Oct 12, 2013


ASKING WITH INTENT. Listening Without Excuse, Acting With Courage

In the last few blog entries, I've talked about reason, purpose and self-esteem as primary principles.

The next few entries will discuss the next wording of my mission statement that has to do with how to practically apply these principles in determining proper choices and implementing them.

As I move through the different parts of my mission statement, I must emphasize that I can only take credit for my mission statement as a collage if you will of principles and ideas of the original authors who have influenced how I think and who I am today. Ayn Rand, of course is underlying virtually all of it, but others such as Stephen Covey have also been a significant influence and Covey is being quoted verbatim in the subject line.

The subject line contains three distinct but inseparable parts of what I believe to be requirements for rational behaviour. Not only are they inseparable but the order in which they are presented also cannot be altered.

First of all, the question being asked (ASKING WITH INTENT) of one's self is "what should I do?", and the intent refers to the fact that I am not asking rhetorically; I am asking because I truly want this knowledge in order to fulfil my obligation to take action once I have determined what the proper course is. Anything less than acting once I've determined the proper course of action, can only be described as evil, and I will deserve whatever consequences come my way because I will not have failed to act due to ignorance but by conscious choice.

The only acceptable ignorance would be if despite asking the question, due to insufficient facts or erroneous assertions, I am left with no definite answer, or with an honestly mistaken one.

I can be forgiven honest errors but not conscious choices to avoid actions. (Or worse, the refusal to ask the questions in the first place.)

When I speak of being forgiven, I am not referring to any actual person's forgiveness per se, but as reality itself being the judge.

For example if I was lost in the wilderness, and I refused to ask myself what I should do, (thinking being my tool of survival) or if I did ask and didn't like the answer and refused to take action, then reality as my judge would surely condemn me to death.

You could likely guess where I will be going with the next part, LISTENING WITHOUT EXCUSE, but hopefully I will be able to add some interesting distinctions and not be overly redundant.

What I will finish with is that, while some of the above may seem harsh or inflexible, I stand by it.

For me, it would be very easy to avoid the harsher aspects of reality as I have been shielded from them my entire life, never having been involved in a war, known starvation or any real economic hardship but I am quite conscious of the fact that this has only been made possible because of other rational men who have come before me who asked, listened and acted in accordance with reality and I am the grateful benefactor of their accomplishments.

Personally I would argue that all that is good in my life and in the world is a direct result of rationality and that almost all suffering (almost because some things are inevitable) is caused (or made worse) by irrationality.

Thanks again for reading!

Oct 4, 2013

SELF-ESTEEM. (Part 2): a means AND an end, AND an absolute requirement for happiness.

SELF-ESTEEM: a means AND an end, AND an absolute requirement for happiness.

I will keep those first things first in my life, every day by choosing to think and act in accordance with reason, purpose and SELF-ESTEEM


Where does SELF-ESTEEM comes from? How is it achieved?

What does it permit and lead to?

Why does nothing seem worthwhile, desirable or achievable without it?

First off, I would say that self-esteem comes from holding a philosophy of reason which of course includes rejecting any morality that involves sacrificing ourselves to others or sacrificing others for our sake, reason showing that neither of these strategies can result in anything but misery for all parties.

Secondly, I would say that it comes from consistently living that philosophy, thereby practicing the virtues of honesty and integrity. (One of the aspects of honesty is being honest with others, while one of the aspects of integrity is being honest with ourselves). When we act consistently with rational values, we have no need for rationalization (lying to ourselves) which is the quickest way to lose self-esteem.

Self-esteem permits us to seek our own happiness without any sense of guilt or shame, as we recognize that we truly deserve to be happy, and that our happiness in no way conflicts with that of others. In fact, rationally we know that harmony only enhances our happiness. Self-esteem allows us to enjoy the material rewards of our efforts without making us slaves to those rewards because our self-esteem is not tied to them and we know that our happiness will be intact with or without them. ("Wealth is the slave of the wise man and the master of fools." Seneca)

Without self-esteem nothing seems worthwhile, because it seems pointless as we don't feel we deserve our success, (and if we have been inconsistent and lacked integrity, we're right) and it just seems that the best we can achieve is temporary pleasure, but it always seems fleeting and no matter how much we have it never seems to be enough, and we also live in fear of losing our achievements because we feel with some good reason, that without them we will have face our fraudulent selves.

Of course, as with previous blog entries, (which have been too far and few between this year), the principle of self-esteem is only one third of the three major principles which also include reason and purpose, and each of them must almost always be discussed together as they are interdependent.

From these flow all other principles which I will continue to write about in future blog entries which I will seek to make more frequent.

Thanks again for reading.