Monday, January 15, 2018

What Matters?

I believe there are many fundamental truths that are available to us all to guide our life and work. I found that there are profound principles in the world of systems management that can be applied to much broader, nontraditional audiences. 

Through my blogging here, I want to introduce these principles and develop their application in our life and work. I have to give a warning upfront, this is not always going to be a politically correct or socially sanitized. It however, is delivered in love and respect for everyone that reads it. Agree or disagree, you take no different station in my eyes or heart. My granddaddy used to say “reasonable people can disagree, but disagreeable people can never be reasonable”. I hope my writings can help us, together, to return to reason.

Moral Truths

There are moral truths that guide our life and our relationships to others. Indeed all of Western Civilization was originally founded on the basis of moral truths. There are many moral truths that people can ascribe as true, based on their beliefs or culture. in October 2000, writing in the  publication Counseling and Values, Richard Kinnier, Jerry Kernes and Therese Dautheribes developed “A Short List of Universal Moral Values”. I found these to particularly intriguing.
  1. Commitment to something greater than oneself.
  2. Self-respect, humility, self-discipline, and acceptance of personal responsibility.
  3. Respect and caring for other individuals (i.e., The Golden Rule)
  4. Caring for other living things and the environment.

It is interesting to note that none of these things are consistent with our media-focused, technology obsessed, social media centric modern world. None of them go to the heart of being popular, having the biggest McMansion, or the most toys.

Political Truths

Without the restraints of some higher moral law, democracy instinctively works against natural marriage, traditional families, and any other institution that creates bonds and duties among citizens. It insists on the autonomous individual as its ideal. These truths, I believe were the very foundation of our founding. Again if you look at the four fundamental moral truths above, none of them are based on the individual as supreme.

Indeed our republican government was established with this in mind. It was established to both release and restrain the individual and the collective. Our system of checks and balances at the federal level, and the balance between the federal and the state governments was meant to make government sufficient to enable liberty, but not supreme. I especially like the quote from Horatio Seymour , “The merit of our Constitution was, not that it promotes democracy, but checks it.” Indeed unchecked democracy is the “tyranny of the mob”.

Individual Truths

I believe we are happiest and most effective when we are functioning as a whole person. We are made up of three elements; mind, body and spirit. Much like a three-legged stool, take away one and balance will be tricky, take two and you fall flat. Our body is our earthly vessel, indeed in the Bible it is our temple, the place of worship. Our mind is the core of our being. It is our thoughts, our emotions, our intellect and our passsion. Our mind makes us, at least partially, conscious and separates us from the animals. Our spirit is what makes us truly conscious and able to see ourselves as we really are, and see well beyond ourselves to greater good and higher purpose. In Christianity it is our spirit self that becomes of God, directed by his Holy Spirit, and seeks God by directing our mind and body.

In the end, I believe that every to person needs to integrate moral truths and a whole person approach to embrace a fullness in life This takes time and perspective, two things that are difficult to discern in an “always on” world we’ve chosen to make for ourselves. So clearly we need a new system to make our life and work have meaning and to work for us, and each other. In my Power of One series, I will explore these system approaches to life and work and making our life come together in a whole, logical framework.

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