"For goodness' sake"

What's wrong with living "the good life"? It all depends on how you define good.

There's a saying that, whenever I hear it, reminds me of my childhood. My mother and grandmother would often say, "For goodness' sake" or "For heaven's sake" or sometimes just "Goodness."

These utterances, in various tones of voice, were motivated by different emotions, such as surprise, irritation, anger, or mild shock at some national or community occurrence. But I also remember times—when no doubt I was a little too obstreperous—that I was told, "Be quiet and go outside and play, for goodness' sake."

When that happened I probably didn't spend time wondering what goodness really is, but the nature of good is something I do think about now.

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Pray about homework?
September 9, 1991

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