From our Newsletter: We Can Change the World.
As you observe the subtle changes afoot this Labor Day—days getting a little shorter, grasses and leaves turning slightly reddish and trees beginning to turn, consider your opportunities to change.
Hidden in the people problems, relationship issues, work struggles and, incivility are opportunities for thriving in the imperfections of life and work. We Can Change the World.
Most people don’t see this. Or maybe they don’t want to. It’s easier to pretend that we don’t know we can change the world. Complaining, whining, harboring resentment feels more normal. It’s what everybody else is doing.
I did say hidden, after all. But to be clear, the opportunities are hidden in plain sight. When you pause long enough or stop the treadmill, you see with clarity that our priorities are not well thought out.
Rather than prioritizing life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, we are chasing wealth, pleasure, and fame.
In ancient times, Aristotle implored people to change their ways. He thought we should live our lives by the highest moral and ethical standards. That’s where Jefferson got life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, from the ancients.
Aristotle saw the hedonism and the petty fighting it brought out. He saw the discontentment and deep unhappiness in people who were self-centered and focused on wealth. Aristotle saw what we still see today!
Aristotle feverishly studied the human condition. He found general, wide-ranging traits from courage and anger to greed and treating others with incivility. He encouraged striving toward a middle between the extremes.
He thought we should intentionally pursue a virtuous life. Recognize the best and worst traits in ourselves and invest in our innate goodness–generosity, integrity, fairness, and kindness. This Aristotle surmised, would balance out the incivility, negativity, and detraction of daily experience.
Through the small, incremental betterment of Self, one-by-one, we can change the world.
Pragmatically, this means bypassing the knee-jerk in-kind reaction to a snarky retort. We should use our full intelligence and intentionally respond; keeping goodness top of mind. Never diminish humanity, the very humanity you are one with.
A deliberate and disciplined life of true purpose is strenuous, difficult and possible.
You can change your life. I can change my life. Together we can change the world around us.
Let this be our focus this Labor Day and beyond.