“The Slogan of Life.”
It is always amazing to learn the impact a slogan has on the character and the ways of interaction among men and women. By itself is an attraction, having a philosophical thought behind to stimulate something in a person. It has an influence, if not leading into actions, then it might bring an impact to that area of attitude. It creates memory, images and appetite either for good or for worse. Think of this, “What I mean are all these slogans that you have among you, like: ‘I am for Paul,’ ‘I am for Apollos,’ ‘I am for Cephas,’ ‘I am for Christ.’ Has Christ been parceled out?”
For surely this has been some kind of thinking going on among the Corinthians, of which for Paul became the dividing line in the community. As part of the processes in life, something is always born out of experience. How we take the experience and the manner in which we learn from, plays that part of developing a slogan of life. Not only it speaks to your thinking, but also plays a bigger role to what is of concern to the heart, the soul, the spirit in you, to your behavior.
Slogans might vary in perspective depending on the nature of experience, but no matter what, they speak to you and they speak about you. What interests me here is the fact of moral norms, as I will call them ‘slogans of life.’ As morality falls within the principle thoughts of right and wrong, good and bad, it is the norm which creates the standard and the manner of how we act. Thus a moral norm becomes a good quality of something (of mind, thought, attitude) leading to a good quality of moral life and behavior. It indicates the mode of behavior and through them my freedom and yours is exercised in right judgment.
As the nature and dignity of the human person is always at stake on moral issues and other issues concerning his daily life, a clear differentiation is needed to understand which norm influences what. Some of the norms are affirmative, positive norms as they bid us, entice us, prompt us to act (love your neighbor as yourself) and other norms negate, prohibit, forbid certain behavior (do not kill). As they affirm, the behavior is intrinsically good and as they forbid the behavior is intrinsically bad. In this way, as a slogan of life, they create in us and around us responsibility, criteria, judgment, order, guide, making us focused to what we ought to be and what we ought to do.
It is true that people are speaking about you and me because of a certain behavior. The number of times the behavior is repeated says something about you and the mode of behavior. If it is a positive talk, admired and embraced, it is the slogan of life that has produced positive consistency and stability, showing the depth of your personality and a pattern of behavior or conduct. Thus, slogan of life affects the personality, the deep down of the person.
So as we think of ‘what is my life slogan’, think or imagine something ideal, positive and you want to achieve, or something negative and you want to avoid. Look at the measures, the means of achieving the ideal in day to day circumstances. The measures become the stepping stone of being actual, concretizing the ideal, my standard of being and behaving to achieve the good desired. Prudence, circumstance, flexibility and fitting together of ideals is needed for the desired results. It is to keep asking: are there values in human life? Can we prioritize them? Can we live them by focusing our attention? Can I have a slogan of life? Cessario wrote, “Like everything else, one’s life is called true on the basis of its reaching its rule and norm, divine law; by measuring up to this, a life has uprightness.”
Fr. Emmanuel Msuri sac