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Virtue, in the interests of others

I waded and walked leisurely through an unusually low six o’clock tide. The water had spent all day warming up, so at this twilight hour my toes soaked in suds that were a soothing seventy degrees. My feet sighed gleefully in the wake of being lapped and licked so gracefully.

Occasionally, I stopped to awe at a lost jellyfish that had belly-uped to display a translucent view of its insides, a wholesome integrity of seemingly nothing to see, seemingly nothing to hide.

Ah, virtue is so easy for other animals sometimes.

The only time humans are granted such wholesale immunity is at the very beginning and at the very end. It is only then that we are wholly unaccountable for our actions, primarily because we are essentially incapable of any.

Michel de Montaigne wrote, “…we weigh and grade our vices not according to their nature, but according to our interests.“ Here at sunset, my greatest interests were to abscond duty.

Hence, today, my greatest vice would be this vacation, an unapologetic absence from the toil and grind I was gladly leaving behind for a few days to repose at the shore.

I wanted to make more of my sunset stroll and jump right into these halcyon waves. Alas, I gave into the obligation that held me back. For dinner was soon to be served, which meant my time and attention were reserved to be spent in the interest of others.

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