25 Feb 2012

Letting Your Light Shine

Submitted by Stephen Winters

This morning I was doing some research about ethics on the Internet. One of the articles I came across was called "Teaching Values in School: An Interview with Steve Johnson1" The article starts with the question "How do children become moral people, and what role do schools have in that process?" As I read the article I was impressed with the quality of the content. In many ways it's almost like the educators learning to become lights to their students. My definition of "being a light" here is "showing others how to live correctly".

I use a laptop computer for most of my writing. The laptop has a battery that activates whenever I unplug it from the wall. To save battery life the laptop has an enery saving feature that engages when it is disconnected from the electricty.  On of the features is that it automatically dims the brightness of the screen. (The brighter the screen, the more power it draws from the battery, which shortens the battery life.)

This morning I had been writing on the laptop. As I went out to work I unplugged the laptop to take it out to the shop with me. Since the house was fairly dark, the dimmed laptop screen showed up fairly well. But I a took it outside towards the shop, the dim screen hardly showed at all. I could barely make it out. But once I went into the darkened shop, the light of the screen showed up again. That got me to thinking.

There are many sizes and intensities of light. Not all light is the same size, color, or brightness. The affect of the light is partially controlled by the degree of darkness in which it is displayed. For instance, a very bright high intensity light could be seen in partial darkness. But a very low powered dim light might only show up in complete darkness.

I think of how we are told to "let our lights shine". I would equate light with moral character and/or godliness. For this instance I will just call it moral character.  If people have a low level of moral character they might be best able to help those of little or no character. People of low character probably wouldn't be of much help to those of high moral character.

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