Weekly Reflection from CPLO and the Jesuit Institute Week of 6 June 2016

by Russell Pollitt, SJ

“It is not only what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable.”  – Jean-Baptiste Molière

Are we becoming more and more mediocre? Do we simply just settle for the lowest common denominator? It often feels like we do. Gone are the days, it seems, when people who served in public office – in religion or politics – really put all they had into what they did to make sure they did a good job. They did this not to be popular or make sure they got re-elected. They did this because they believed this was the right thing to do. They did this because they were people of integrity – in the best sense of the word. There was an “in-built” accountability that steered them, that directed them, and demanded from them, certain standards for themselves – let alone for others.

In the increasingly busy world we live in it seems as if this inner accountability has waned. When we don’t hold ourselves to standards we become mediocre. Then, it seems, we are also much more accepting of the lowest common denominator. Many things in our society are unacceptable.  We should not be willing to sit back and accept the current state of affairs. What is your inner-compass saying to you today? Are you really living an accountable life?


Lord God, 

Help us to strive to be the best in all we do and say.

Never allow us to be tempted to become lukewarm, especially in our service of others.

Teach me how to be accountable to you, myself and others.


Fr Russell Pollitt SJ

Fr Russell Pollitt SJ is the Director of the Jesuit Institute and is interested in the impact that communications technology has on society and spirituality. He regularly comments on South African Politics and various issues in the Catholic Church.

director@jesuitinstitute.org.za @rpollittsj
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