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Inspiration by Example

Pity, empathy, and compassion—even for a suffering and dying god—may soften one’s heart but do not necessarily oblige one to change. Inspiration, however, is more efficacious. This is why it is not enough for literature and the cinema to be filled with sympathetic, if flawed characters. We are not taken beyond ourselves and the ordinary unless the character can genuinely embody the Ideal, without glossing over obstacles. A cynical litany of human sordidness in the name of realism or ironic sophistication can only take one so far, in a negative wallowing whose positive counterpart begs to be demonstrated.

RELATED TAGS: [suffering god, embody the ideal, walking your talk, social realism, ironic sophistication, moral example]

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