Is There No Privacy?
Eric Scheske on Universal Responsibility
One of the most beautiful chapters in literature is the “Thoughts and Teachings of the Elder Zossima” in Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov. It recounts the last day and words of Fr. Zossima, the revered Elder of Alyosha Karamazov’s monastery, who speaks to those gathered at his bedside and asks them, through anecdote and counsel, to lead a life of virtue and love.
The love he asks them to have is a fervent and tangible love that stems from a deep sense of the intimate link between each person and every living thing. “Every one of us is responsible for all men and for everything on earth, not only responsible through universal responsibility of mankind, but responsible personally—every man for all people and for each individual man who lives on earth.”
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