, in terms of humans anyway, although there are still many examples in the world that would seem to indicate this is unfounded. All we can do is be kind in our own lives, and fair to all we meet, and hope that eventually this kindness will win out.

  31. As with many of your readers, I too believe that the world is getting better, although evil has become more visible, and there is still much that can and needs to be improved for so many.

    I wish I could make a difference globally to reduce suffering and support equality and equity, however focusing too widely can often be mentally debilitating for me. I do my best to make a small difference wherever I can locally, bearing in mind that sustainability can often have positive effects further afield.

    One young man at my local shopping centre would rarely look up or smile when he was collecting trolleys. I think it was probably about 2 months of smiling whenever I saw him and looking at him to acknowledge his presence, before I got a tentative smile in return. No matter how small, I know it made a difference because it was always returned after that and I believe he became more confident in himself.

    It is really something small, but something I can do every day to make the world a tiny bit better. It won’t always get a smile back, but I don’t know what others are suffering through, so all I can hope is that they may feel appreciated and cared for in some little way. When we’ve turned into numbers and fodder for large corporate marketing machines, I think it is important to remind ourselves that we are all human and in this thing together.

    I think continuing to learn and appreciate others differences, while looking for improvements in ourselves and our attitudes has a local, but hopefully radiating effect. And some wonderful people have the capacity for help and support on a much larger scale, so supporting their work however we can, helps to improve the lives of other people and species and spread positive change even further.

    And I thoroughly agree that shame will rarely motivate healthy changes in myself, while gentle education and verifiable facts make learning new ideas and long-term changes so much easier.

    Thank you for opening up conversations that share a range of views and help us to question our beliefs and encourage us to continue working for a better society in whatever way we are capable.

    1. Ah, thank you for listening, and contributing. If one believes that almost everyone has the capacity for good, as I do, then one has to take something like retirement and prove the case. I think your small kindness does have a radiating effect, and that personal efforts to stay honorable, kind, loyal, and considerate, are all valuable. More than valuable – truly good.

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